Joaquim Vermelhudo

Country of origin: Portugal

Project Manager, CASAIS Group

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Before joining the Lancaster MBA, I worked in construction management in one of the top Portuguese construction groups, CASAIS Group. My background is in civil engineering and over the last nine years I have had the opportunity to manage a host of construction projects ranging from hospitals to hotels, both in Europe and in Africa.

The world we live in now is an ever changing environment where professionals must thrive to keep themselves up-to-date. It is increasingly important to gather a “hand-bag” of both soft and hard skills that can help us differentiate ourselves from other professionals. I therefore chose to complete an MBA. I saw it as the answer in gaining a broad range of complementary skills, and at the same time a unique opportunity to stop for a year for self-reflection and to consider the next step in my career. An MBA also provides a wider vision about management, strategy and a unique knowledge about the present-day business world, fundamental to make sense of the world we live in.

The Lancaster MBA is a world-ranked programme that delivers high-quality teaching with a very practical approach, thus it was always my first choice. The Lancaster MBA stands out from the crowd for its uniqueness with its range of soft skills delivered, such as the Mindful Manager, which are paramount to succeed in this volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world we live in.

The multicultural environment associated with an amazing university with beautiful surroundings make Lancaster University a unique place to live, and a highly enriching academic experience. Whilst providing its students with the academic knowledge they need it also permits them to enjoy a beautiful place, providing plentiful opportunity to foster self-reflection regarding the next step of their lives after finishing the programme.

Before applying for the programme, it is necessary to consider that the MBA goes way beyond any other academic programme. It is a life-changing experience that pushes its students to a higher level of understanding of everything that surrounds them. In that sense it is necessary to carefully be prepared for the many overwhelming challenges that MBA students come across along this highly rewarding experience.

The MBA allowed me to gain a full range of hard-skills but more importantly it instilled in me a new way of seeing the world, empowering me with a much clearer understanding of what to do, when to do it and how to do it. In this VUCA world, the best companies in the labour market seek out professionals with this set of skills that may bring about the kinds of approaches that keep their groups highly competitive.

Now that I have completed my MBA I have been invited to return to my previous company, CASAIS Group. I am now Project Manager in the Real Estate Department. I am delighted to have the opportunity to apply the broad knowledge gained during the MBA to the Real Estate European market. This is a unique opportunity to put into practice what I have learnt during the MBA, underpinned by working closely with the Director of the group who has decades of experience and vision of the market. Providing me a wider vision about businesses, this new challenge is pushing me to the next professional level in a sector that is blossoming across all Europe.