“Things could have happened in any other way and, nevertheless, they happened like this.” These are not my words but Spanish writer Miguel Delibes’ in the opening of his novel “El camino” (The path). I will tell you the story of how I became what I call “Strategy Consultant“. It has not been an easy road, but it has been very worthwhile to walk through it.
I graduated in biology in 2008 and in 2009 I studied a master degree in conservation biology, all focused on dedicating my life to what was and remains one of my greatest passions: research. Yes, I am one of those crazy people who believes that the future of the universe is in research.
After 3 months working on the beginning of my doctoral thesis in “bugs issues” (I am zoologist) at the National Museum of Natural Sciences in Madrid, I ratified my interest in research, but not from the trinomial field-lab-congress and back to start. I saw myself living on a groundhog day until retirement and it became clear to me that it has to be other ways to contribute to create quality research.
And I was right. In 2010 I signed a contract at the University of Córdoba as Research Project Manager. I had no idea what that was, but I thought to myself, “Reyes, it is time for you to leave home and try new things.” And so I did, in a fortnight and with 23 years old I moved to the south of Spain to start my path “managing research”.
I thank Destiny I took that first step! Due to this first job I discovered that there are different ways to help researchers and entrepreneurs to move their projects forward.
In addition, to continue learning about this “managerial” environment, I have prepared myself with the Postgraduate Diploma in Promotion and Management of International R&D&I Activities of the Polytechnic University of Madrid, and the Postgraduate Expert Title in Coaching, NLP and Team Management of the European Business School of Barcelona, besides having enjoyed two stays in Brussels at the headquarters of the Center for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI), belonging to the Spanish Ministry of Industry.
Every step I take since my early times as project manager is focused on mastering the tools and knowledge about European funds, the national research systems, legal issues and so forth. Nevertheless, I have discovered what is truly crucial in my job: to listen to researchers and entrepreneurs with their particular cases and be able to generate a personalized strategy for each case. There was a differentiating factor: those persons who prepare a clearer and easier strategy to achieve their R&I objectives are potential winners in their fields.
Although this consideration seems to be a truism, in all the years that I have been working in the R&I sector, it is the most difficult issue to understand. A strategy is not touched, it is not perceived, it is not of any special color and that is why it costs “to make it real”. I decided that this is where I can add more value to my clients: teaching them how to generate their own strategy and using the most appropriate tools in each case.
Since 2011, when I opened my blog, almost 400 strategics follow my contents, which resulted in about more than 400 posts, having a total of 38,000 visits and an average of 12,500 visitors WORLDWIDE. These figures are important, but it is more the confirmation that the strategy community continues growing and is increasingly aware of the importance of generating a winning R&I strategy.
WHAT WOULD I HIGHLIGHT OF THIS FIRST STAGE OF THE ROAD?
- Coordination and implementation of the Proposals Preparation Unit at RTDI.
- Assessor for the European Commission on the Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R).
- Kick-off of the Promotion Office of European and International Projects at the “Universidad Autónoma de Madrid”.
- Coordinator of the “International Relations” subgroup of the CRUE (Spanish Network of Universities) and member of its Permanent Commission.
- Obtaining the international Seal of Excellence of in Human Resources (HRS4R) for the “Universidad Autónoma de Madrid”.
- Stays in Brussels in the SOST-CDTI Office.
- “EU-MEX Innovative Cooperation Days” in Mexico City.
- Study visit on career development in the Netherlands.
- Bi-annual conferences of the EURAXESS Network in Crete and The Hague.
- Expert in international cooperation for the IGLO network in Brussels.
- Speaker in the European TOP III project in Oslo.
- Speaker at the Research Management University Network Conference in Valladolid.
- Speaker in national meetings of the EURAXESS Network (2015 and 2016).
- Professor at the Autonomous University of Madrid in the field of European Projects.
- nterview in Onda Cero and Spanish National Radio (RNE) about the Human Resources Strategy of EURAXESS that you can listen to here (in Spanish).
IF YOU WANT TO KNOW ME BETTER …
Behind my role of strategy consultant there is much more to discover. For more than 20 years I have combined my “academic” studies with “musical” ones, since one of my passions, besides strategy consulting, is music. Since 2008 I am in possession of the Professional Music Title, in the specialty of cello, and despite having finished my classes, I never stop playing. I have been part of many orchestras that have given me the opportunity to play at the International Guitar Festival of Córdoba, Cosmopoética Festival, as well as at the National Auditorium of Madrid and the Royal Theatre, achievements that for an amateur cellist are a dream come true.
Another passion (and almost a need) is sports; since I was 5 years old I have gone to swimming classes, dance, I have played soccer, basketball and all the school playground sports that could be played. For some years now I have started to train regularly in gyms. But without a doubt the greatest of the discoveries has been the paddle tennis, to which since 2014 I devote a great part of my leisure time. For me it is essential to exercise the body to have a healthy mind, as the ancients wise men said.
In addition, I love to travel, to read, to go to concerts (heavy, rock, techno, classical … Good music played live is always a pleasure!) and above all to share experiences and learn from the people who crosses my path.
As Delibes said, things happened that way, although in the early days it did not seem that a field biologist will end up helping researchers and entrepreneurs of all branches of knowledge to position themselves with a winning strategy in Europe. What I have realized is that everything I have lived led me to do what I do and to be the way I am. I keep achieving my goals at every step I take, why do not we go together to achieve yours?