Sebastián Montero left his native Chile and moved to Barcelona, the city where he took his MBA at the Campus of EAE Business School. After considering his future alongside his partner, they decided to apply for residency in the Catalan capital, primarily because of the quality of life, as he explains in the following interview.
After doing an internship at CINESA, Sebastián has recently joined the company Urbea Procuradors. “I am learning about a sector that I knew little about: the legal sector”, explained the former student. Grateful to the company for the opportunity, he believes that this experience will help him to train, learn the laws of the country he lives in and “speak with greater authority to other professionals”.
However, his true passion is rooted in human resources, a sector that he hopes to return to one day in a position of responsibility. After working six years in this department, he explained how it had evolved in his point of view and how companies increasingly recognize the importance of the human team in terms of enhancing productivity and efficiency.
First of all, tell us about the position you hold and your everyday duties at Urbea Procuradors.
At Urbea, I work as an HR technician. It is a family company to which I am pleased to be able to contribute my professional experience, but I also go to the courts every day to submit writs, deeds and other administrative procedures.
How did you come across this opportunity?
I was coming to the end of my professional internship at CINESA when, together with my partner, we decided to stay and live in Barcelona, primarily because of the quality of life. Getting the visa was not easy. Eventually, Urbea gave me the opportunity. Although it may not be my area, I am learning about an extremely important sector that I knew little about and which enabled me to get residency and a work permit.
This is your first experience of the legal sector, isn’t it? What aspects of the experience would you highlight?
Yes, it is a whole new world for me. In fact, I am really happy at the company and I have had the opportunity to round off my knowledge of the legal world in Spain. On the MBA I took at EAE, I acquired a set of legal tools that I am now putting into practice.
What else are you learning from this experience?
As I mentioned, it is crucial to know how the law works in the country you are living in, having an insight into what each of the different courts does, how and where to submit a writ or a claim. Knowing the best way to respond when faced with the complexity of the situations we have to deal with on a daily basis in our professional lives.
I am sure that these lessons will be extremely valuable in the future wherever I end up working and developing.
However, your area is human resources, where you have more than 5 years’ professional experience. Would you like to return to that sector?
Although I am learning and working in a large company, I plan to round off my experience in the field of human resources at some point. I am currently in a phase of learning professionally, the MBA and my current job will enable me to speak with greater authority with other professionals, a key factor if I want to grow and develop in a great company.
What are your objectives in the short and long term?
For the time being, I want to keep learning and applying my knowledge in my current job.
In the long term. I want to round off my experience at this job in my area and gain positions of responsibility. Managing to develop professionally in a country that is not my own will be a significant challenge. In addition, I want to continue working in positions that represent a professional challenge.
Can you give us a brief overview of your professional experience to date?
I have six years’ experience in human resources. I worked for five years in a medium-sized company called Mayday, where I was the director of human resources, in charge of recruitment, selection and training a team of 300 people, together with four other psychologists.
I also worked for a year and a half in the bank BBVA Chile, as a human resources manager.
Lastly, I did an MBA at the Barcelona Campus of EAE, which enabled me to access the internship at CINESA that I mentioned.
After working for six years in human resources, how would you say that the functions of human resources departments have changed and in what direction will they go in the future?
The human resources area is becoming increasingly important all the time. It is crucial for each company to have a team responsible for the people, the company’s most important asset. I think that nowadays there is no better way to work than in an open plan format, where the manager is accessible to all of the ideas and comments.
Nowadays, the wellbeing of employees is a key factor, primarily in terms of each person’s happiness, personal fulfilment and development. However, this will also give the company greater efficiency and productivity.
Looking at your profile, we discovered that you are also an entrepreneur. You set up the company BMN Consultores with three partners in 2011. Tell us more about that experience, how it originated, how it runs and what you do, etc.
It was a project with two classmates from university. With the intention of set ourselves apart from the competition, we set up a large-scale recruitment consultancy: call centres, factory workers and supermarket employees, among other positions
There were not many companies in Chile that specialized exclusively in large-scale recruitment. In contrast, we offered the necessary tests and companies could rest easy and put their trust in a serious and responsible consultancy that delivered real solutions.
What did you learn from that entrepreneurial venture?
I learned how complex and fascinating it is to start an entrepreneurial venture. You have to dedicate yourself to it full time and give it lots of passion, energy and time.
Would you ever set up another entrepreneurial venture?
I don’t rule out the option of being an entrepreneur again in the future in the field of consultancy.
Last but not least, we would like to talk about the MBA that you did at EAE. Why did you decide to take this Master and why did you choose EAE?
I decided to do an MBA because, as I mentioned, I think it is important to be a comprehensive psychologist. Knowing about the other areas of a company is crucial in order to be able to speak responsibly and earn the respect of other professionals.
EAE is a great school. A friend in Chile recommended it to me and I feel that I made the right decision.
Beyond the academic tuition, what other experiences did you take away from EAE?
I met a great group of friends and professionals, people that I am still in touch with, even though that are spread all over the world.
What impact has the program had on your professional development?
I feel better prepared to take on the professional world, venturing into to other professional areas without restricting myself to human resources.
How would you rate the networking opportunities that you had over the course of the academic year?
I think it was important to strengthen professional relations. The networks of contacts that you build have an even greater value than what you may acquire academically.
Would you recommend EAE and why?
Yes, it is a fantastic school. It has a great team and excellent teachers. This is why it has become one of the best business schools in Spain.