Alberto Putin: “Being with People from All over the World Prepared Me for My Professional Life”


October 18, 2022


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*Interview by Schiller Alumni, Sonia Alegre.

Alberto Putin graduated from Schiller Madrid in December 1995 with a major in international business and marketing. He has developed a successful career at his family´s century-old business, IPIAC, where he is currently the CEO. Alberto has held several leadership roles representing the company nationally and internationally. IPIAC was founded in 1855 and designs, manufactures, builds and implements turnkey projects of large capital goods for the construction materials industry.

Why did you choose Schiller Madrid?

I had lived in Miami for a while and I studied at St. Louis University, which required spending several trimesters abroad. But after a while, I realized that I only wanted to be in Madrid and that I wanted to continue my international education here at an American university, so Schiller was the best and only option.

What key takeaways, experiences or connections from Schiller Madrid have you found to be most helpful for you in your career path and life?

I wanted to learn how to manage and grow my family business and Schiller offered a very practical education. Teachers had real-life experience and they were sharing it with us. This was unique at the time. I still remember some teachers that made an impact on me and how I took what they taught us in class and applied it later in my business. For instance, there was a marketing teacher who was working in Coca-Cola and used real and practical case studies in his classes which, at the time, no other university in Madrid was doing. What I learned in Schiller, I later applied to my company.

Also, one of the best things about Schiller, if not the best, was the network, and since my business is based on the international market, this network was very useful for me. I had the opportunity to be in class with people from all over the world which prepared me for the international experience that I later had with my own company. I have run into Schiller colleagues at business conferences and trade fairs in China and Colombia, for example.

What did you like best about Schiller´s methodology?

I liked the fact that it gave us a lot of freedom, especially when choosing what subjects to study and when. You could study at your own pace, within limits of course, and learn and integrate with so many different cultures. We felt both free and autonomous which was a way for us to grow into mature and responsible individuals. And then, of course, the case studies and practical part.

What other memories does Schiller bring to you?

I have a lot of very good memories from my time at Schiller, not only from the learning experience but also from more fun memories like certain people (Giuseppe Fortunato, Vicky Martin Berrocal, Gonzalo Fernandez Martin, Luigi Mazzilli ...) and meetings at the cafeteria. Also, I remember what we used to call “the Schiller hunters”. There was a group of girls from another university that would just come to meet with Schiller people because they found Schiller to be fun and full of different people. In the cafeteria in the Rodriguez San Pedro building, you could meet people from Nigeria, like Osman, from Russia, Serbia, Italy or China, just to name a few of the nationalities of the students in Schiller back then. This was such a unique experience at the time that if you knew how to keep these contacts and maintained the network, it was a great advantage that prepared us for globalization. Schiller was a pioneer in integrating cultures.

Were you a good student?

Ahaha, I believe I was. I had a GPA of 3.7.

Any secret crush you´d like to hear from?

I remember a couple of girls from Yugoslavia in the cafeteria who were very beautiful but I don’t remember their names.

Name two Schiller alumni that are worth a profile in this blog:

Giuseppe Fortunato and Oscar Cembrero. Giuseppe was a bit older than the rest of us and was already working on developing his own import-export company so he was a student with real-life experience and a more serious life than the rest of us who were only students. Oscar Cembrero is one of my best friends with a track record in the software industry and an extensive international career.

What would you tell your younger self?

No regrets. It was an incredible experience.

What would you like to get from the Schiller alumni initiative?

I would love for us to be in touch and maintain the network. The most important thing about Schiller was the networks we developed, and we should maintain that.