After a life-changing experience at China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), Albert Valero Pujol, a digital marketing technology manager at PayPal, wants to lead a tech industry revolution.
Born and raised in Barcelona, the tech conquistador thinks that with the sharing economy on the rise, the world is set for historically significant developments in internet and data.
Since finishing the MBA at CEIBS in Shanghai, the tech wizard has moved to London to work at PayPal, the online payments company, where he is well-placed to steer the direction of future tech.
Trained as a telecoms engineer, Albert worked as a software developer and product manager at a sports betting tech start-up before moving to China to pursue the MBA.
As part of his MBA experience, Albert spent some time as an exchange student at the UC Berkeley’s Haas School in the US. A genuine internet aficionado, he took additional Coursera online courses in machine learning and gamification alongside the MBA.
What does the future hold for the technology industry?
We are yet to see the revolution that data and the internet will drive.
Looking back, a lot of what has been done around [the] internet so far is about trying to move an old experience into a new arena: hotel search portals replicated what a travel agency was already doing; Yahoo created web directories; instead of calling them or going to their offices, transportation services let people book tickets on their sites.
It’s only once you start including the capabilities that mobile internet and data offers into product conception that you can create completely disruptive business models, and unleash tremendous amounts of untapped value. This is what Airbnb is doing to the hotel industry and what Uber is doing to the traditional cab.
How have you profited from the MBA?
The last few years have definitely been a life-changing experience.
The increase in salary is a nice perk, but an MBA brings so much more. It breaks your preconceptions and teaches you how to approach challenges in a structured and consistent way. It makes you understand how finance, marketing, design, operations and more importantly, human behavior shape businesses and decide their success.
Why did you decide to pursue an MBA?
I wanted to expand my horizons and understanding of business.
After a six-year career in telecoms and IT, I felt it was the right moment to take the leap.
Given your passion for the internet and experience of e-learning, why did you not decide to pursue an MBA online?
Platforms like Coursera offer a lot of opportunities for people who could not otherwise access these courses.
In the case of MBAs, it’s important to keep in mind that academics is just one component. Online courses are not yet in a position to disrupt longer, more comprehensive programs. Team-work, meeting different cultures and networking are very important.
Why did you choose to study at CEIBS?
China is one of the world’s most important economies — we have all seen what happens to global stock markets when China sneezes — and yet for most of us, so much of it is unknown.
Learning about business in China seemed a very reasonable option and CEIBS definitely stood out as one of its best business schools.
What are your plans for the future?
Whatever our future technologies are, I would love to help to shape them.
I would like to experience the different disciplines that technology has to offer, to move into executive positions within the industry, and to use my experience to help young entrepreneurs.
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