Where are they now? Adam Almagro, EMTM 2015-2017
February, 09 2022
Where are they now?
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.
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