“You’re never done learning, and the program helped reignite my passion for continuous learning and development of myself and my team.”

R. Aaron, USA

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R. Aaron Martinez

About me

R. Aaron Martinez is currently Global Director of Sales at TC Industries, a leading manufacturer of wear parts and ground-engaging tools and provider of heat treating services. He has extensive experience in sales and customer management, and describes himself as an entrepreneurial leader. In addition to the Global Executive MBA, Aaron holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Today, he lives in Illinois with his family.
WHO

R. Aaron Martinez, USA

POSITION

Global Director of Sales, TC Industries

Program studied

Global Executive MBA

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THE GLOBAL EXECUTIVE MBA?  

There were various factors. The program offered a global outlook while broadening my executive network in Spain and Europe, collaboration with world-leading universities for the on-site modules, and a diverse student body. The length of the program was also an advantage, as it did not consume too much of my time. I was also impressed by IE Business School’s push for a cohort of talented and experienced learners from around the globe and all walks of life.

YOU’VE BEEN WORKING IN GLOBAL SALES ROLES FOR SOME TIME. HOW DO YOU THINK THE PROGRAM HAS MADE A DIFFERENCE TO YOUR CAREER AND LEADERSHIP STYLE? 

The Global Executive MBA helped me refine my leadership style—to provide more clarity, listen more attentively, and use my skills to drive growth and to improve both team performance and customer satisfaction. You’re never done learning, and the program helped reignite my passion for continuous learning and development of myself and my team.

THIS PROGRAM INCLUDES RESIDENTIAL TRIPS TO OUR PARTNER INSTITUTIONS. COULD YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH THESE RESIDENTIAL COMPONENTS? 

The weeks spent at the partner institutions are key components that make the Global Executive MBA a successful learning experience. From the world-class instruction and localized insights to the time spent together with your cohort strengthening your connections with each other, these weeks are unforgettable. The opportunity to learn about each region of the world—in that region and from local experts—is an experience that is second to none.

WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU FACED DURING THE PROGRAM? 

In 2018, my son was diagnosed with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (known as B-Cell ALL) and I needed to defer from my intake. While this was a major challenge for my family, it also became a source of strength, determination and perseverance to provide an example for my son. After joining the program again with the May 2019 intake and graduating in July 2020, I’m proud to say my son finished treatment in November 2021 and is now healthy and thriving. I’m grateful to the faculty, my two cohorts and my family for the amazing support they’ve shown me during this time.

WHICH ONE TAKEAWAY FROM THE PROGRAM—PERSONAL OR PROFESSIONAL—HAS HAD THE GREATEST IMPACT ON YOUR CAREER? 

The ability to slow down the most stressful and complicated scenarios and analyze things in a more methodical and pragmatic way, in order to arrive at the best solution. Additionally, I’ve discovered that you are never too old to learn something new: with enough energy, grit, and curiosity, you can learn just about anything.

PART OF YOUR DAILY FOCUS IS DEVELOPING AND ACHIEVING GOALS AS A TEAM. AS A LEADER AND TEAM PLAYER, HOW HAS THE IE COMMUNITY AND THE IE ALUMNI NETWORK BENEFITTED YOU?

The program is not something you complete by yourself: you do so with the help of your family and through the teamwork of your cohort. It’s been an absolute blessing to stay in touch with many of the faculty and my classmates, for everything ranging from social activities and book club reviews to business opportunities, too. I can honestly say that not a week goes by when I don’t have a conversation with someone from my IE Business School network.

WHAT DID YOU GAIN FROM NETWORKING DURING YOUR TIME IN THE PROGRAM, AND WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE FOR EFFECTIVE NETWORKING? 

I gained more than I ever expected. The personal and professional relationships I established are ones that will last a lifetime. Thanks to technology, I interact daily with my network around the globe. My advice is to work hard at cultivating relationships with the faculty and cohort, both inside and outside the classroom. Dining together, going for coffee, and scheduling activities during your residential weeks are just a few ways to make the most of these opportunities. Some of the best ideas—and valuable friendships—come from these interactions. I’ve made lifelong friends from my time at IE Business School, and I am forever grateful.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS OF THE GLOBAL EXECUTIVE MBA? 

Be a “sponge.” Make every attempt to be as present as possible throughout your journey.  While 15 months seems like a long time, it goes by in an instant. Put yourself out there by volunteering for a part of that group project you know will build on a personal area of improvement—not only will you grow, but you’ll be surprised as to how supportive your team is. Network, network, network.  

Don’t take this time for granted. You are surrounded by the best and brightest from around the globe, so take every chance to learn from each person on this journey and make the most of it. Finally, the journey doesn’t stop after graduation. Stay involved with the alumni community and your cohort. It’s amazing how many wonderful opportunities exist, both personal and professional, if you continue to foster and grow your relationships within the IE Business School community.