March 01, 2018

Career Spotlight: Carlos Calvo Villalaín


Carlos Calvo Villalaín (Class 2016-2018)

For Carlos Calvo Villalaín, student of the Professional MBA Entrepreneurship & Innovation, the New Year started very successfully - with his promotion to CTO, he took his career within his company to a next level. Congratulations!

In an interview, Carlos tells us about his new position and future challenges. He provides interesting insights into his MBA experience, motivation and goals, and he also gives valuable advice to future MBA students. Read on!

Congratulations to your promotion and your new position as CTO at Sonorys Technology GmbH! Can you tell us about your new job?

Sonorys Technology is an Austrian based company working in the Telecommunications sector since almost 20 years and specialized in providing solutions for Mobile Network Virtual Operators. The core of the company is comprised of an experienced R&D that develops the service platform and a skilled Operation and Support team that operates and maintains the platform in most of our customers. Being CTO in such a technology driven company is without question an exciting professional challenge.
 
In terms of job description, this is a three-fold position. First, operational,  related to the current activities in the R&D and Operations team that comprises the product development, operational duties, internal team organization and of course the management of the different ongoing projects.  Second, strategical, related to product roadmap definition, resources planning, partnership and technology evaluation. Third, a more customer and market centric, related to the current and future customer needs, trends and market analysis.
 
To orchestrate these activities and align those with the overall business strategy are probably the biggest challenge in the new job position.

You are in your final semester of the E&i program. Did the MBA support you in reaching your career goals?

I joined Sonorys almost 9 years ago. These years have been a very exciting time where I have got the possibility to grow, professionally and personally. The different challenges I have been through, the responsibilities the company has relied on me, all the projects and the customers I’ve been working for. This together with the excellent support of the Sonorys team are in my opinion the main drivers so far to reach the different goals in my carrier at Sonorys, also my current promotion.
 
Having said that, I truly believe that to enroll in this program will have a beneficial impact and will help me to carry out this new challenge and to further develop my career. It is not just the network of professionals I’ve build during this period, the experience acquired during the program, new insights. This mix is at this stage of my career an important driver to help me further develop.

Are you able to apply the knowledge you gain during the MBA in your current position and the positions you had before?

During the program, we have had the possibility to cover a wide spectrum of aspects that are relevant for management, business strategy, organization, innovation, and entrepreneurship.  Some of them are pretty much theoretical, others more practical and hands on. Some may be at the moment not so relevant for me and my current situation, others definitely are!
 
The funny thing is, that after every single module, normally I ended up with more questions than answers. But at the same time this helps me to understand, improve and also question things at work.

How do you benefit from the MBA personally?

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.” - The road not taken by Robert Frost
 
These were the closing words of Professor Hisrich after a two days module on entrepreneurship. Two excellent days plenty of firsthand experience on making business, implementing ideas, financing and dealing with venture capitalists ….
 
I think these words condense pretty much my personal take away of the program so far.
Be curious,
dare to try,
but at the same time
be critical,
think by yourself,
make your own decision.

Can you describe your relationship to your fellow students and the lecturers?

Here I just can find one word, excellent! Probably the best of this program are the people I’ve met so far. In every single module, I am excited to meet my team, fellow students and the new lecturer. The experience to work together, exchange experiences, discuss about the topics covered during the core modules are in my opinion the best of this MBA experience.

How do you manage to combine working and studying?

Sometimes it is not easy, especially if you consider that besides of the professional duties, I do have a family with kids.
I believe to have a balance between planning; constancy and a good degree of flexibility are a good mix to manage it all. This is of course easy said than done, but in any case procrastinating is a bad companion for this journey.

How do you recharge your batteries when you are not pursuing your demanding career?

Sport, cooking and of course my family help me to ‘switch off for while’.
I try to train for a half marathon every year, this is what it helps me most to free my mind especially whenever I have ‘too much on my plate’.
In addition, I love cooking, I could spend all day long watching YouTube cooking videos; spend hours in a market and then try a new recipe I’ve never cooked before and share it with  a good wine and few friends. Of course, spending time with the family, no matter if going to the movies, going for a burger or playing a round Monopoly.

How would you characterize your philosophy of leadership? Has it been influenced by a leadership role-model?

Well, I pretty much define myself as a team player. The longer you have been working in business; you realize how important it is to have a good network and team that is able to support you. The tasks, challenges and projects become so big and complex that is just impossible to manage everything by your own. This makes the people around you more and more relevant. Having said that, and although I put a lot of effort to keep the team together, empower the member and be myself a role model for the team, that does not mean not to be on the front if things get ugly, or someone has to take an uneasy decision.

What are your goals for the coming years?

Plenty of plans for this year! Besides of finishing the MBA Program ;) I am planning (not training that much though :/) to run the Half-Marathon in Vienna this April with my fellow MBA mates.
Also, I would like to finish with my daughter a project that I started 3 years ago when I walk the Way of St. James starting in Somport (Lat. Summus portus) in the border between Spain and France, hiking 503km in 12 days till Sahagun (Leon). Still I have 320Km left to get to Santiago that am planning to walk this October, this time not alone.
Build a robot with my son; he is much-fascinated building Lego models and computers, so he is asking me to build together a robot for a while now. I already bought an Arduino kit, a few books and checked several YouTube videos so we can build our first robot together. The idea is to have it running until September at the beginning of the Scholar year as a summer project. 
 Read some of the books standing on my desk right now, The Origins of Virtue, Guns Germs & Steel, The Political Mind ... BTW, Thanks Bojan!
I guess  the NYC trip with my beloved wife might have to be postponed another year.

Do you have any advice for our future students of the Professional MBA Entrepreneurship & Innovation?

Agree on a working time reduction (or at least flexibility) of the current employer, get the unconditional support of your family,and a have clear commitment of willingness to go through this process.
Then nothing can’t go wrong ;)

Can you describe your MBA experience in a few sentences?

Challenging but possible.
Time consuming but rewarding.
Academical but Inspiring and practical.

 

Carlos Calvo Villalaín
CTO Sonorys Technology GmbH

 

Do you feel inspired? Apply for the Professional MBA by June 30 and tell your own success story!

More information about the program is available on our website: www.tu-wu-innovation.at

Next program start: October 15, 2018!

 

 


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