Steven Ruiz is a young Ecuadorian professional who has always had a clear vocation. In his opinion, Mechanical Engineering is one of the most comprehensive bachelor degrees available, but he felt the need to round off his training with the Master in Project Management at EAE. Without hesitation, he decided to pack his bags and leave behind his friends, family and even his own business. All with a single objective: achieving professional success and acquiring as much knowledge possible before returning to his country and continuing with the company he left behind.
Thanks to EAE’s Employment Exchange, Steven got in contact with the international department of Telefónica On-the-Spot Services, which was looking for technical engineers and sent in his application. After a number of interviews, he was eventually selected as the successful candidate.
First of all, what position do you hold at Telefónica and what are your duties?
I am currently working as a Pre-sales and Commercial Innovation Engineer. My duties include reviewing requests sent from the Commercial Department and, as a technical engineer, I have to give support in response to these requests from a technical perspective. In other words, I have to define technical specifications in order to resolve the project. Another task of mine is to check that the projects stay on track with the planned timings and costs, ensuring that they keep within the original scope specified.
How did the opportunity to join Telefónica come about?
I sent my application through EAE’s Employment Exchange. Telefónica On-The-Spot was looking for technical engineers and specifically electronic engineers. I decided to submit my application anyway, just in case a position came up at some point in the future related to my area of engineering.
What interested you about this offer that encouraged you to apply?
I was looking for a job related to the Master in Project Management, so I decided to apply for the offer without hesitating. Telefónica is the ideal company to develop and grow at a professional and personal level.
Why do you think they picked you rather than another candidate?
Taking a Master is a big plus in an interview for any job. Moreover, in my country, Ecuador, I worked on projects and had knowledge of the programs that the company uses. This all meant that my profile was a perfect fit, which they told me in the interview itself. In addition, something else that grabbed Telefónica’s attention was that, back in Ecuador, I had my own business, which I had closed down temporarily to be able to come to Spain and take the Master.
What was the selection process like and how did you prepare for it?
They called me to arrange a meeting with Human Resources, where they asked me a number of questions about my professional experience, qualifications and availability to join the company. I then had an interview with Felix Díaz, Head of Engineering and Innovation at Telefonica On-The-Spot Services, in which they asked me more questions about my professional experience and why I was interested in joining the company. After a couple of weeks waiting, they told me that I had been selected as the successful candidate.
To what extent do you share the company’s values?
Telefónica has very important values. They are open, sincere and resilient. I identify completely with these characteristics. I think that being sincere enables you to achieve excellence in your performance, take care of the details and, most importantly, demonstrate the quality of what you know how to do. Being resilient is one of the most important qualities, as people who fight for what they want can overcome their challenges and leave their comfort zone. It is the best way of growing!
What experience are you gaining from your position at Telefónica?
I am learning about electronic processes and tendering procedures, which I didn’t know much about before. This has enabled me to get a deeper insight into the company and learn about new topics that let me develop more in both a personal and professional sense.
Are your expectations being fulfilled?
Absolutely, the experience is meeting my expectations. In fact, it is surpassing them! At Telefónica, everybody is willing to work together and participate actively for a common purpose. The opinion of every member of the team is essential for the successful resolution of a project.
Now from inside the company, what aspects of Telefónica would you highlight?
Telefónica is a very organized company that embraces new challenges. Most importantly, it is keen to train its employees and enable them to improve themselves. The members of Telefónica receive regular training which enables them to update their knowledge constantly. This facilitates everybody’s growth! Teamwork is another aspect of the company that I would emphasize. All the business areas work together to enable the company to achieve success in all its projects.
Is the company committed to young talent? In what way?
Of course, it is committed to young talent. This is clear to see in all the departments. Most of them are comprised of young professionals. Most of Telefónica’s employees start from scratch as interns and, once they are training properly in line with the needs of the business, they can build their career in the company.
What are your professional objectives in the short and long term?
My objectives in the short term is to complete the Master and my work at Telefónica. If possible, I would love to build my professional career here. In the long term, I would like to go back and reopen my company in Ecuador and put into practice all the knowledge acquired both working at Telefónica and on the Master, and eventually have a leading project company in Ecuador.
You have a Bachelor Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Why did you decide to take a Master in Project Management?
I chose to study Mechanical Engineering because I was always really keen on engines, structures, cars, etc. I love seeing how machines work. Moreover, in my opinion, Mechanical Engineering is one of the most comprehensive bachelor degrees available. With respect to the Master, I opted for Project Management because, in my country, I had worked on lots of projects. In some cases, I worked as an assistant and, in other, I managed to become the project leader. However, I noticed lots of shortcomings that I had, and I felt the need to keep on learning. So, I started looking for a Master in Project Management.
You come from Ecuador, why did you decide to study in Spain?
I decided to come to Spain because I needed to experience a new way of life and, most importantly, step outside my comfort zone. This is essential for personal and professional growth. I decided to come to Spain, where I am now taking my Master, growing professionally and personally and having new life experiences, which I would very probably not have had if I were living in my country.
Why did you pick EAE Business School? Did you know the School or was it recommended to you?
I looked into several universities and business schools. I reviewed their tuition plans and curriculums. In the ones selected, EAE was always there. At the School, they treated me really well from the start, from the interview righty through to enrolment. One of the factors that made me choose EAE was the academic faculty. The lecturers are exceptional. It was exactly what I needed and wanted.
How would you rate the international experience that you are having. Would you recommend it?
Living abroad far from you loved ones is very hard, but it is one of the best experiences you can have. As I mentioned, we should all aim to step outside our comfort zone. This helps us to evaluate everything more and all the people that surround you. Moreover, it is a unique and unforgettable experience that I certainly would do again. I recommend it to everybody! Thanks to EAE, I have had the chance to discover new cultures, other countries and different lifestyles.
What aspects of the Master would you highlight? Did it meet your initial expectations?
The faculty is extremely good, which enables you to learn a great deal about managing all kinds of projects. The teaching style of lots of the lecturers helps you to set goals and objectives in the short term. Having to complete a Thesis drives you to make the maximum effort and learn to manage your time to achieve the goals you have set. My expectations in relation to the Master have been met and I would recommend it to anybody without hesitation. Thanks to the program, I have found a job in which I am learning to manage new projects.
Beyond the academic side of things, what other experiences have you had during your year at EAE Business School?
My classmates. I have met people from lots of culture, which has made this a unique and unbeatable experience. In my opinion, I have had the best possible classmates on the Master and, most importantly, I have worked with the best classmates that you could hope for on my Thesis.
Do you feel better prepared to approach the employment market?
I feel better equipped to approach the employment market more effectively. In my opinion, taking a Master and having new life experiences will really help me to get involved with new projects! And not only related to my branch of engineering! Everything I have learned is really useful for resolving lots of problems in any field.
Would you recommend EAE? Why?
Of course, I would recommend EAE! It has been a great experience: the classmates, the faculty, the chance to network with professionals from other programs, I think it all enables you to create a new lifestyle. I am grateful to EAE for the opportunity to spend time in another country, learning new things, as well as the chance to join highly-respected companies at a global level.