"Working in consumer goods is new to me and I am enjoying working with a broad range of stakeholders to achieve our growth objectives."
Thiago Ferreira is a Brazilian-American IE alumni who now lives in Lisbon, Portugal. In 2014, Thiago moved from Miami to Madrid to join the IMBA November 2014 intake. He lived half of his life in the United States, where he pursued a double Bachelors of Science in Marketing and International Business from Florida International University (FIU).
Prior to the IMBA, he worked in Customer Service at Plasco ID, the largest value added integrator of identification products in the United States. In 2014, Thiago decided he wanted to take steps towards changing his career, industry and location, and the MBA helped him leverage this previous experience in order to be accepted into a rotational program at Mahou San Miguel. Thiago´s focus is on internationalization and fast moving consumer goods, and he defines his new role at Mahou San Miguel as a challenging but rewarding experience.
Thiago Ferreira, Brazil - United States
International Business Development Executive at Mahou San Miguel
- Program studied
By Carmen Hermoso (IE Master in Management February 2018 intake).
Could you let us know your job title and your role at Mahou San Miguel? Has it something to do with your background?
I am an International Sales Executive at Mahou San Miguel, a Spain’s largest and most international brewing company. I joined the company in 2016 as part of the first edition of their international rotational program, during which I was based at our Madrid headquarters. Upon completing the program, I was promoted and relocated to Lisbon to continue this project that is focused on the growth of our extensive brand portfolio within the Iberian Peninsula. My previous roles in various industries prior to the IMBA were always international and consumer-focused, which complements the company´s value of always placing the customer in the center of everything we do. The FMCG sector is new to me and I am enjoying working with a broad range of stakeholders to achieve our ambitious growth objectives.
How did you find out about this opportunity? Where did you apply for the job?
After completing the IMBA, I had the goal of changing functions, industry and location and felt that a rotational program was the most effective way to accomplish this objective. I spent a lot of time combing through the internet trying to find a role that was the perfect fit. Rotational programs provide a great opportunity to get involved in various facets of the business with access to senior leadership. I found the opportunity via Mahou San Miguel´s LinkedIn page, which is where our company posts most of its vacancies.
Can you please tell us about the recruitment process?
The process was smooth although time consuming – I was based in Miami and the process took place in Spain. The first step was to complete an online application, which was followed by an automated video interview. I then had various of Skype interviews with human resources and the managers of the program. Once these steps were completed, I was invited to the headquarters in Madrid for a final in-person interview/presentation with the committee of Directors of the International Business Unit.
How did Talent & Careers and your IE experience help you during the process? Did you use specific career resources or did you come across useful information via an advisor or alumni?
My career advisor previously helped me revise the English and Spanish versions of my CV. When it came time to apply for this role, they provided industry specific advice which helped me tailor my CV, along with interview answers for this opportunity. I was fortunate enough to have an alumni friend from a previous IMBA intake who was already working at Mahou and shared with me her experience within the company and the hiring process. Being able to count on friends and the alumni network was key in every hiring process I participated in.
What challenges were you facing in your new role? How do you think your IMBA at IE helped you to do that?
One of the biggest initial challenges was adapting to the company culture. My professional background was largely in the US and the way of working in Spain is very different from what I was accustomed to. My experience at IE helped prepare me for the environment, through working closely and interacting with peers from so many different countries and cultures. The cases we studied in the various leadership courses during the IMBA also provided me with theoretical knowledge that I was able to apply in my day-to-day interactions. From a business perspective, learning the ins and outs of a new industry was also demanding. From understanding the brewing process to familiarizing myself with the different sales channels (and everything that happens before, in-between and after brewing), every step of the way was exigent but at the same time very interesting because the industry is so complex. Without a doubt, the Operations and Finance courses I took during the IMBA were critical in preparing me for this role, in ways I could not have predicted previously.
What would you tell other people who were thinking of looking for a job in Mahou San Miguel?
As a 128 years old family company, Mahou San Miguel´s values and history are extremely important to everyone involved in the business. The company is an integral part of the Madrid culture, just as all the great things we know and love about Madrid are a part of the company´s DNA. Year after year, the company´s results reflect its commitment to continue innovating in an industry not necessarily known for trying new things, which makes every workday fresh and challenging. I would encourage anyone who is considering looking for a job at Mahou San Miguel to try to understand how this company has been able to lead in this challenging market since 1890, and be ready to contribute to the many exciting and innovating global projects the company has in mind for the next few years.
Quality, effort, enthusiasm. These have been the hallmarks of Mahou San Miguel throughout our 128 years of history, identifying traits that have helped us to become the market leader in the Spanish brewing industry and indeed its most international company, given that we are active in more than 70 countries.
Our track record is the result of the hard work of seven generations of entrepreneurs and professionals and you can sense that same hard work in every beer you savour, in every glass of water that you sip, in every soft drink that you share with your loved ones. We are defined by the quality of our brands and product varieties, each one intended to accompany our consumers as they celebrate their special moments.
Our entire business is built on solid foundations, on corporate values that drive us to undertake innovative projects with enthusiasm, integrity and respect. We strive to improve, we place trust in our people and in teamwork; we have a vocation for service, we are keen to help, to progress and we always pursue excellence.
That is the spirit with which our company has been forged. But it is just the starting point from which to keep growing, thanks to the effort, the experience and the contribution of a team of more than 3,000 highly talented professionals.