Carlos Prieto
View from the Top

90 Years of Changing Mexico's Financial Education

Wed, 05/08/2019 - 10:40

Q: EBC is celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2019. What is your general assessment of the school’s impact in these 90 years?

A: Our main contribution has been our 170,000 graduates. EBC is the oldest private institution for higher learning in the country and was created as a Banxico training center. In 1929, when the school was created, the country had just emerged from the revolution, so the financial system was disorganized. One of the first problems the country faced was that there were not enough educated people to manage the financial system. EBC was created as a result and later became an independent institution. 
Throughout these 90 years, EBC has grown and evolved but we remain committed to our principles. With 15,000 students, 1,200 faculty members and 800 administrative personnel, EBC is a community of around 17,000 people that continues to grow. In 2000, the school decided to venture to other cities and today we are located in 10 states.  

Q: How are you adapting your programs to cope with new technologies and regulations?

A: In 1929, to study a higher education program at EBC, students only had to graduate from elementary school. The most robust careers at that time were private accounting and banking. Today, we offer eight careers focused on business area some master’s degrees. At first, we only taught through physical mediums, which meant that students had to go and sit in our classrooms. Now we have the option of distance learning. Although everyone now knows what distance learning is, when we implemented it was revolutionary.
Our main challenge is to offer an education that can be applied to the jobs that will appear in the coming years. We have realized that hard skills are not so important, since what we teach students today may be very different from what they will need in five years. What we really need to do is help our students develop skills that allow them to adapt to any kind of job. Regardless of their hard skills, we help our students develop leadership, problem-solving and innovation skills, along with team work and communication. 

Q: How do you position EBC against other private and public universities?

A: Students can study finance at EBC, ITESM or other universities; the difference at EBC is its DNA, which is embedded in our mission. We have clearly defined that we must train professionals with an entrepreneurial vein. For us, an entrepreneur is someone who dares to do new things and who is not necessarily comfortable with the status quo. Our hallmark is that our graduates need to have an entrepreneurial spirit.
Each university has its own characteristics. Our principles define the EBC community and our students understand that they will be students forever, in the sense that our students must understand that any knowledge that we pass on to them will soon be obsolete. We believe that those who are in our classrooms are fortunate. In this country, only around 35 percent of those who graduate from high school start a college education. We teach students how to create and distribute wealth, having the consciousness to do so in a responsible and ethical manner. 

Q: What is the extent of EBC’s Aulas Remotas (remote classrooms) project? Why did you choose Universia and Banco Santander as partners?

A: Banco Santander has a project related to social responsibility and within this project they selected higher education as the area to support. The institution within Banco Santander in charge of this project is Universia, which sponsors us and supports our Aulas Remotas project. 
The issue we face is how to bring education of quality to remote locations. Through this technology, we can provide quality education to students that might be in San Luis Potosi or Merida while the professor is in Mexico City or Guadalajara.