Nigel Hayes is Director of the International Master in Management at EADA Business School. He has had a long career in the finance industry in both London and Zurich, and joined EADA seven years ago. Today I caught up with him to ask why employers like EADA graduates; what students can do to prepare for a programme here; and what the best part of his job is.
What attracted you to EADA?
‘Well, I guess it was the internationalization of the student body, the multinational profile of the students, and the faculty itself that attracted me. My first contact at EADA was with Dr Jordi Carenys, Director of the Finance and Management Control Department, and he made me feel very comfortable from day one; there is an atmosphere here which is friendly but professional.’
What specific skills does EADA offer students on the Management programme that help them to stand out from the crowd?
‘All our Masters programmes have an emphasis on Professional Development. I spend quite a lot of time with people in corporates who are employing our talent and what they all say is that they want people who are able to work in multicultural teams; people who can communicate well; people who have leadership potential. Employers assume that people will have the basic skills but what employers are looking for, more and more, are these soft skills. This is something we do put a lot of focus on at EADA, a lot of emphasis, and it makes our students very attractive, particularly in that first middle management role that our students go for.
Could you tell me a little about your work with the European Foundation for Management Development?
‘The EFMD is an association of business schools and corporates whose mission is to promote the highest level of business education amongst business schools and corporates. As the name suggests, they have a European focus, but they are also expanding into the markets that are becoming more important – Asia and the U.S. I’m on the steering committee of the ‘Masters’ for which there is an annual conference and, together with the other members of the steering committee, I design the content of the conference, to make sure that it is relevant and also so that it attracts as many business schools and corporates as possible.‘
What’s the best part of your job?
‘Without doubt the best part of my job is getting to know and mentoring young, international people. It is the diversity that makes EADA special and for me it’s a great opportunity to meet people from different cultures and to get to know people from different backgrounds.’
What are your best tips and sources for keeping up with industry news?
‘There’s no doubt that the Financial Times is, for me, the place to go. If you are preparing for a programme at EADA, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s Finance, Management, Marketing or any of the masters programmes, I think the FT is the best source. I would encourage not only finance students but everyone to spend a half hour a day reading the FT in the months before their programme starts. It is not just a financial newspaper; there is so much in there that is interesting about business and about society. Obviously once you join EADA you will have full access to the FT.’
You’ve lived in Barcelona for a long time – do you have a favourite place to recommend?
‘There are lots of places and lots of tourist attractions to see. I do have a few secret places that are favourites, but if I told you they wouldn’t be secret anymore! I live in the centre of the Barri Gotic in Barcelona which is a fantastic place; a myriad of little streets and hidden treasures. I can walk home every evening from EADA and over the last few months I’ve taken a different route each day and am enjoying seeing more and more of the Barri Gotic; it’s just an absolute gem.‘