The Minister for Industry, Energy and Tourism shared his career trajectory with IE University students in a workshop on the key factors for success in politics
Spain’s Minister for Industry, Energy and Tourism underscored the importance of continuous learning that extends beyond university studies and throughout a person’s career. He spoke to a large group of international students at IE University’s Madrid campus in an address given in English on “How to make it to the top in politics” at the invitation of the University’s Talks Club.
“Success is not only learnt in a classroom but also through experience. That’s why IE University’s Talks Club wants to invite a range of top professionals who can share the key factors of their success, providing insights and serving as a role model for our students,” said Salvador Mompeán, a student of IE University’s Dual Degree in Business Administration and International Relations, and president of the Club.
Soria listed the key factors of political activity, talking about his career and explaining some of his responsibilities as head of one of the Spanish government’s most important ministries, dedicated to overseeing issues related to energy, industrial development, tourism, telecommunications, and the information society.
The Minister assured his audience that there is no specific age at which a person should enter politics. “I began at thirty-seven years of age, and having a good trajectory in the private sector was an excellent ally when it came to being independent in the field of politics.” Soria went on to stress that it is important to be able to see the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead, adding that in politics one person is nobody because everyone forms part of a team, and it is essential to know how to delegate and work together to attain success. The Minister also remarked that a minister does not only have the responsibility to do things well, but also to know how to communicate those things.
“If someone is thinking about having a career in politics, they have to be very sure that it is their vocation and be willing to work twenty-four hours a day throughout the year,” Soria told the students. He also underlined the importance of failure in a career, because “we learn our biggest lessons through failure.” He recognized that an electoral defeat was the thing he learnt most from as a politician.
José Manuel Soria (born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 1958) is one of Spain’s most high-profile politicians in the current political landscape. He holds a degree in economics and business administration, is an expert in trade and a state economist. Soria has an extensive political career. Previous positions he has held include mayor of Las Palmas, president of the City Hall of Gran Canaria, vice president and counselor of the Canary Islands government, regional deputy and national deputy, advisor to the cabinet of Spain’s Ministry of Finance, and cabinet leader of the Department of Trade.