A Spanish Venezuelan Professional Globe trotter story

I have chosen to interview one of my teachers whose career has impressed me a lot. I want to talk with him because his experience and his history have lots of interests for me that I want to share you and  I will explain to you at the end of this interview. He is my teacher of Managerial skills and you can find out his profile.

Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Miguel Varela Vázquez. I am 48 years old. I was born in Caracas. I am married and I have two children. I am Industrial Engineer (Simón Bolívar University). I have studied a MBA in the Metropolitan University of Caracas (Partnership with Harvard University). Now, I’m the Human Resources Manager in Lafarge Spain.

Your parents are from Spain and, you were born and have grown in Venezuela. Have you got the double nationality?

Yes, I have both nationalities in fact I have to use my Venezuelan passport each time I want to enter to Venezuela. The European passport is a big advantage specially when I want to travel around Europe or I need to enter in USA.

How do you feel as a Venezuelan with Spanish origins?

I feel some kind of proud. It is very interesting to have both cultures into my mindset. I can think as Venezuelan citizen (happy, creative, time in not a problem, etc) and imaging the reactions of the Spanish people and vice versa. This allows me to consider more alternatives to face any situation.

You told in class that you worked everywhere in the world. Was it a choice or was it intruded to you?

It was my choice. I have asked for the opportunity to work in some different places. I have dreamed about how to obtain as much knowledge as possible from other cultures and lifestyles.

What have you given all these experiences?

I have lived in Buenos Aires, Sao Pablo, Mexico City, Paris, London and Madrid and I have learnt a lot from all the people that I have met. I have specially enjoyed understand people reactions and habits. Also, it is very interesting to know the social differences between cities. Concepts as richness or poorness are very different in each country.

What do you think about the economical, social and political situation of the Latin American region?

It is very different from a country to another. There are very rich countries with a large amount of poor people due to lack of good systems and processes to provide to the people opportunities to succeed. (Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico). There are poor countries with very low support from international community (Haiti, Jamaica, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Guatemala).And there are some countries that are doing good things. They are trying to provide their people with the adequate level of education and preparation to have better opportunities. (Chile, Colombia, Equator)

Which are the possible improvements and opportunities?

As I have mentioned in the last question, EDUCATION is the key element to change the history in Latin-America. Most of the countries have lots of natural resources (Oil, Iron, Uranium, Gas, etc) but most of them do not have enough capable people to manage public administration and to avoid corruption.

I want to work in multinational companies and to get a lot of international experience. What can you advise me?

It is a very good idea. I recommend you to define your favorite type of job. In order to do this, it is not enough to say; I like this or that. You have to know very well yourself. You need to understand your strengths and weaknesses and then decide what you want to do in your professional life.

At the beginning of this article, I have told that his experience and history have a double interest for me and I hope that you find some in it .

First of all, he has got a double culture. This side  of  life concerns me because even if I’m French, I’m from a big melting pot which helps me to adapt myself  to  lots of situations. This  factor can help us to understand better how to react face to people from other cultures.

Secondly, he was born, grew up and studied in Latin America, thus, it can light us with  his  point of view, this of someone who has travelled  all around  South America. His opinion gives us a subjective general vision of the situation in Latin America and of the points of  improvement

Lastly, he gives us some advice to work abroad and to fix ourselves on how we can take advantage of the opportunities that we have.

By Théodora NERAL


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