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New Dawn at Talent & Careers

New Dawn at Talent & Careers | IE Business School

Meet the Finance and Tech Sector Heads Making a Difference.

As Vice President of Global Alumni and Talent & Careers, Erik Schlie has been on a mission to revamp the crucial department that helps IE students and alumni navigate the job market and bolster their career opportunities. Part of his strategy has been to hire top-drawer talent with sterling reputations in key fields to leverage their expertise and contacts. Javier Tordable and Andrea Reginato are two examples representing the new dawn of Talent & Careers—albeit with familiar faces, given they are both IE alumni. Both sector heads have chiseled out ambitious plans to strengthen the IE Community’s profile amongst the most prestigious companies, while preparing students to meet future demands in their careers. At the same time, they now use their networks for IE students and alumni to gain access to the most sought-after spots. Ultimately, the goal is to turn IE Business School into one of the main sources for talent acquisition at the world’s top outfits.

Read Javier and Andrea’s interviews to know their plans for revamping the finance and tech career support at IE:

  • Javier Tordable

    Senior Associate Director - Talent & Careers

    Finance and capital markets have long been Tordable’s passion. With 20+ years in finance, specifically in global markets and exchanges, he has worked mainly in the German Stock Exchanges in Frankfurt, Chicago and London. Just before joining T&C, he advised prominent capital markets tech providers, other exchanges, and FinTech companies.

    Tordable says he was ready to move back to Spain and that business education had long been a passion of his since completing his Executive MBA at IE Business School in 2004. First, he threw his efforts into lecturing positions at London School of Economics and in the IE Master of Finance. With time, he felt he had more to offer students to help them steer their careers.

    He now spearheads the department finance sector as Senior Associate Director at Talent & Careers, engendering new corporate partnerships and recruiter relations.

    How are you revamping the way T&C addresses the finance career path?

    Until now, our core finance pillar has been Investment Banking & Corporate Finance. One of my main endeavors is to widen the IE students’ mind and career option possibilities by drawing attention to the other two main finance pillars– that is, Global Markets-Sales & Trading and Asset Management. I am also highlighting the three biggest current trends deeply shaping the finance sector: FinTech, Sustainability and Alternatives.  The reality is that Global Markets and the Asset Management industry still represent more than 50% of the jobs. The last ten years have witnessed an embracing of the Financial Technology revolution in areas of trading, platforms, cross border asset/cash transfers, SME lending, robo-advising and cryptocurrencies.  I am working to help our IE talent polish itself and fully embrace new finance skills that significantly increase the likelihood of employability and leadership.

    How does your experience play into what you are doing at T&C?

    I pride myself on being someone who is directly connected to the finance industry internationally as regards to access to leading firms, leading knowledge and leading professionals. Therefore, my main contribution can only be in the form of bringing those top finance firms closer to IE students, campus and programs.  Establishing partnerships and alliances with top finance firms and professionals should lead our IE students to reach very meaningful and respectful jobs. It will also enable the firms to nurture and polish the leaders of tomorrow in a mutually beneficial way.

    What shifts in the sector right now do you see as promising avenues for the future?

    The finance sector is witnessing a paradigm shift, especially accelerated by the global pandemic.

    All finance interactions have been digitized to some degree deepening the Fintech revolution that was already in place. In fact, some reports claim that digital transformation has made a leap forward of five years thanks to which many payments and lending FinTech firms have thrived on the back of allowing medium and small business and gig-economy providers to survive.

    Sustainability concerns are spreading rapidly throughout society. This has led to the quick adoption of the ESG (Environmental Social and Government) policies and UN SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), with clear examples like investment banks issuing green bonds or exchanges listing ESG derivatives or the rise of Sustainable Finance for project finance.

    The drop in interest rate yields to basically zero, forces investment managers to look for returns in other non-traditional assets giving rise to alternative investment products, cryptocurrencies, and private markets –like real estate, infrastructure, credit, private equity, direct lending and others.  All of this is within the context of economies bouncing back and revamping all corporate and M&A activity to record levels caused by last year’s covid-delayed deals transactions.

