Beyond the Numbers: Culture and Business in Spain

Numbers don’t lie–but how we work with them and the financial and legal context surrounding them can vary significantly from place to place. In January, a cohort of graduate students from Texas Christian University traveled to Madrid and Barcelona to explore the challenges and opportunities of doing business in Spain. The program, developed in partnership with the Neeley School of Business, included visits to several companies in both cities.

One of the highlights of the program was a visit to the Spanish branch of BDO, a major global accounting firm, eyeing a spot among the Big Four, the most influential consulting and accounting firms in the world. TCU students were welcomed in the Madrid office by the Head of Outsourcing, Mr. Jairo Iban Rojas Guerrero, and his team. He introduced himself and the company, defining its profile and areas of operation. This introduction was followed by a networking break with the professionals at BDO. Informal chats with individual members of the team were a great opportunity for students to learn more about corporate environment in Spain from professionals in the field.

Later, during a roundtable session, the team answered student questions about differences between accounting in Spain and in the U.S., ranging from tax codes to the education and training requirements for specific professional figures. After a dynamic discussion, the group visited the BDO offices, learning about the work of the various departments in the firm. Through this visit, students learned about accounting procedures and corporate life in a different cultural and economic setting, gaining new insight into their field of study.

The program also featured four days in Barcelona, allowing participants to get a sense of the cultural and economic diversity among the autonomous regions of Spain. One of the main learning activities was a visit to the facilities of the Barcelona harbor, among the largest working ports in the Mediterranean. Students learned first-hand about the facilities that allow for the efficient shipping of goods, the financial transactions supporting the harbor, and its economic impact on the whole region of Catalonia.

These visits allowed the group to understand the world of business and entrepreneurship in Spain. By encountering and discussing specific examples and case studies, students explored Spanish corporate and business culture, taking an important step in furthering their education as experts in global economics matters.

Accent has extensive experience partnering with business schools to design semester and short-term programs, both at the undergraduate and MBA level. Please reach out to Accent’s Program Development team at if you are interested in discussing ideas for a business-focused customized study abroad programs.