Manuel Vilela - Inspiradores | IE Lifelong Learning

Manuel Vilela

About me

Both my personal and professional life are split between Galicia, Spain and Portugal. I’m sales manager at Zelnova Zeltia, in Vigo, although my work currently allows me to live in Vila Nova da Cerveira, Viana do Castelo, Portugal. I have a bachelor’s degree in economics and business, and before taking the AMP at IE, I studied a master’s degree in business entrepreneurship. In my career, I’ve dedicated almost 20 years to trade marketing and sales management at international companies such as Lactalis Nestlé, Inditex, CUPA Group, and Thenaisie Provote.

shapeManuel Vilela
case2Sales manager at Zelnova Zeltia
studentAdvanced Management Program Galicia
Fondo testimonios

"My time at IE has allowed me to get to know myself better and given me more confidence in myself, more purely technical training, more contacts, more examples, and more excitement."

Manuel Vilela

Manuel Vilela is sales manager at Zelnova Zeltia, loves Galicia and Portugal, and has made the most of the AMP experience for both his professional and personal life.

Why did you decide to further your education at IE?

It was a “well thought-out impulse.” Given my age (44) and professional situation, I was looking for a comprehensive program that was compatible with my job, and which would also give me an in-person experience without having to go to Madrid. After looking at the options, IE was the clear choice. A bit of market research was enough to realize that I share IE’s values and principles.

Plus, there were two aspects that helped me decide: first, the transparency in terms of the syllabus and professors; and second, the location, Galicia. There was also another determining factor for me: the sessions where we spent a night at a hotel to foster camaraderie, and the two trips to Madrid to be able to see and experience IE first-hand.

Lastly, and perhaps most important, the efforts of the regional academic director, Kiko Rial. Kiko exudes dedication, willingness, reliability, and all with a good sense of humor. Thanks to him, I didn’t doubt my decision at all.

Do you think that your time at IE has changed your focus in your career?

Without a doubt. And it’s opened a lot of doors. My time at IE has allowed me to get to know myself better and given me more confidence in myself, more purely technical training, more contacts, more examples, and more excitement. To sum up, if I improve, everything improves. That’s also true of work.

What is your current professional status?

I’m the Sales and Business Development Manager of a chemical company focused on mass consumption, retail, and pharmacy. And which luckily is located in Galicia, very close to Portugal, where I live, which brings me great pleasure. Being able to live where you want is priceless!

What is the most valuable lesson you learned during the program? Do you have any inspiring stories you’d like to share with your classmates?

Lots! The first is that I discovered IE’s reliability. Despite all the problems with the pandemic and difficulties with traveling, the institution strictly complied with all its commitments, even though we had to have our graduation one year later. It was exemplary.

Plus, all the reasons that made me decide to choose IE’s AMP program remain true. But the most valuable thing I got out of the program was, without a doubt, my classmates. I imagine that every year is the same, but in our case, we experienced strict lock down, where we shared problems and uncertainties, but also a lot of laughs. This made every reunion special.

When I talk about classmates, I mean the core who were from my same graduating class. However, I also really value the fact that I met participants from other graduating classes (both from Galicia and other regions), who have contributed a lot to me. Especially during our fantastic graduation, where the new IE tower was also inaugurated. That’s another great memory, both because of how beautiful and spectacular it was, but also because of the normalcy that IE was able to give us during these difficult times with the pandemic.