Published in Poets and Quants on Sunday 12nd June 2016 by Jeff Schmitt
“The ESADE EMBA taught me to think differently. It gave me the ability to focus on what’s important, plus the ability to look further, from a different point of view. It also taught me to make decisions with limited information. Instead of being afraid of that, I have learned how to make the most of it and optimise it.”
Paula Lafora Ornosa
ESADE Business School
Location: Madrid, Spain
Undergraduate School and Degree: Business and Administration at Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Where are you currently working? Horizontal Project Manager in Customer Management at Iberia Airlines
Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles: Member of Yaakar Africa, an NGO that develops various projects in Senegal, helping people who have nothing to develop their own businesses, such as farming, selling marmalade and juice, sewing, and dressmaking. The organisation provides these communities with medical materials and school supplies, and it also opens internet centres in rural communities. In addition, it helps people who wish to continue their studies by providing scholarships so that they can graduate.
Active participation in Foro Generación del 78, an association that provides a venue for young professionals and entrepreneurs to meet with political, social, and business leaders and to learn from their experience and knowledge.
Specific collaborations with Exodus Rescue and Care, an association founded in March 2015 that aims to promote and defend the rights of every person — especially children — considered to be a refugee.
Member of “Living Water”. I am a soprano singer in this amazing gospel choir, which performs many charity concerts to support various causes.
Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? In the ninth month of the EMBA, my company offered me a promotion and I joined the new Customer Management unit as Horizontal Project Manager. This position allows me to apply some of the knowledge and experiences I acquired in the ESADE EMBA.
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am very proud of being part of my company’s transformation plan: Iberia’s Plan de Futuro. I joined the project at the beginning, in April 2013. In 2012, the company had reported a significant loss.
The transformation plan aimed to introduce permanent structural change across all areas of the business in order to stem losses and return the airline to profitability, which happened in 2014. Iberia’sPlan de Futuro was led by our CEO, Luis Gallego, and our CFO, Javier Sánchez Prieto. The plan was coordinated by Strategic Management. As I said before, I joined it at the outset, so I had the opportunity to be involved in defining the plan. The Plan de Futuro was structured with 32 initiatives spread throughout the organisation and was driven by “change engines” (directors who were able to look beyond the day-to-day work in order to draw up a medium-term strategy). I was responsible for follow-up, monitoring and challenges in the transformation process in the sales, handling and internal communication areas.
The entire organisation worked very hard, and we are still working hard to consolidate our good results and achieve sustainable growth. Thanks to Plan de Futuro, we lay the foundation for the launch.
Favorite MBA Courses? Advanced Marketing Management, Corporate Finance, Corporate Responsibility, Economics and Geopolitics, as well as the learning experience in India.
Read the whole essay: http://poetsandquantsforexecs.com/2016/06/12/2016-best-embas-paula-lafora-ornosa-esade/