"I have personally changed my perspective to one with an entrepreneurial mindset, which I never had before."
Bielma has lived most of his life in Mexico, where he pursued his Bachelor in Civil Engineering. Before his Masters at IE he worked as a Project Quality Manager for Samsung Engineering.
Working for Amazon in the Operations Department has allowed him to also dream up future entrepreneurial ideas targeted at resolving problems in transport and logistics. And while he explores possibilities related to logistical solutions; he also plans to open his own coffee shop in the future.
Ricardo Bielma, Mexico
Outbound / Pathways Operations Manager at Amazon
- Program studied
Tells us about yourself.
For the past few years I have worked in different locations and very distinct cultural settings. I worked for the oil and gas industry in Samsung engineering where the first two years I was based in Trinidad and Tobago. I later on transferred to Venezuela. After Venezuela I was based in South Korea for ten years.
I have been in Madrid for three years now where I work for Amazon. I live here with my wife who’s also Spanish. It has been great living here so far and has been very enjoyable engaging in fun activities such as biking in Patones de Arriba.
What made you change your professional sector?
Well I thought of the prospects of my job, of whether or not I would have enjoyed working in the oil industry for the next 30 years. After pondering that, I got my answer. I didn’t want to keep contributing to increasing our carbon footprint and wanted a radical change. So, I decided to do the full-time MBA of Business Administration at IE Business and that changed my professional and personal life completely.
How did the MBA help you?
My MBA studies sparked an interest in IT tools which have helped me during my applications to Amazon given my limited notions on Civil Engineering.
From my MBA I have learned soft skills such as team management, better public speaking and working on oneself. I have personally changed my perspective to one with an entrepreneurial mindset, which I never had before. As a matter of fact, I would like to launch my own business and combine working with Amazon with my own business on the side. During my time at IE, I also made friends for a lifetime.
What business will you like to launch?
I will probably go with transportation. Amazon is launching its own logistics company because there is a lot of demand but not enough capacity in the area. It has also been my dream to own a coffee shop and bring Guatemalan and Mexican coffee here.
What is your favorite memory from the MBA?
There are two memories that stand out. One was of a trip to Tenerife with all my classmates where we spent time at the beach, partying and relaxing from the struggles of our courses. And the second one was my marketing project where we developed a Sangria brand. I was on a team with people from six different countries and, in order to collect the data, we had to do field research and give Sangria to students to try. It was very fun.
How did your Amazon journey start?
I secured the position through the Careers Services in IE, and started as an intern at Amazon. I worked in Poland on a project which became very successful. Thereafter, they offered me a full-time job. By the time, I graduated I already had a job. I was in charge of helping the growth of the Spanish team in charge of customers delivering their packets– from when they click buy to when they get their mail. I now manage managers. Here we are encouraged to challenge your boss. At my level, it is a more horizontal structure that helps get optimal results that benefit the company.
What advice would you give to someone that wants to follow your steps?
For someone who wants to do an MBA I advise that you do it because you want to learn and have personal growth, and not for prestige or financial compensation necessarily. It is more fulfilling and will make you happy to do it for the art and not for the money.
For someone that wants to join Amazon, it helps if you do an internship with them and have skills that are transferrable to them. It is all about resilience, commitment, and compromise. Be prepared for the unexpected and new challenges. Always go for a job that you like– that way it will be more enjoyable.