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Where are they now? Adam Almagro, EMTM 2015-2017

February, 09 2022
Where are they now? EMTM Alumni EMTM 2015-2017

EMTM Alumni go in different directions after they graduate. In the blog series "Where are they now?" EMTM Alumni share their career development stories.
Adam Almagro from generation 2015-2017 shares the first steps in his professional career after EMTM.

Where are they now? Adam Almagro, EMTM 2015-2017

There is an old adage that says that “a mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions”. And that encapsulates how I felt in the months and weeks leading up to my graduation day.

After nearly two years of the constant reinventions sprung by EMTM, the only thing I knew is that I did not want to go back to my home country – or even to being my old self. But in order to stay in Europe long-term I needed to get a hook – a revenue-generating one, to be more precise.

My first act (which in hindsight was a crucial factor early in my career) was to identify a thesis topic that would make me stand out post-graduation. After much consideration, I decided to research how Western destinations can optimise their product/branding for the Chinese tourist market (spending my 4th semester in Hong Kong and Australia).

After some job hunting (and a few ‘10pm-on-a-Friday-night’ interviews to compensate for time difference in Australia), I was offered the chance to join the Aviation industry in Dublin. Now, I had never been to (nor knew anyone from) Ireland, so the prospect of embarking on a new adventure in an unknown land sounded very EMTM to me.

I joined Dublin Airport as a Strategy Analyst, working to define (and refine) the airport’s vision and milestones towards fast tourism growth in a capacity-constrained environment. That included leading many interesting projects, from making the airport ‘China-Ready’ ahead of its first ever direct services to China (remember the thesis?) and setting up an ideation platform to support innovation in the company.

From there, I was invited to go to Saudi Arabia on a consultancy project to embed best-practice airline partnership management in Riyadh Airports. That was a novel concept in the local industry, as part of the kingdom’s ‘Vision 2030’ – an ambitious set of plans to reduce their dependency on oil via tourism development.

After an incredible cultural experience in the Gulf, I moved to London to join Heathrow Airport, where over the last two years I have been leading strategic relationships and negotiations with airlines to launch new routes, influence on sustainable fleets and optimise their operation. Well, sort of – as a certain well-known pandemic shifted some of those discussions to the legal realm, which required a very different skillset.

Luckily, one of the biggest merits of EMTM (beyond classroom-based content) was how it inherently developed the two most important soft skills one needs out there: adaptability & resilience. And these have been vital in my career after graduating.

I think there is another adage that says if you ‘travel far enough, you meet yourself’. Well, 65 countries later I don’t think I have yet, but do you want to know a secret? I don’t think I ever want to. Unless it happens in a hygge-filled Danish café, a Boni-subsidised restaurant or a ‘EMTM Family Dinner’ in Girona.

Written by Adam Almagro, Alumnus of EMTM Generation 2015-2017

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