India, MBA, Personal, Projects, Thoughts

New challenges (new continent, new airport, new terminal)

It’s been a while since my last post. Lots of things have changed. Suddenly I was pushed out of my comfort zone, something very healthy that we should experience once in a while and now, today, I realise this is the first day in weeks that I’m able to sit and reflect over what has been happening. And I also realise that a dose of personal development is what I currently need. You know my recurrent idea: it’s only when you reflect when you really learn!

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So here I am, resting for a few days in an old strip of coast in Catalonia, a small thousand-year-old country that resists his identity to be dissolved into those huge empires of today and of the last centuries. This coast has witnessed countless invasions, and we’ve also invaded from here, made a Mediterranean empire and, as well, sent the boats that discovered America (yes, we did, although the Spanish Inquisition spent centuries to erase almost every trace of it, and to build a different story from another place that never had a good naval tradition, or good sailors, or even the willingness to discover anything).

But let’s not get into politics, and accept my apologies if I have offended anyone. After all the macro-economic data shows who works and who gets the subsidies in this unemployment prone Spain where some territories send the money for the others to keep procrastinating.

Sorry again. It seems that too much work has taken my knives out. Again, this is not about politics, it’s about entrepreneurship.

And I hate to boast, but this time I’m proud of having commissioned a terminal which with 544.000 square meters is the biggest in Europe, and, opposite to what happened in London or Madrid, it worked the first day. Yes, we did some things differently. Yes, we were also lucky. Yes, we learnt so many things in the process.

Well, the thing was that everything worked from day one. And kept working in day two, three, four and five…

On day six, I’m not sure what happened. I was on a plane. Day seven I was in India. Day eight I was starting a new project there. A local partner, new customer, new airport, new terminal, different continent, different culture, speaking in English 24/7, living in a different place.

And here I am still riding the wave. The beginning of a project is usually tough, specially when you got little time for the wheel to start spinning, specially when everything is different than what you used to have, specially when you’ve spent many years in a huge project, building a new airport from scratch, playing every role, mastering every trade.

This is what I wanted to share with you. I’ll keep blogging, this time from New Delhi, or Gurgaon. I’ll keep working, trying to have a small impact in another terminal: T3. I’ll keep learning, as I passed my MBA second year final exams, which happen to be the last ones. Now almost in my third year, I only need to finish an assignment for that.

And, in the meantime, Barcelona’s T1 keeps working 🙂

Next post next week, back in India…

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9 thoughts on “New challenges (new continent, new airport, new terminal)

  1. bechir says:

    I began my civil engineering career in Tunisia as an Office Engineer reporting to the construction manager in roadway projects included earthwork, pavement and utilities works as drainage and sewerage networks. During two years, my work task consisted of preparing shop drawings, requests for information, document control and field operations support to superintendent.
    During the following five years, I was assigned as Project Engineer in a public company to supervise all construction operations on new highway projects, including interchange bridges and underpasses, road works as earthworks, on-site borrow pit operations, sub-base, aggregate base, asphalt and all types of traffic signage works. My responsibilities were to monitor quality of construction, enforcement of all safety policies and performance of contractors, successively for both new Tunis-Bizerte motorway and Tunis-MedjezElBab motorway.
    Once the above projects have been completed, I had been promoted as Principal Project Engineer to review tender assessment, project budget and schedule for several construction projects such as the Msaken-ElJem-Sfax motorway and the Tunis-Hammamet motorway widening.
    At the same time, I was also in charge of maintenance of the existing Tunis-Msaken highway regarding rehabilitation of bridges and asphalt pavement, including inspection and protection of traffic for day and nighttime operations.
    Two years ago, I didn’t hesitate to change direction in the light of my experiences and preferences. I have looked forward to meeting new challenges and opportunities. I choose airport projects.
    Up until now, I had been involved twice in new international airports projects relating to infrastructure civil works. Once for construction of the new Enfidha international airport in Tunisia awarded by a Turkish company, and the other for construction of the new Blaise-Diagne international airport in Senegal awarded by a Saoudi company.
    My current position as consultant engineer is based in Senegal. The consultant firm I work for operates in Africa for the construction supervision of new international airports. I benefit from a large degree of independence in terms of my working methods and how I organize my time. The airport project on which I work requires me to constantly explore new fields.
    The engineers in my team are mostly from abroad. Working in Senegal has helped me discover different professional cultures.

    • Hi Bechir,

      Thanks for the comment. Your career is really impressive. I sort of see myself doing similar things to these in the future 🙂 My experience so far is limited, but I really like to experience different cultures and learn from them, as I’m sure that there are always many things to learn everywhere.

      I’ve always thought that the most important thing to achieve is to have the right motivation and to be brave enough to make the right decisions. You have both in ample quantities.

      Best regards 🙂

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