“One thing I always tell my students is that even after the term is over, you have my e-mail so don’t hesitate to reach out about anything.”
We are starting a new series where we interview ALBA professors and staff to give incoming students a perspective of academic life. I sat down 1-on-1 with Professor Lanau to discuss his personal connection with ALBA.
Interview conducted by Ramon Jiang (Winter 2019 student):
Could you please state your name, hometown, class(es) taught, and how long you’ve been with ALBA for?
My full name is Jose Antonio Lanau, I am an economist. I have a Master’s degree in Technology Management and an MBA in Knowledge Economics and am currently pursuing my Ph.D. in Knowledge Economics. I’ve been in Barcelona since I was 11 years old, so I have always considered myself from Barcelona. For the last 2 years, I have been with ALBA and I currently teach International Money & Finance. I also teach at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, where I have been teaching for the last 12 years.
What other occupations do you have outside of ALBA, and what makes you passionate about your field?
As mentioned, I am an Economist. Prior to ALBA, I worked in a bank for six years. I’m currently working as a consultant for entrepreneurs. I consult with them on how to prepare their business plans to launch their business, as well as how to look for funding to pursue their projects. I enjoy the opportunity to work with “miracle” start-ups that become very successful.
What is your favorite part about teaching classes here?
The fact that I get the opportunity to work with international students that come from the States. These smaller groups give us professors such a different perspective on teaching. We enjoy having young and talented students coming from very good American universities. It’s nice interacting with these kinds of people. It presents a nice challenge in terms of knowledge and teaching, which is finding a way to transmit this knowledge to foreign students.
Do you have some advice for students coming to Barcelona?
Well, as an American student you have the possibility of experiencing a completely different point of view compared to what you are familiar with in your own country. It’s not about which situation is better or worse, but it’s just completely different. So having the opportunity to learn from a different culture in with a different language all around you is a once in a lifetime experience. If you have the opportunity to come, then definitely get involved with Spanish culture and gain new perspectives by traveling around Europe.
An additional point is that here at ALBA you will have a very reduced class size, so the involvement you have with your professors is huge. This means that the student-professor relations you can build can be very, very strong. This is different from your studies back home. One thing I always tell my students is that even after the term is over, you have my e-mail so don’t hesitate to reach out about anything.