2019 Best EMBAs: Antonio Moreno Pérez, IE Business School

Antonio Moreno Pérez

IE Business School

“Passionate, pragmatic, interested in people and their goals, conciliatory, committed, curious and restless.”

Age: 53

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Hometown: Born in Cartagena, Murcia in Spain. Now living in Madrid.

Family Members: 2 (Carlos + me)

Undergraduate School and Degree:

  • Escuela Superior de Diseño de Madrid, Fashion Degree.
  • Universidad de Barcelona. Personalized master in retail fashion management

Where are you currently working? Within the past year, I became Design Manager of Easy Wear, one of the stronger young menswear brands of the Spanish department chain, El Corte Ingles.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles: I have been practicing piano, for the enjoyment of it but also as a way to train for mathematical thinking. I have also been trying my hand at the art of Bonsai.  Now that is practice in patience!

In addition, I recently taught at the Design High School of Madrid – it was a joy to have part of my day conversing with students and think freely about design away from the daily process of “work.”

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school?  My greatest achievement during the program is… completing the program!  And know that I have given the best I could – to myself and to my classmates.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am proud that I have taken a hands-on learning approach within my career. I began in the fashion business in the 90’s, working in the factory and learning the ropes of the daily design process. And I’ve continued to supplement this with various courses and studies along the way, most recently with my EMBA.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? It is so difficult to choose only one, but Professor Diego Vicente gave us a simple yet unforgettable tip about resolving daily questions at work. It is just a personal tag: How am I? I now ask myself this every day, in an intentional manner. I find that when I focus on answering this question honestly, it gives me the time and the focus to move forward with purpose.

What was your favorite MBA course and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it? Marketing, without a doubt. I learned how to increase profits and sales through storytelling.

Why did you choose this executive MBA program? I was looking for a program with double value. The IE Business School Executive MBA not only gives me a global profile and the tools to improve and grow within my company, it also, as an official Master’s program, allows me to pursue the doctorate course in fashion design.

What did you enjoy most about business school in general? The teamwork and relationships with my peers.

What is the biggest lesson you gained during your MBA and how did you apply it at work? I’ve learned to open my mind to new points of view, management approaches, and dialogue.

Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you were able to juggle work, family, and education? I start my day at 6 a.m., and reserve until around 7:30 a.m. as “EMBA time.” Then it is breakfast and I enjoy that time with my partner, Carlos. From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., I’m off to work at the El Corte Ingles offices. From there, it is school from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., then back home for dinner with Carlos.  Starting around 11 p.m. I work on the EMBA. Taking some time for one’s self is crucial, so I try to keep Sundays schedule free.

What advice would you give to a student looking to enter an executive MBA program? It will surely be difficult – count on that – and there are times that you might want to give up. But the EMBA will be one of the best decisions you’ve made. Take the leap and then stick with it.

What is the biggest myth about going back to school? I have been going to school for the last eight years!  So, it is not quite “going back,” but the change for me has been the level and focus of students. The myth is that we ever stop learning in the first place.

What was your biggest regret in business school? The impossibility of being able to focus full time on the EMBA. I regret the feeling of leaving some things unfinished, but we have many things in life that demand our attention – and deserve it.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I met Juan Veiga during the 2º period and I was instantly fascinated by his attitude and skill set. He is always proactive, positive, and open minded.  A great inspiration.

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when… I decided it was time to learn from the best.”

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? I would like to move to Sweden to finish my doctorate course in Gothenburg, while working for H&M group, one of the world’s top fashion business groups.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? He was always there for me.

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

  • Live for some time outside of Spain while completing my Ph.D.
  • Start teaching at the University with a focus on design research.

What made Antonio such an invaluable addition to the class of 2019?

“Antonio Moreno is among the 10 best students I have had the privilege to teach over the last 15 years as a lecturer in Leadership at IE Business School. I say that frankly and without exaggerating.

Setting the standard in classroom debates, Antonio has provided common sense, rigor, and weighty arguments. His classmates would wait attentively for Antonio to join in, knowing his contribution would be both original and practical.

In addition to his commitment to the classroom, Antonio has also taken advantage of his free time to discuss with me in greater depth any aspects we might have touched on in the classroom, however indirectly. I can confidently say he is one of those people who will continue to grow throughout life and will improve both professionally and personally.

In short, Antonio is the student every teacher aspires to having in class. Never distracted, always supportive and keen to help drive our sessions forward, he has been ready to lend his colleagues a hand in better understanding the ideas under discussion. Humble and at the same time decisive, he has permanently looked for dialogue and has been ready to see the positive aspects of all issues, however unpleasant.

I would say that Antonio, beyond his academic qualities, is an excellent professional and an outstanding executive. His behavior, responses, and comments in the classroom attest to this.

On a personal level, from what I have learned of his career, the route Antonio has taken has been far from conventional. He has worked in the fashion industry since 1989, studying along the way. Over the course of the years he has continued learning until taking his EMBA at IE, and it is clear that this is but one stage further on his career path.

This constant concern for continuous improvement is even reflected in Antonio’s hobbies. Two years ago he began learning the piano, while also learning the art of cultivating  Bonsai, two activities that should provide him with therapeutic benefits. He has also worked on further developing his emotional intelligence, a skill that every effective leader, like Antonio, should possess.”

Professor Diego Vicente Cortès


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