José Carlos Montenegro, or Chas Montenegro as he likes to be known, has got very little time left before he finishes his Master in Project Management at EAE Business School. He comes to the end of his course this month and tomorrow he will give a speech on behalf of his classmates at their Graduation Ceremony. Today, we have had the opportunity to talk to him and he assures us that he is very proud to receive such an honour.
THERE ARE JUST A FEW HOURS TO GO BEFORE THE GRADUATION CEREMONY. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU TO MAKE A SPEECH ON BEHALF OF YOUR CLASSMATES?
I feel extremely honoured and grateful to the School for considering me for this task. I think it is an opportunity to express my thanks and briefly explain what this professional achievement has meant for all of us, the students. It really is a pleasure for me to do this.
YOU COME FROM GUATEMALA. HAVE FAMILY OR FRIENDS COME FOR HOME TO SHOW THEIR SUPPORT?
Yes, my wife also came to study at EAE and her parents will be with us at the Graduation. My parents will come later to take a trip around the north of Spain to celebrate.
HOW HAS IT BEEN LIVING ALONGSIDE YOUR CLASSMATES AT THE BUSINESS SCHOOL?
We were a really close group right from the start of the course. We worked in teams to do our Final Master Project (FMP) and we got along pretty well. Now it is time to celebrate each person’s triumphs and give each other as much support as we can in terms of our professional development.
WE KNOW THAT YOU HAVE STARTED UP TWO OF YOUR OWN PROJECTS: SPHERA PRODUCCIONES AND LAS TRES MARÍAS. CAN YOU TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT THEM?
We started Sphera Producciones 10 years ago. It is a professional lighting and sound company for events and concerts. Having three Guatemalan artists as partners, we came up with the idea of opening a venue where other national and international artists could perform to build a name for themselves, while at the same time being somewhere people could enjoy good music, international fusion food and a great atmosphere. So, in 2011, we set up Las Tres Marias: a bar/restaurant with a capacity of 450 people and a stage for live bands.
TO WHAT EXTENT HAS EAE HELPED YOU WITH THE DEVELOPMENT OF THESE BUSINESSES? WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE MASTER?
I have not had the opportunity to apply the tools at distance but what I have learned here will enable me to organized the businesses in a more orderly way. As a result, I will be able to rectify some of the mistakes I have made in the past.
DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER PROFESSIONAL GOALS ON THE HORIZON?
Yes, I do, with my wife. We are planning to buy a new company: a food and spice packing plant in Guatemala. We want to embark on a family project and make use of what we have both learned over the last few years.
Thank you very much for the interview Chas. We hope that you enjoy your big moment!