MARÍA JESÚS CARDETE QUINTERO

Spain 2021 | HEALTH & EDUCATION | VIP INTERVIEW

TBY talks to María Jesús Cardete Quintero, Director Madrid of ESERP Business School, about distance learning, competition, and finding jobs for graduates.

How would you describe the evolution of ESERP Business School since 2019, and how COVID-19 has affected your operations?

ESERP Business & Law School celebrates 30 years of history, with offices in Madrid, Barcelona, and Palma de Mallorca. It teaches official degrees in law, criminology, ADE, international business, advertising, marketing, and public relations. Its contributions to the pedagogical world through the ESERP-ABERTIS Observatory and through the joint book collections with Harvard, McGraw-Hill, Deusto and Planeta stand out. Its honorary titles include six Nobel laureates: Werner Arber (in medicine); Richard Roberts (in medicine); Sheldom L. Glashow (in physics); Finn Erling Kydland (in economics); Eric S. Maskin (in economics); and Camilo José Cela (in literature). The establishment of a school of social and legal sciences that would provide practical and effective teaching prompted the creation of ESERP Business School, supported today by its more than 30-years of history and a network of more than 40,000 former students. Thousands of students have passed through our classrooms, the majority joining the job market in a short space of time and excelling in positions of responsibility. Many of them return to our classrooms to speak and encourage new promotions.

Due to the pandemic, distance learning has become more common. How has ESERP adapted to offering its courses online?

ESERP had to respond immediately to the automation of processes due to the pandemic. We were prepared; we have been working on this transformation for a long time, which allowed us to use the latest technological tools and offer hybrid training from day one with streaming classes with the same teachers and content. The most notable change has was moving from face-to-face training to hybrid training through streaming. That has meant broadcasting live, applying assistive technologies to serve 1,800 students with their respective teachers, and respecting the same schedules and calendars that they had in person. If we did not have the technology and a qualified professional team, it would not have been possible. The response of our students was extremely positive, with sincere appreciation for their school, and we also learned from them a new training model that we would not have implemented so quickly. There is now a new, powerful model face-to-face training via streaming that is here to stay.

Spain is recognized as having a high standard of business schools. What sets ESERP apart from the rest?

ESERP Business and Law School has distinguished itself for many years in its personal vocation to accompany each of our students, taking into account their personal circumstances. We have a department exclusively dedicated to accompanying our students through their professional development. We have hundreds of agreements with companies from all business sectors. The union of the university with the company is fundamental. The theoretical and practical training within the different ESERP departments is already integrated into our training system. Our own former students request incorporations with such a specific profile that they know well from their personal experience in our classrooms. We also have one of the best virtual platforms through which our students and former students receive information about national and international job offers that fit their profile. We consider multiculturalism to be a growing value, and the personal and professional relationships between students from different countries create an important network for them. Furthermore, in a situation like the one we are experiencing, ESERP has positioned itself as one of the leading schools when it comes to responding to education in a confinement situation. Currently, we have improved the entire technological infrastructure of the center to be able to give an even better response to our students and face the challenges that arise. We have important expansion projects within online training, new exclusive leadership programs in which business solidarity and the role of women are greatly reinforced. ESERP not only trains students, but is committed to training people with values to become great professionals. We provide them with the best tools to acquire knowledge and skills from an innovative vision.

The ESERP Employment Portal was renewed in 2021, with the intention of adapting to new circumstances and the demands of the labor market. What new features does it have, and what benefits does it bring to companies looking for the best talent?

ESERP is in permanent contact with prestigious organizations, institutions, and human resources consultants, headhunters, and personnel selection companies, in order to ensure students and alumni have the opportunity to find the professional opportunity that best suits their profile within the sector toward which they are more motivated through individual attention to each student based on their needs, curriculum, and aspirations. ESERP has a specialized platform, through which users access the Job Bank, which has daily offers from national and multinational companies, as well as different resources that seek to enhance the professional profile of our students. In addition, the ESERP website includes services for our alumni, who have at their disposal, events, study plans for continuous training, information on publications, promotions of collaborating companies, and much more.

What are ESERP's top priorities for 2021?

ESERP Business and Law School is convinced of the importance of new technologies applied to education, which is why we started a technological transformation of our study centers in order to give students the best training and tools for their professional futures. Among the degrees most in demand and with more professional opportunities are the new degrees that we have incorporated into our portfolio of studies, such as the master's degree in law. Our program has received the National Law 2020 award in the training category. We have the collaboration of Wolters Kluwer for the preparation of the best and most up-to-date materials and for the use of the most complete legal basis on the market, as well as Lex How, a leading company in the preparation of the state exam. In addition, all the students in the program carry out guaranteed internships at Andersen, one of the best professional firms in Spain, with the potential to specialize in the firm itself in fields as novel as big data. Andersen is an independent tax and legal firm with a worldwide presence through Andersen Global.