    Again, finance is at the core of our lives affecting absolutely all avenues and aspects of our day-to-day lives. That pushes our IE finance practice to the forefront of IE University and Business School.

    What events and happenings are you organizing? What purpose do they serve and how can IE Business School alumni get involved?

    As discussed, to widen the scope of finance and give visibility to all subsectors, we had to unbundle one big finance career fair into six subsector events or days:

    • September 28-29, Investment Banking Day
    • Feb 9th, Global Markets-Sales&Trading Day
    • March 10th Asset Management Day
    • April 20th the Private Equity & Debt Day
    • May 6th the Fintech Day
    • Nov 18th the Real Estate Finance Day

    These days are unique opportunities for our IE students as direct channel to the top leading companies that come to IE to interact, network, train and hire top finance students, from University, MiM, MIF, IMBA, EMBA, GOMBA and even Alumni.

    You are using your network for fresh alliances for the Business School community. What more can you say about efforts to bolster IE Business School networking?

    One of my priorities has been to involve my and IE faculty’s contacts and network into an IE Financial Professional Network formed by leading finance professionals across top financial firms whose only purpose is to help, train, mentor and teach our current IE students.  Some of them also help us navigate their financial firms better, ensuring that IE talent is always considered when recruiting or that their top financial firms are represented in the panels or conferences we organize.  The support and value that they bring is simply overwhelming.

    What else would you like to include about what you are doing at T&C?

    The role of Talent & Careers is always a challenging one because students have to make most of the effort of landing a job, but IE can help them significantly by giving them access, network, training and preparation from real and top practitioners and professionals thus increasing theirs success.  This journey can only be achieved with the full engagement and commitment from the student from the first day they start their IE programs. So please, engage with our finance team members as soon as possible to help you succeed.

  • Andrea Reginato

    Senior Associate Director - Talent & Careers

    After completing his MBA at IE Business School, Reginato joined Google in 2013 where he managed B2B demand generation programs. Afterwards, he joined titan marketing agency Expandi as a partner and general manager consulting with Microsoft, Google, IBM, VMware, Salesforce, and others about their sales and marketing programs in EMEA and helping these companies generate more than $ 500m in new sales.

    He says he was excited to come back to IE to head Talent & Careers’ tech sector focus because he has the freedom to throw himself into large projects with tough challenges in different business areas—something he enjoys and finds rewarding. For him, it was about making an impact on the future careers of IE students. He also is proud to be the General Advisor for the newly-launched Tech MBA.

    As Tech Sector Head, he has laid his relationships with global tech companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Salesforce and several others at the service of the IE Community.  Reginato finds it exciting to represent IE candidates because of what he identified as three key differentiators compared to other universities: a truly international pool of candidates; a diversity of candidates’ profiles in terms of seniority and skills; and, a dedicated team of account managers within the Talent & Careers department with 30+ years of experience combined in the sector.

    How are you revamping the way T&C addresses the tech career path?

    The tech sector is experiencing enormous growth thanks to two main drivers: (1) the shifting to cloud computing which has unlocked opportunities to all sort of enterprises and startups and (2) the acceleration of digital transformation initiatives across all sectors due to the pandemic. Thanks to that, there is an incredible amount of job opportunities each year for all our students.

    I estimated that the Top500 tech companies are hiring approximately 2.5m professionals annually.

    The down side is that there is an incredibly high volume of candidates applying to jobs. Google alone received more than 3.3 million applications in 2019 and competition is very tough.

    Based on our data, our students have a very good call rate from HR to start recruitment processes – which is a good sign that our student profiles are very interesting to companies and aligned with their hiring needs – but we have weak conversion rates into job offers especially for mid-senior profiles.

    I’ve identified that the interview preparation of this cluster of students is not at the right level in such a competitive environment and I’ve designed the Tech Career Program – a 7-steps program to help our students secure a job in global tech company – to address this gap. In the program, we help our students to customize the Career Application Package – CV, elevator pitch, LinkedIn profile, and target list – for the tech sector and we then support them in preparing a set of competencies-based questions from Amazon 14 Leadership Principles and a set of questions specific to the job roles they are targeting.

