A model to export: AlumniGMC Network

Carlos Oliveira, Secretary of State of Entrepreneurship, Competitiveness and Innovation and Nicolau Santos, Journalist/SIC-Expresso

In Portugal was created, last year, the AlumniGMC network. The international organization is testing this model for future implementation in countries where the competition unfolds.

The Global Management Challenge was created in Portugal more than 30 years ago. International expansion began in the eighties of the 20th century and today is present in over 40 countries, distributed across the five continents of the World. In Portugal, this challenge has involved hundreds of people that today occupy important positions in the Portuguese business life.

In February 2010 was established in Portugal the AlumniGMC network that aggregates together, all the former participants of this strategy and management competition. The aim is to create synergies, discussion and debate forums, among other activities, to act as a dynamic focus for the competition and enhance individual and collective growth of those involved and the organizations in which they are representing.

So far, there are almost a thousand AlumniGMC network members. To inspire this group of people, who have in common the taste for management and participation in the competition, the network has carried out a series of events. The formal presentation of the network is located on the website www.alumnigmc.com, the most visible face of this Association, where are published relevant news of the life of this community and it is also on this website that the alumni can apply to join this network.

AlumniGMC teams have also been created to compete every year in the GMC. They have to be led by a nominated former participant.

To promote dialogue and create synergies between former participants, the AlumniGMC network has been organizing lectures and dinners, where network members are invited to speak of their life journey and the impact that the competition has had on their professional lives.

Another of the initiatives was to gather several personalities from the AlumniGMC to attend the gala dinner of selected national finals. We discover the impact that the competition had in influencing their professional life. The Global Management Challenge has more than 30 years of history. During this period hundreds of students and business executives have gone through this formative experience.

Eight individuals who were present at the award Gala Dinner spoke about the impact that participation in this event has had on their lives.

“Integrating Global Management Challenge taught me to work as a team member and to lead in difficult situations,” said João Oliveira, managing partner of Experience Point Services.

Nuno Soares, Chief Financial Officer of Konica Minolta, said that the main advantage was the preparation to working life, having integrated the challenge out of the College. “It makes the connection between academic and professional lives and works as a career enhancer,” he said.

Vasco Falcão, General Manager of Konica Minolta, participated in the competition out of the College. “It was the first simulation in which I applied what I had learned in school,” he revealed.  Later he joined Konica Minolta where he returned to participate. This second experience “has allowed me to recognize within my team people with high potential, some of them still work with me”.

As Human Resources Manager Director of International Cluster and Global Operations of Logica, João Antunes considers that “an applicant for a job that has a curriculum with Global Management Challenge participation, shows that it has a keen eye for the type of areas that require a comprehensive view of what is the world of management. And it was this vision that he obtained by participating in this challenge”.

Francisco Almada Lobo moved from company executive to entrepreneur during the competition. Today, he is CEO of Critical Manufacturing and explained that “doing parallelism within the enterprise while competing was extremely important and decisive. It made us believe in our own abilities. Achieving success in the competition meant that we could also have success in the business world “.

But for those who have already created a company, this challenge is also helpful, confirms José Manuel Marques, of Somitel.  “It drew my attention to various aspects of the management and the need to take quick decisions,” he explained. Also, it highlighted the teamwork developed.

Completely outside the world of management, is the professional life of José Pedro Briosa e Gala with Acebo, Gomez & Pombo. “The Simulator is complex, this lawyer understood what the market is, what its demands are and what his clients feel when competing at a level of management and competition as the current one provides.”

Ana Bernardes, Director of Recruitment and Training at Accenture in Portugal and Angola, said that “the intensified learning obtained did remind her of the concepts when working with different areas of knowledge in a multi-disciplinary team.”

More recently, a review of member’s experiences has been held as the first session of     “Conversations with Success “, for which Carlos Oliveira, the current Secretary of State of Entrepreneurship, Competitiveness and Innovation, was invited. These conversations are intended to be outbreaks of ideas and exchange of experiences that can enrich the former participants of the Global Management Challenge.

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