Javier Gonzalez Garcia has a Masters in European Economics, Public Affairs and Law. He has lived and worked all over the world and currently lives in Madrid with his family.
1. What made UCD stand out as the place you wanted to pursue your studies?
UCD seemed like a prestigious international university located in a nice country. The masters programme I chose was a very complete programme with comprehensive lectures and a great mix of international students. As part of the programme we also had the opportunity to visit Florence and Brussels, which naturally excited me!
2. What was your UCD experience like – the social scene, classes, and lecturers?
Studying overseas was always a goal of mine and UCD was a great choice. The top-notch campus offered all I needed to have a great experience as a student. The lecturers were excellent and gave us fantastic input all the time. I also made some truly wonderful friends.
3. What did you find to be the biggest cultural adjustments on moving to Ireland?
I adjusted quite well to Irish culture in general – the food, language, people. I made the most of my time in Ireland and ensured I saw some of the country with my student pals. I love Ireland as a country, Dublin as a city and the Irish people.
4. Have you been back to campus since graduation?
I have happily been back a couple of times to meet my old friends and classmates. I would love to visit the campus again in the near future, I believe there are lots of new buildings which I would love to see with my own eyes.
5. How did you end up in your current area of work?
My UCD qualification really enhanced my CV and opened doors for me. It gave me the opportunity to work for international companies in various sectors – banking, real estate, and consulting firms. Currently, I am an entrepreneur, mentor and investor specialising in start-ups.
6. What have been the most challenging aspects of your career?
I think the most challenging aspect of my job/career is working in different countries with multicultural teams successfully. Having said that, I consider myself to be an international person with an open mind and I love working with and for people from diverse backgrounds and cultures.
7. What interests you the most about your job?
Following on from being a successful executive for international companies working and living in different countries (USA, Latin America, Asia, EU), I am now developing my own international entrepreneurship with other international partners with the same vision. I am so excited to see where this new turn in my career takes me in the coming years.
8. What do you think your career priorities will be in 10 years’ time?
I would hope to scale my business projects and entrepreneurship internationally, but honestly in 10 years’ time I really just hope to be healthy and happy and have more time to focus on my children – they are my biggest priority. Family is of course everything.
9. How has your career impacted the way in which you see the world?
Having the opportunity to live and work in different countries and industries really helped me grow up personally and professionally. I think it is really important to live and work with people from different countries and cultures to your own. My biggest recommendation to young people: get out into the world; see and do everything you can.
10. What is the proudest moment of your career to date?
Honestly – finishing my undergraduate degree in Madrid in 2007 was the beginning of everything for me – it allowed me to become a lawyer, and paved the path for my time in Ireland and my successful career.
11. Tell us a bit about your current life, such as your family, and hobbies?
I feel so fortunate – I have a beautiful family with three lovely children. Being healthy mentally and physically is important to me, I play tennis and golf and love to watch sports on TV. Travelling with my family around the world is always a dream.. I read a lot of books relating to personal development matters and enjoy mentoring young entrepreneurs and students.
12. What is your favourite place in the world to visit?
I have had the opportunity to travel and work all over the world and meet people from various countries and cultures, so it is difficult for me to say my favourite place to visit. I know I am biased, but Spain is such a great country to visit. I feel like all who visit really do fall in love with it.
13. One day in Madrid – what should visitors not miss?
A sightseeing bus tour will give you a good overview of this amazing city, for sure check out and enjoy Plaza Mayor and the Royal Palace. It goes without saying that you should eat all the tapas you can, best shared with friends and family in different bars or restaurants on the same day (a fantastic Spanish tradition called madrileño). Madrid’s nightlife is an incredible experience for all ages, and you can find atmospheres for all types of people. Finally, if you have the opportunity to watch a Real Madrid or Atlético de Madrid soccer match in their stadiums it will also be an unforgettable experience.