    As a final step of their preparation, we activate two mock interviews: one specifically on competencies-based questions with professionals from Amazon and one specific to the primary job roles targeted with professionals from global tech companies. Another key element to increase the success rate of our students is to leverage the referral programs of these organizations and we do that specifically with the help of our IE Alumni working there.

    So far, the feedback from students about the Tech Career Program has been exceptional and I’m sure we will see a boost in the job offers our students receive already in July.

    How does your experience play into what you are doing at T&C?

    I have more than 12 years of experience in the tech sector and I’ve been successful in several recruitment processes with global tech companies and this really helps me on 3 dimensions.

    • I can advise students on their career options properly and give them direction
    • I can prepare students for the interviews with a lot of first-hand (successful) experience
    • I am able to identify the best employers for our students considering also new startups and scale-ups that sometimes are not even considered as everyone wants to work for Amazon or Google only

    What shifts in the sector right now do you see as promising avenues for the future?

    If we want to analyze the shifts in terms of competencies, I usually define four macro-trends that have happened or are happening in the sector. The oldest is Digital Marketing and Digital Advertising, which has been the main driver of growth for several startups like Dropbox, AirBnB, Uber, and Netflix, for all companies in the Software-as-a-Services space and also for those companies coming from the ’80 and ’90.

    The second trend in competencies is happening now with the Digital Transformation concept where hard skills in data and analytics are finally transforming the way organizations are designed and operate in the market. All those digital transformation initiatives need to be translated into actual processes, services and products and for this reason a third clear trend has emerged in the US 5 years ago and in EU now: Product Management.

    The fourth trend is still in the early stage but will most likely bring the biggest change across all organizations and is the no-code / low-code revolution which will enable business professionals of all types to become product and app developers without any need for coding and programming by leveraging easy-to-use online app-building platforms. As an anecdote, I’m currently finalizing a new app that will be used by our T&C team by using one of these no-code platforms and being able of delivering such high quality products without being a software developer is really empowering.

    What events and happenings are you organizing? What purpose do they serve and how can IE Business School alumni get involved?

    I’m very happy to share that in April we kicked-off the first Amazon Web Services Certification Course open to all IE Business School students and we have now more than 100 business professionals preparing their certification in Cloud Foundations.

    We are preparing more initiatives like this together with the Business School that will equip our students and alumni with the best skills to be successful in their careers.

    For 2021 we have decided to combine educational events with career-focused events like the Virtual Talent Forum. We are trying to push the educational events to help our students and alumni interested in the tech sector and tech roles get a better understanding of the trends in tech and the type of profiles companies are currently hiring. An example is the Tech Functional Days we organized back in February and March with the IE Big Data & AI student club, where guest speakers – many alumni – from leading companies like Amazon, Google, Stripe, BCG, Booking, Salesforce and others, talk about 4 main roles: Product Management, Tech Consulting, Data & Engineer, and Sales & Business Development. We are planning another of these events for Q4 on Digital Transformation.

    What can you tell me about efforts to bolster IE Business School networking?

    I would like to thank all the IE Business School alumni that have been collaborating with our team recently. Many alumni are now actively involved as mentors and mock interviewers to our students, many others are helping us with referrals at global tech companies, some are actively participating as guest speakers in our educational and career-focused events and many are sourcing a huge volume of amazing job opportunities from their companies.

    What else would you like to include about what you are doing at T&C?

    The Talent & Careers department is going through an exciting digital transformation journey and there are several projects that will positively impact our services for students, alumni and employers. One of them is a WhatsApp chat bot I’m designing with the team that will become the content hub for all students enrolled in the Tech Career Program to get access to all the material and training documents as well as information about the recruitment processes for the biggest tech companies. If the pilot goes well and the feedback from students is positive, we will roll it out to all students and increase the scope of the chat bot.