“This will not be a smooth ride—be ready for turbulence and occasional storms—but the trip is definitely worth it.”

Carlos, Spain

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Carlos Pi

About me

I was born in Barcelona but raised between Madrid, Paris and New York. All of this traveling encouraged me to become fascinated with airplanes from a very young age; this led me to become an aeronautical engineer and commercial pilot. My engineering background helped me focus and specialize on safety management systems in aviation, while my role as a pilot has provided me with hands-on experience with the risks and situations I'm required to analyze at the management level.

I currently work as Safety Manager for Iberojet Airlines (part of the Barceló Group) in Palma de Mallorca, in the beautiful Balearic Islands of Spain. When I'm not in the office or flying the Airbus, I enjoy scuba diving and playing the piano, which helps me to relieve any stress from work.
WHO

Carlos Pi, Spain

POSITION

Safety and Compliance Manager, Iberojet Airlines

Program studied

Global Executive MBA

LinkedIn profile

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Describe your experience in the Global Executive MBA using one word. 

Empowering.

What skills from the program will you bring to your current role as a safety manager and commercial pilot? 

I will certainly use a bit of learning from each course in my professional life. However, all the material around managing communities of work, leading people in global organizations and team building have immediate applications in my current position. A common risk for all operations is human beings, and the Global Executive MBA addresses the social aspects of business management very well without forgetting ethics and CSR implications, which nowadays have a significant impact on corporate decision-making.

You’ve had extensive experience in the aviation industry. What are the main things you’ve learned from your career so far? 

The aviation business has a history of overcoming difficult situations, from oil and economic crises to the latest pandemic. This background of dealing with challenges has forged a series of resilience skills that are key in business management. I would say flexibility, adaptation and thinking outside the box while complying with a strict regulatory system are my greatest takeaways from working in this industry.

What has the Global Executive MBA taught you about leadership? 

Working with classmates from all different kinds of professional backgrounds and nationalities has provided me with a unique opportunity to understand and assimilate different leadership styles. I learned how different scenarios require specific leadership abilities, and I was able to immediately put these into practice in my current working environment through the PAP program of the Global Executive MBA.

What are some of the daily habits that you attribute to your overall success in life? 

Walking my dog or doing exercise on a daily basis allows me to have some time for myself for self-analysis and to reset my mind from work. I recommend any introspective routine of this sort to make well thought-out decisions and successful life plans.

Can you tell us about the networking opportunities that you experienced during the program? 

Even for an industry as specific as aviation, I’ve been able to meet people with Rolls Royce jet engine backgrounds. A fellow classmate works for Swiss Airlines, and through IE University’s website I met other professionals in the sector enrolled in other programs like the Global Online MBA. The opportunities are endless, not only because of the program, but because of IE University’s campus, online resources, faculty and alumni contacts. However, above all, I really appreciated how the program presented me with a whole new glimpse into other working environments. These will surely be useful at some point in my career despite being outside my normal scope of work, such as IT, supply chain or marketing.

What has being a pilot taught you about teamwork and collaboration? 

When you face a serious problem during a flight, it’s important to make use of all the resources on board, especially when working in a high-stress environment and under time pressure. I learned that showing empathy and assertiveness while establishing open and honest communication channels with each crew member is how teams cooperate in the most optimized manner. This structure can be applied to other projects and challenges across any business. I believe these are key ingredients in the recipe for success.

What’s something unexpected that you learned during the program? 

I had read a lot about the academic content of the program, but I’m surprised at how many extra skills I’ve learned. For example, I’ve become much better with time management; I can now read and capture the essence of a text in half the time, while my writing skills have also improved, allowing me to present my message in a shorter but more effective way.

Why did you choose to study the Global Executive MBA? 

I’ve always had very technical and operational jobs. I wanted to enrich my general understanding of how a business is managed. Working in the globalized aviation industry, I wanted to absorb the richness of the Global Executive MBA to be better prepared for the management challenges of the future.

What advice would you give to those just starting the Global Executive MBA at IE Business School? 

Take it one week at a time, don’t fall behind and don’t be afraid to ask for support from your classmates, as well as being supportive of others. Make the most of the collaborative learning experience and keep an open mind to better appreciate this experience. This will not be a smooth ride—be ready for turbulence and occasional storms—but the trip is definitely worth it, and this life-changing experience goes by faster than you think, so enjoy it every bit of the way.