Carlos Guijarro Benito
IE Business School
Hometown: Madrid, Spain
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (Spain) – Master of Engineering – Industrial Engineering
Supélec (France) – Master of Engineering & Research – Electrical Engineering
Where did you work before enrolling in business school? SNECMA – Product Manager
Where did you intern during the summer of 2015? Water Project for Africa – Volunteering Project in Ethiopia
Where will you be working after graduation? Amazon – MBA Pathways Program – Operations/Customer Service Manager
Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:
IE Dean’s List Student – Candidate
Beta Gamma Sigma – Member
IE Business Impact Lab: IAG (International Airlines Group) Corporate Challenge – Overall Winner
Nespresso Sustainability Challenge – IE Internal Competition Participant
IE Spanish Connection Club – Coordinator
IE Mountaineering Club – Coordinator
Water Project for Africa – Volunteering Project in Ethiopia
IE Fellow Scholarship
Social Representative of my class
Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am particularly proud of gaining a full understanding most of the topics covered in the different classes. This was the first time that I had the opportunity to study marketing, economics, finance, and accounting. I found myself at the same level as other students with backgrounds in these areas. The achievement I am the most proud of is being able to prove to myself that I could finish on the Dean’s List despite this initial handicap.
Moreover, I am particularly proud of establishing a new tradition at IE, the IMBA Peers Night, an event organized for and by students that empowers the networking between sections and intakes.
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? So far, the achievement I am most proud of in my professional career happened during a challenging audit with European authorities. Due to issues with our suppliers, my company was facing a tough situation and was risking the loss of licenses to supply some of our products (engines for Airbus aircrafts) during several months. Such a risk meant that production would be blocked for several weeks and the bottom line of our company would greatly suffer. Despite not having a senior position, I assumed a leadership role and represented my company in a better way than other senior managers thanks to my deeper knowledge of the challenge, my proactive stance, and my willingness to address any issue found. This led to positive results from the audit and improved the relationship between my company and the regulators.
Who is your favorite professor? I cannot choose only one. I have two favorite professors:
- Fernando Bartolomé (Leading People and Teams): The first professor that I had during the MBA, he taught me important lessons for my personal development and professional life with his challenging style of teaching. His personal approach to teaching generated a significant impact on the way I see the world. He showed me the importance of active listening to others; to differentiate between impressions and hypothesis; to stop assessing situations based only on impressions; to better manage challenging teams; to face pressure and demanding situations; and to become a better person by generating a positive impact on team members. Since then, I apply his lessons every day. I will never forget the experience of being in his course.
- Conchita Martin (Corporate Finance and Applied Corporate Finance): Before the MBA, I had no knowledge about finance, and Conchita woke up an inner passion for it and motivated me to become a top student. I appreciate her motivation, kindness, patience and knowledge. She is the reason why I have a better understanding of how a company works from a financial point of view; why a firm makes specific decisions affecting its future; and how these decisions affect the day-to-day life of different stakeholders. I am a better professional after having her as a professor.
Favorite MBA Courses? Leading People and Teams, Corporate Finance, International Marketing, Strategy and Behavioral Fitness.
Why did you choose this business school? I was looking for a one-year full-time MBA program at a top business school. I needed a break in my life in order to change my career and find something new that would make me quiver. Choosing IE was simple because it fulfilled all my needs and offered the right balance between diversity, entrepreneurship, location (I am from Madrid), top professors and career opportunities. I wouldn’t have chosen another business school for any reason.
What did you enjoy most about business school? Working with people from all over the world and with completely different backgrounds. In my career, I have had the opportunity to work with people from different cultures, but the diversity IE provided was unexpected. I worked in teams of seven people, each of us from a different country and background, relying on each other and learning to understand the way others think. That is what I have enjoyed the most.
What is the biggest lesson you gained from business school? The biggest lesson that I gained from IE is that the most important thing in life is not success but happiness. As MBAs, we have a tendency to focus on rankings and success. We listen to and read stories of successful entrepreneurs or top executives. All that is great, but without happiness it is worthless. I have learned to prioritize, to choose to do what makes me happy, to find happiness in others’ choices, and to make decisions not from ambition but from what makes me feel complete. I believe this is the key to success.
