“The Professional Careers Service helps you get to know yourself and define the best professional scenario for you”
09 de July de 2020
09 de July de 2020
““The thing I will take away with me from EAE are the Professional Careers services, which offer a very consistent, comprehensive and useful schedule of activities that have enabled me to find a new challenge in the sector I wanted to work in”.
Our students’ satisfaction is the best indicator for measuring the services offered by EAE Business School. As well as training the leaders of the future, our mission is also to guide students along the challenging path of professional fulfilment. With this in mind, we celebrate every single success story that originates in our classrooms, such as the case of Pilar Martín, who, through the Professional Careers Service, has managed to join Adam Foods, an internationally renowned company with over 75 years of history.
We talk to Pilar about her experience at the School and her new professional challenge, and she shared the following impressions with us.
Student on the International Master in Project Management
Pilar, tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from? What did you study? What do you do?
Hello everybody. I am from Barcelona. I am 27 years old. I really like travelling. I have spent a few months in Denmark and Japan, but home is Barcelona. I took the Bachelor Degree in Industrial Technologies, the first year that it was run as an undergraduate program. Later on, I took the joint honours Master in Industrial Engineering and Organizational Engineering to become a senior engineer and specialize more. It was on the Bachelor Degree and Master that I signed up for the international placements and studied in Odense and Tokyo.
I currently work as a Process Engineer in the automobile sector. I have a varied range of duties: optimizing processes, solving quality problems, production support and training, machinery implementation, industrialization of new pieces and project management mainly.
Tell us about your experience on the Master in Project Management at EAE Business School, What aspects of the program and the academic in general would you highlight?
In my case, I am taking the Master Project Management in the Weekend format. My class has been unusual because we have faced a lot of setbacks, firstly the suspension of the start of the course for political reasons and then the Covid-19 crisis.
En el modo presencial la experiencia estaba siendo muy buena porque había mucho networking y los profesores eran muy accesibles con las preguntas. En modo online, destacaría la comodidad de no moverse de casa.
In the in-person format, the experience was really fulfilling because there was a lot of networking and the lecturers were always available to answer questions. In the online format, I would emphasize the comfort of not having to leave home. The aspect I would highlight most are the Professional Careers Services, soft skills programs and the software used on the program. The thing I will take away with me are the Professional Careers services, which offer a very consistent, comprehensive and useful schedule of activities. It has enabled me to identify the sector I wanted to work in and a new challenge.
In relation to your professional career, what companies have you worked for and what positions have your held?
My first internship was at Decathlon, where I worked as a Customer Supervisor. I wanted to try something in a logistics department but we couldn’t reach an agreement on how to move forward, because I needed something more dynamic.
I then started as an intern at AKWEL SJU, in the automobile sector. They manufacture rubber tubes for transporting fluids. I worked in the Methods and Processes Department. There is always a high pace of activity in this sector and you learn a lot. The experience certainly didn’t disappoint. They appointed me to pilot a lean manufacturing project in which I had to identify waste, change the layout and implement lean techniques and tools lean to eliminate the waste.
After finishing the joint honours Master, I decided to go back to AKWEL SJU with their blessing, because there is always a lot of opportunities, trust and autonomy there. Over the course of three years, I have had the chance to take on the wide range of tasks I mentioned earlier in the interview.
As an experienced professional, which skills, soft or hard, do you think it is important to develop in today’s employment market?
Depending on your position, the answer could vary a great deal. In my experience, soft skills have enabled me to make a leap forward in terms of quality and achieve success. Every technician, every person is different. Soft skills have opened up doors for me that they have closed for others. They have increased the likelihood of success when implementing my projects.
Now, tell us about Adam Food. You have recently been selected to work at the company. How did you feel when you heard the news? What will your role involve?
It is pretty fantastic, motivating and promising news. I am really pleased because I want to focus on working in technology projects without losing contact with the industrial world. I am keen to visit new plants and make the leap to a renowned brans, As a project engineer, it will be my qualification that enables me to do all this. The automobile sector is very cyclical. A downward period is on its way, which will mean a reduction in the number of projects. I am very restless and I really like the business philosophy of Adam Foods. They enjoy their work and they gave me the sense of a good working atmosphere. They like seeing the customer happy and providing quality experiences, not just a product. I hope to offer them the same.
What was the selection process like? What were the hardest and most interesting parts?
The process was completely online: an interview with Jaime Ozores, two Skype interviews with Adam Foods and a call to seal the deal. The key was to follow the advice of the experts for operating in the online and preparing for the interviews beforehand.
The hardest part was when it came to negotiating. Spain is the midst of a crisis and, by Skype, you don’t get such an in-depth insight and build trust with a candidate in the same way you do in person. You lose your body language and it is harder to interact. As a result, it is a challenge to negotiate conditions. You need to have a clear idea of where you are, where you want to get to and what the limits are in order to overcome these complications.
How did EAE Business School’s employability services help you?
Firstly, I would emphasize the range of activities scheduled. It helps me keep my preferences clearly in mind and identify the jobs I wanted and where I wanted to work. The EAE Professional Careers team contact you and accompany you several times throughout the process. They guide and advise you. Last but not least, the activities they organize are a great opportunity to meet new contacts and network.
In my case, I was lucky. I was in the right place at the right time. Thanks to the hard work of the people in the Professional Careers Service, I had a practice/mock interview with Jaime Ozores. He had a process under way for a junior profile that I was a good match for. It was a matter of finding my own luck by taking the right steps.
There are tools used in project management that I had never even heard of. They are really useful and help you avoid the typical mistakes. They help you improve my success rate for project delivery and achieving the three key factors (scope, time and cost).
Starting a new job in a new company is always a big step? What are your hopes and expectations for this new stage?
One the one hand, I am expecting a challenging and demanding professional experience, a new sector, new processes, new working environment, the new normal and new technologies. It is motivating. Moreover, joining a company during a pandemic is a challenge that I never would have imagined, meaning that soft skills will be essential for starting on the right foot in the new company and leading automation projects.
On the other hand, it is a personal experience of enrichment and growth. It is a sector with projects on the horizon. Learning from more experienced people and the methodologies of the food sector. It will also give me the chance to grow because it is a company that lets you get your hands dirty, with lots of human capital and internal promotion.
Looking ahead, what does the future hold for Pilar Martín in professional terms?
Our generation lives in a VUCA world (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) and this pandemic is just reaffirming that fact. I don’t see myself in any particular specifically, but I am sure that we always have to anticipate change and remain flexible to always be prepared for the future and the changes it holds. Likewise, I am sure that I want to hold management positions. Therefore, it is very important to understand the person, the environment and the company. The company and staff have to acknowledge you as a leader. Reaching that position will not be easy and personal and professional training will be crucial.
Do you think that EAE Business School is a good ally in terms of accessing new professional opportunities? Why?
My primary goal was to make a professional leap forward and change my job. Thanks to EAE, I achieved it. As I explained earlier, the Professional Careers Service helps you get to know yourself, explore the labour market and define the best professional scenario for you. Moreover, the networking that the School generates gives rise to new opportunities.
What would you say to any professionals who have not found the job they are looking for? Any recommendations?
It is hard to give advice. There is an element of luck involved. The key is searching for the luck. To do so, you need to know how to look for it, how to organize and boost your job search. Thanks to the Professional Careers team, you are given guidance, tools and knowledge to increase your chances of success to find the job you want. Lastly, whenever you can, gather information about the interviewer to identify topics of conversation that grab their interest, so that you stick in their mind more as a candidate.
Thank you very much, Pilar!