Alumni: Sara Tendero
26-year-old Sara Tendero from Barcelona is temporarily living in Mexico, where she works as a project director in the company World Investment News. The project she is currently working on is based on the Energy Reform Bill that Mexico is implementing to allow foreign investment into the country for the first time in history.
Sara told me that her job is a 24/7 type of job, and that people typically either love it or hate it. Fortunately, she is one of the former types; she loves what she’s doing. She has now held her current position for almost one year and 10 months. While Sara studied at La Salle, she found it very hard to picture herself in a job environment, but what she always knew was that she really wanted to be challenged at work, which is something she has definitely achieved.
Within the company, Sara is responsible for the production of country branding reports, which get published in leading investment magazines. She usually spends 3-4 months in a country for the production of those reports. Her role involves interviewing top leaders of countries such as presidents, governors, ministers and CEO’s. So far she’s had the chance to interview Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa and the Nuevo León Governor in Mexico, Rodrigo Medina. She also needs to raise funds for the publication of the reports. In her company working in teams of two or three people is common. Recently, Sara has begun to train and lead teams also. According to Sara, team leadership has been a truly enriching experience. She says that by leading teams she has learned ten times more than what she did when she worked on her own. The reports she produces are published in Harvard Business Review and the first project she worked on was about the northern region of Mexico, Nuevo León (June 2014). Very soon, a report she worked on about Ecuador will be published as well.
The first thing Sara does every morning is read her email. She remotely works with the Head Quarters in Madrid, so she needs to keep them up to date on the projects they are working on. When that is done, Sara will prioritize the work depending on the schedule of the day and have a short meeting with her team to decide how to best divide what needs to be done amongst the team members. The team typically has two to three meetings per day, so they also spend the mornings getting ready for the meetings by printing material, revising the strategies, etc.
Before the working day is over, Sara meets up with her team one last time to revise interviews and other documents from the day, and to make sure they have prepared everything needed for the following day.Sara spends quite a bit of time networking and often attends events with businessmen and women to grow and maintain a healthy network. She sees this as an opportunity to get some tips and advice on how to best carry out business in the country in question, and also to get to know “who is who” and how she can reach them.
Back when Sara studied at La Salle she learned to trigger her entrepreneurial spirit, to get an understanding of international business, to be a goal getter, and to care for her connections.
When I asked Sara if she has any tips to current La Salle students, she said her first piece of advice is to have fun and enjoy the university days. She also added, “trust me, because I really miss my time at the university.”
She also wanted to give a recommendation to students who are about to enter the working world. “Always give the best of yourself at everything you do. Be humble enough to learn from those with more experience but keep your ambitions and self-standards the highest possible.” Sara’s greatest lesson learned from doing business so far has been the importance of good listening.
A new addition to the blog this year is the alumni network. I have, and will continue to interview several professionals who graduated from La Salle. Here in the blog you can read summaries from the interviews and gain inspiration for where the degree obtained at La Salle can take you.