What was the most surprising thing about business school? It would be how people with completely different backgrounds analyze the same problem and come to completely different conclusions. I have an engineering background and I am used to facing a problem and figuring out the only possible solution. But this method of problem solving didn’t apply in my MBA experience. Each challenge could be analyzed from dozens of different perspectives. There was not a single valid answer. This has blown my mind and taught me an important lesson in life.
What was the hardest part of business school? I have always been a hard worker and I thought I was going to be able to be one of the best students by always having things under control. But the hardest part of my business school year was realizing that no matter how many hours I worked, I could never have everything under control. I had to rely on others. This is a lesson I apply now in life: To trust others more and rely on their knowledge, experience and advice. It has been a great surprise to discover abilities in me, such as letting go, that I didn’t know I was capable of. This is thanks to the business school learning process.
What’s your best advice to an applicant to your school? Before coming to IE, ask yourself which kind of MBA you want to experience. Are you looking for intense and fierce competition among students? Do you prefer to focus on a corporate career? Do you dislike taking risks? Are you someone who prefers working alone? Do you avoid interacting with others? Do you like to spend your weekends at home doing nothing? If that is the case, congratulations, now you know one MBA NOT to do. If you are looking for a vibrant, challenging, social, friendly, passionate, exhausting year, then come to IE. You won’t be disappointed.
“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I couldn’t find further goals to achieve.”
“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…working in a job where I was unhappy.”
Which executive or entrepreneur do you most admire? I admire Sugata Mitra, professor in the Newcastle University and leader of the Hole-in-the-Wall Education Project, an initiative that aims to improve children’s education worldwide. I admire his commitment, passion and effort to unleash the potential in thousands of children. I am passionate about his project, “schools in the cloud.” Tested in rural areas in China, the project puts students in charge of their learning, where they work in groups around computers and research topics in which they share a passion.
What are your long-term professional goals? I am passionate about technology, and I envision my career in that domain. My long-term goal is to become CEO of a growing high-tech company whose products and services I believe in – and with the potential to change the world. I want to apply my knowledge to a company, to help it gain scale, be sustainable, open new markets, reach new segments, and continuously generate positive impact on clients.
Who would you most want to thank for your success? Without no doubt, it is my mother. She has always been close to me and encouraged me to go for the extra inch in everything I do. My resilience, commitment and hard work are a reflection of the way she works and behaves. I come from the outskirts of Madrid, where I studied in public school. Thanks to her, I found the energy and passion to keep learning and to look for further challenges, such as when I left Spain to study in France or when I decided to do an MBA.
Fun fact about yourself: I am good at deejaying. I always end up doing it in at any party I go to!
Favorite book: The Tree of Knowledge (Pio Baroja)
Favorite movie: Kill Bill (part 2)
Favorite musical performer: Coldplay
Favorite television show: “Breaking Bad” and “The Good Wife”
Favorite vacation spot: The Twelve Apostles in The Great Ocean Road, from Melbourne to Adelaide
Hobbies? Soccer, hiking, videogames, photography, cinema, deejaying, travel, event organizer
What made Carlos such an invaluable addition to the class of 2016?
“Carlos Guijarro is one of our brightest students. Some of the aspects we most admire about Carlos are his determination, his focus to learn from his fellow students at the same time he helps with their progress, and his passion and commitment in making a positive impact on today’s society. Carlos had the opportunity to go to Ethiopia with a group of other students as part of one of his classes, and came back to IE even more motivated to promote social awareness in our community and remember those in need. He is a great photographer, a Class representative, member of various clubs and a winner, with his group, of our Corporate Challenge with IAG.
From achieving academic excellence to impressing us with his socially driven personality, we can easily assure that Carlos will make a difference anywhere he chooses to go!”
Associate Dean of the MBA
IE Business School
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