Immaculada Tena: "You have to be good and show it. I transmit commitment and professionalism to the students
02 de July de 2019
02 de July de 2019
A Director in the Human Resources area with over 16 years' experience in companies in a range of sectors, Immaculada Tena is a lecturer on the Master in Human Resources Management at the Barcelona Campus of EAE Business School. The top-rated teacher explains how it felt to win this award and gives students advice on her specialist area.
Congratulations on winning the award for the Best Lecturer on Executive Programs at the Barcelona Campus. How does it feel to receive such an accolade from the students?
In one way, I was surprised by the announcement because I have received this recognition publicly and unexpectedly out of the 325 lecturers at the Barcelona Campus, which made me feel extremely happy and grateful to both to EAE as an institution and to the students. I realised that I have managed to convey and deliver my particular way of "being, knowing and doing", achieving a great positive impact as a result, at both an academic and professional level. So, I recommend that students give the same commitment, with consistency, authenticity and professionalism in their careers to achieve their goals.
A new set of EAE students are graduating. How do you rate this year and graduating class?
The key features of this graduating class are their involvement, attention and constant commitment from start to finish. They are keen to learn as much as possible in each session. They are motivated to review things and grow from the challenges that they have been set in the classroom. On occasions, I admit that I have pushed them out of their comfort zone.
They have all been able to take feedback on board with honesty and a spirit of self-improvement, which is not easy but absolutely essential for future executives. They have thrown themselves into the learning experience with even more passion than has usually been shown by students in previous years. They have learned to respect each other when they have a difference of opinion, striving to achieve personal growth rather than just a good grade, and valuing the contributions I made as life experiences. In short, they have learned about everything and from everybody, generating a shared learning community, with the aim of applying them in each of their environments, at both a personal and professional level.
How would you describe the evolution of the students with whom you have had the opportunity to share your time on the Master in Human Resources Management?
Their evolution has been extraordinary. At the beginning, there was a little distance between them, which is logical, due to a lack of confidence and the classmates not knowing each other. But they gradually generated a feeling, a team dynamic, a relationship between us all, myself included, based on trust and sharing, all open to contributing and receiving experiences and knowledge at all times between us all. They were keen to grow and enjoy themselves, sharing the everyday experiences in the classroom. It has been a really great academic experience!
Why would you recommend EAE to people who want to take a Master?
Because EAE continuously strives to offer a unique academic experience, focusing on the students' needs to develop their executive careers with knowledge and important life experiences. From the very start, in Welcome Week, followed by interactive events such as the Employment Forum and Talent Week, right through to the internal activities organized by the Professional Careers and Alumni Departments. All these aspects are aligned to offer support throughout the continuous development of the student experience.
Moreover, they entrust the faculty to design the contents and methodologies in order to ensure learning quality, in line with set quality standards and specific interaction guidelines, in both the in-person and online formats, with the support of Blackboard, which facilitates contact and continued attendance, taking care of the students' process and development from the very start right through to their graduation.
In addition, over the course of the academic year, students receive guidance from the Professional Careers Service and even have the option of getting support for their entrepreneurship ventures. Therefore, studying at EAE gives you a complete academic and executive experience, with an acclaimed international reputation and a highly-qualified team of professionals committed to achieving this goal.
What values does the School foster and how do you prepare students for the future?
The School's central values are innovation, quality and a complete learning experience, based on reflection, analysis, assisting and guiding students, putting what they learn into practice, facilitating their personal and professional development, and generating a community with the great international networking opportunities that this entails.
We prepare them by training them in the classroom, focusing on the key factor of the integration between them (all coming from different countries and cultures) to create a team. We implement a real, dynamic methodology based in practical case studies that stimulate dialogue and continuous discussion. We get them ready to tackle the reality of business by practising in simulated situations. Giving personalized feedback is an essential part of the process so that they can identify where they are currently and how they can improve. As a result, students can boost their own growth and development at both a personal and professional level. The end result is that they are equipped with tools to operate on the professional market with greater success.
How should students show their attitudes, leadership and talent in order to be selected for companies now and in the future?
There is a phrase that I always say in honour of my mum, who used to say it to me ever since I was little: "Imma, you have to be good and show it", and that is just what I convey to my students: commitment and professionalism. The essential aspects are, firstly, self-awareness (who I am), secondly, recognition (of what I am proud of having achieved), thirdly, knowledge (clarity about the position I want to reach and the competences required) and fourthly, strategy (with respect to transmitting my strengths and proposing areas for improvement that are not critical for the position I want to get, being able to identify which of my characteristics is of value for a position, and which aren't).
In short, I have to know who I am and how to convey it. That is the result of being good and showing it. It is no use to be good yet unable to show it in a clear, structured and orderly way, without improvising in a presentation that could be a recommendation for you. Neither is it any use to sell a false image, pretending to be something that you are not, because you will seem disoriented when they ask you key questions.
So, the important thing is to feel comfortable and confident about who you are, leading your own career and applying for positions in companies that really interest you, and being able to convey your added value for the job you want. It is as simple as that, transmitting credibility, confidence and competence.
Everything changes at an extremely fast pace: society, education, companies, etc. What advice would you give students to adapt effectively to the VUCA environment that we live in?
The first thing that I would advise them is to "STAY CALM" and not rush in like a bull in a china shop. In other words, don't let innovation and a desire to be agile in giving a response lead you to fail because of a lack of diagnostics at the appropriate moment. Firstly, you have to observe, analyse and diagnose the situation, recognize the work done so far and evaluate the resources available for making plans, consider the team you have around you and the strategic management plan in place, etc. Then, you can adjust, adapt your action plans and positioning efficiently based on practical intelligence. What works in one company won't necessarily work in another.
What experiences are you gaining at EAE at a personal and professional level?
Without a doubt, since I started here over 7 years ago, the experience is enabling me to grow and renew myself constantly. It also gives me a great sense of satisfaction to be able to transmit knowledge and experiences to the students who, in turn, tell me that this enables them to grow and develop as successful people and professionals.
As a professional specializing in identifying talent, enhancing leadership and mentoring executives, what do you think professionals will be like in the immediate future?
Values such as honesty and authenticity (to improve yourself), tolerance (to understand and generate alternatives in negotiations) and realistic positivity (to drive projects forward in the face of adversity in a creative and determined way, motivating yourself) will be the hallmarks of future executives in a confusing and sometimes contradictory environment.
The professionals of the future will be people with practical intelligence that enables them to open their minds to other people and their environment, with the humility to listen to others and empathize, and the capacity to generate specific solutions that dynamize and foster respect for all the members of the team, thereby achieving results and success for everybody.
What advice would you give to the students who have just graduated?
I would tell them to have confidence in themselves, embracing an attitude that pays attention to their environment and the people around them, practical intelligence to identify what is possible and the right thing to do at the right time, moving forward in the knowledge that tomorrow is another day, managing their energy and time efficiently. Most importantly, I would advise them to get passionate about experimenting.