Aleix Pons (PT MBA 79): “I like being involved with alumni who are helping to build a fairer society”
You were a giving-back consultant for several years. What did this project contribute to your career and your personal life?
It happened when I retired. It’s very hard to suddenly stop working so I decided to start doing new things because I had more free time. One was to get involved in the Esade Alumni community. They invited me to participate in the Giving-Back Consultants programme, and I did. This decision has brought me nothing but personal satisfaction: it made me feel useful and I was able to help organisations working to make society better. I also started learning French and began to work with the Arxiu Tobella Foundation in Terrassa, where I’m now the president.
Which giving-back consultancy project has marked you most and why?
One of the projects that gave me the most satisfaction was the consultancy sessions we gave Tallers Guinardó, a non-profit co-operative that works for and with mentally handicapped persons. This co-operative was set up by parents to help and train and subsequently employ people with different abilities. When I joined the consultancy team, we analysed the situation and realised that they lacked the ability to analyse orders and organise their logistics and production. We worked on this with them until they started looking for a professional team to help them and they hired several people. It went very well: we started in October and by January all the proposals we’d made were already under way.
You attended the Giving-Back Consultants closing ceremony this year. What does being in contact with alumni involved in other giving-back projects mean to you?
I’ve been going to the closing ceremony for 3 or 4 years now. It’s always interesting to see people you’ve been working with on different projects again. I was surprised this year because when we realised and understood that what we did was part of the circular economy, we knew we had to start recycling. The atmosphere was very pleasant and I always enjoy meeting the other alumni taking part in and helping these entities and institutions that are so important for building a fairer, more equal society.
The Senior Club has a lot to offer alumni over 60 – an increasingly large group of active persons interested in current affairs
You’ve also been an Esade Alumni mentor. What did you learn from mentoring?
I’ve only taken part once, but it was an enjoyable and enriching experience. I mentored a person who had problems at work and in their personal life. I provided support by phone and in person. I realised that this person needed a change of scenery. We talked about this and I encouraged him to go ahead. I think it was useful for him. Alumni is a community where people can help others. You help someone today and who knows, tomorrow another alumnus might help you with something else. Also when you already have some experience, it’s always satisfying to help people who are starting out. You share things with them and also learn from them about how they see the world and their new knowledge. All this is great for us veterans.
Why did you decide to join the Senior Club? What does this club contribute to the alumni community?
Esade Alumni told me about the Senior Club and I thought it sounded very interesting so I started going to talks and events. I think this club has a great deal to offer alumni over 60, we’re a group that continues to grow and we remain active and interested in current affairs.
Taking part as a giving-back consultant is in itself a very positive experience, it helps you reflect and gives you a fresh vision of the world we live in
What advice would you give a former student who wants to make a positive impact in society but doesn’t know where to start?
I think that just taking part as a giving-back consultant has a very positive impact because it helps you reflect and gives you a fresh vision of the world we live in. The everyday life of people in employment is hectic and it often stops them from seeing further afield. But taking part in an activity like the one run by Esade Alumni Social helps you refocus your outlook and see things differently. Being involved with social entities, cooperatives, foundations and associations in the third sector that help marginalized or vulnerable groups can open up your mind and broaden your outlook.
How would you rate your experience of working with Esade Alumni?
I was very satisfied with my first three years as a giving-back consultant, although one year I was in a team that had a tense relationship with the entity. The following year I worked with Tallers Guinardó and the experience was the complete opposite, a great success! Later I became a team coordinator and now I help select third-sector entities. I’m delighted to continue taking part in this project and I would encourage all alumni to get involved, regardless of their age. It’s very enjoyable and I always make the most of the activities run by the Senior Club. I’m sure it will continue to grow and organize more and more events and activities. As for mentoring, I would highly recommend it. I’m waiting for another person who needs my help. I’d love to be a mentor again. Esade Alumni helps keep you active and up to date.
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