I would say that one of the most important lessons I have learned so far in life is about contribution, but let’s go in order.
At the age of forty, I have worked in five different countries for enterprises with very diverse working cultures and extremely multicultural environments.
With a background in Chemical Engineering, in the early stages of my career I always sought recognition for the technical skills that allegedly one acquires with a degree in engineering.
It took me several years to be at peace with myself and to discover that I tend to look at things from a wider angle than the purely technical side.
At the time I enrolled in the GEMOS program, I was working in a general management position for a Spanish automotive supplier in China, and the company thought it would be beneficial for me to deepen my knowledge of supply chain dynamics and to understand some aspects of manufacturing operations which I had not experienced before.
GEMOS turned out to be the perfect choice for several reasons: apart from the excellent content of the classes, the group of students came from the most diversified backgrounds, each bringing significant experience with their competences.
However, aside from the background of the students and faculty members, the real value of the program is the motivation of each individual to add their unique experience to the class.
This is why I am talking about contribution: the intangible value you can get by diving into your peers’ experiences is that invaluable “plus” which you can take home and treasure.
The contained size of the class is also a great opportunity to bond and make real connections.
GEMOS is not your usual networking environment, where you meet plenty of people but get few real connections. Some of my fellow students are now good friends, people to go to for advice ̶ and this is still happening now, many months after our graduation.
Shortly before graduating from GEMOS, I took up a challenge in a position of technical leadership for an international manufacturer of electromechanical components for the appliances and automotive industry.
I was skeptical at the beginning, since this could seem a like a setback after the position in general management which I’d had when I enrolled in the program.
Nothing could be more wrong: the contribution I am giving and the cross-functional leadership role that I have, with the purpose of bringing together the different functions of the company, are expanding my knowledge and opportunities like never before.
This is also thanks to the knowledge developed at GEMOS.
In few words, my takeaways from the program are:
- An invaluable place to give and receive a hands-on contribution, which is the thing that makes it so unique;
- A great platform for opening your mind to operative knowledge, by confrontation with experts in the sector;
Also an important reminder: specialization does not mean getting stuck in what you are doing or in a specific career path, it can also be a launchpad for the pursuit of a different career.