Name: Juan Cajiao
Programme: OneMBA Class of 2016
Nationality: Costa Rican
Job title: Regional Senior Commercial Manager for Western and Central Europe
Previous degree: Industrial Engineering Licentiate Degree at the University of Costa Rica
1. Why did you decide to join the OneMBA?
“When I look at my future, I want to reach my full potential in leadership and management. I looked for learning opportunities to push myself further and that influence my performance. I wanted my next learning experience to be international and at the same time allow me to stay working. The OneMBA is a perfect match for what I was looking for. It’s really global and fulfils my higher learning expectations.”
2. How is the OneMBA experience affecting your work?
“Well, the time you spend on the programme puts pressure on work, but it’s still manageable. It’s mostly a logistic thing. All the residences have taught me things that I could bring directly to work, bringing me recognition from the people I work with. There’s also a direct effect on my personal leadership approach. This gives me an extra level of satisfaction. The OneMBA pays off every time I go to work.”
3. What is the return on investment you expect from the OneMBA?
“I’m bringing more knowledge into my company. Everything I do affects our customers. I’m in a good position and my ambition is to eventually get a promotion, thanks to the leverage of the OneMBA. From a personal point of view, my purpose in life is scaling up initiatives that bring good to society and people. Thanks to the OneMBA, I’m engaging more in these types of initiatives and have more options where to take my career in the future.”
4. How has the Personal Leadership Development Programme affected you?
“I believe that leadership and strategy are as critical to organisations as they are for individuals. The Personal Leadership Development programme is all about identifying what matters to each of us and how do we live that every day. The programme is helping me to shape the way I approach challenges and people and it is also making me more aware that what I do every day influences my life and my life purpose.”
5. Do you notice different cultural approaches to working within global teams?
“The OneMBA global team experience is very similar to my experiences while working in international teams. Compared to local teams, international teams go through similar phases, but with much higher intensity. When we are storming it is like a hurricane, but when we are performing the results are much better. Due to the geographical and cultural diversity, we are more conscious of each other and the learning environment helps us become more assertive and therefore also more effective and efficient.”
6. With your busy schedule, how do you manage the cross-continental projects?
“Because of the nature of my work, my schedule depends on Ericsson customers. I don’t really have office hours, so I’m used to working in the middle of the night or whenever it’s necessary. My global team has set a fixed time to meet for video conference calls. We ‘meet’ once per week to review our plans and then we execute accordingly”.
7. What was the biggest challenge of the Global Residencies?
“We met our global teams for the first time in Washington DC. We connected quickly and this was really exciting. In my team there is a great mix of leadership and management. From my perspective, the most challenging aspect is to manage your energy. It’s critical to know what you want and how to spend your time. From the management point of view, I learned a lot about how CEOs and professors from the USA see the future of their country. It was also very interesting to learn how the American history and values are affecting businesses today.”
8. What has been the best part of OneMBA for you so far?
“My personal journey. I joined the OneMBA because I wanted to stretch myself and embrace my potential. I’m becoming more aware of how my behaviour makes people feel. I know more about who I am and how this fits into the world. Gaining awareness about myself is what I found the most powerful so far.”
9. After the OneMBA, what does the future hold?
“I wish I knew. My priority is to find opportunities within Ericsson. One thing is for sure: I will stay working in international business development, but I want to focus more on strategic aspects of it. My professional life is developing fast, but I also know there will be surprises in the future.”