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David Poveda - Spain

Course: Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Institute: University of Sydney
Location: Sydney, New South Wales

David Poveda has lived in eight different countries and has loved something about each of them. In Australia, it was the great outdoors and the MBA he did at the University of Sydney.

David, a Spanish cinematographer, initially went to Sydney to do a business-related cinema course at the Australian Film and Television School. He liked the subject matter so much he decided he had to learn more. "I had a really good knowledge of film and TV production," he says, "but not of finance and legal issues."

Sydney University's MBA program appealed because of its international focus and the agreements in place with institutions in other countries, particularly Asia. "The great thing about doing the MBA in Australia, not Europe, was that I had 27 other different nationalities in the class, which was good for me both personally and professionally," he says.

David studied in Malaysia and Korea as part of the program and while he admits it was challenging, it was also extremely interesting. "Korea is a very tough place for business," he says. "I felt if I could do business there, I could do it anywhere."

He went on to head up Paramount Picture's Latin American operations in Brazil, and later moved to Los Angeles to manage a company specialising in bringing new technologies into film and TV production. "There are not so many people who understand both sides of the business," he says.

David credits the MBA with equipping him with the real-world skills to succeed. "The Australian approach was very practical, very down to earth," he says. "It was more about teaching you things you will use later in your career," he says. "The professors came from all over the world and most had jobs outside the university. They were living a real business life."

David in the meantime was living a university life, having moved into International House, a residential college. "It was 100% campus life, which really allowed me to put all my energies into my studies. "It is so totally different," he says, listing the size of the campuses, the abundance of greenery, the outdoor lifestyle, the approachable professors and even the distance as motivators to study in Australia.

Now back in Barcelona, David has swapped his attention from film and TV to renewable energy, forming a company that specialises in producing energy from waste. "Unlike solar or wind, it is a very niche market," he explains. "We convert waste such as wood left over from industry into heat, electricity or energy to cool buildings. Fumes going up a chimney are wasted energy; we capture them to produce energy. "It makes me feel like I am doing something good for society," he says.

In seven years, Grupo Nova Energía, has expanded throughout Spain and Portugal and into Colombia, Peru and Chile and the CEO is intent on continuing the pattern.

David says not a day goes by when he doesn't use the skills he gained as part of his MBA. "The MBA gave me many more opportunities".

Last updated: Wednesday, 3 February 2016 9:32:10 AM

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