Professor, IE Business School and IE School of Human Sciences and Technology
Antonio Quijano: Treating work as a passion, not a job
Antonio has been working in the world of branding and communication his entire life. His expertise was developed in his time with different agencies and clients covering all the communication disciplines—public relations, advertising, branding, consultancy and digital marketing. As communication is key for his professional path, Antonio learned to speak four languages and can get by in two more. These skills help Antonio thrive in internationally oriented workspaces with multinational clients or employers, diverse teams, or on complex campaigns and projects. With such extensive experience, Antonio has become familiar with how businesses are built and run in various contexts, and this shows through in his teaching at IE University.
Antonio’s career started in the early 90s, when he began working for a universal event called “Expo ‘92,” designed to position Spain as a dynamic country. His job was to promote the event to journalists from 15 different countries. A few years later, Antonio took on the same role for Spain’s first big theme park, Port Aventura. He remembers those years fondly—especially the roller coasters.
As a man of many talents, Antonio was a frequent contributor to one of Spain’s leading newspapers, writing a column on showbiz which ignited his passion for cinema and the myths behind it. Later on, as he began working in small branding consultancies and advertising agencies, he gained first-hand insights into what entrepreneurship truly means, another valuable skill showcased in his current role as a professor.
Nowadays you can find Antonio working as a freelance communication strategy consultant and as a professor at IE University. He continues to take on new responsibilities for IE University, including five different undergraduate courses centered around interconnected themes of business management, entrepreneurship, innovation, branding and communication.
The world of education wasn’t something new to Antonio when he started teaching for IE University, having previously collaborated with a team to write a Marketing Dictionary. But this first incursion into higher education came at the perfect moment as he was on the lookout for a new professional challenge. Antonio was struck by the energy and international vibe that IE University has to offer and fondly compares it to love at first sight.
The original challenge posed by teaching pushed Antonio out of his comfort zone, while also allowing him to meet new friends and interact with a lot of talented and motivated students. He claims to learn more from his students than they do from him, especially because their energy and curiosity motivate him to stay up to date. Striving to keep students interested and enthusiastic, Antonio does not see routine as an option. He believes that if he wants students to love what he teaches them—and he will not settle for less—then he needs to transmit not only the knowledge, but also the passion.
IE University serves as an incredibly hands-on place in Antonio’s opinion, noting that everything taught has an obvious practical application in the future professional life of the students. In keeping with this, Antonio seeks to make his courses as practical as possible, especially since his personal mantra is learn by doing. He hopes that his courses will inspire his students to start their own businesses or apply for jobs they had not previously considered.
Antonio believes the keys to success are simple: Work hard and love what you do. In this way, it won’t feel like work. Be generous to others and watch this generosity come back to you in the most unexpected ways. Don’t be afraid of change and never lose your curiosity.