The increasingly global nature of commerce requires leaders with dynamic skill sets. Dr. Eliseo Vilalta-Perdomo’s career embodies this dynamism. The Aston University senior teaching fellow undertook business challenges in multiple countries before entering academia.
We recently interviewed Eliseo about his life and career. He also offered insights into why he chose Aston University and how students can best succeed in its graduate business programmes. Eliseo’s journey to Aston University began with his quest from a young age for continuous improvement.
Global Experiences Shape Advanced Business Education
At 15 years old, Eliseo thought about how he could make tasks more efficient. This curiosity drove him toward a career in business like many of the students he teaches at Aston University. Eliseo went from engineering and manufacturing systems degrees to international jobs that shaped his views on operations management.
Tackling challenges in the public and private sectors
His post-graduate career began with positions in the Mexican national government. Eliseo helped modernise how the president’s office communicated with journalists. These changes were achieved through new technologies and improved processes.
He then worked with the deputy director of operations for Aeropuertos y Servicios Auxiliares, managing Mexico’s airport system. This pre-Internet era required more time-intensive research on how airports operated elsewhere in the world. Eliseo produced analyses of everything from aeroplanes’ fees to use airports to how jet fuel revenues should be spent in new fuel facilities.
Roles at a consultancy, Mexican state-owned oil company PEMEX, and a construction company were added to his CV. The consultancy position was particularly formative because it involved creating highway signals that aligned Mexico with the United States. This operational challenge required collaboration, technical knowledge, and a global mindset.
Moving into an academic career
Eliseo’s shift to a full-time career in teaching and research echoes the experiences of many Aston University students. He always loved to learn but sought real-world experiences before fully jumping into academia. By 2000, he decided to pursue a Ph.D. as part of his professional evolution.
Teaching at Tecnológico de Monterrey for 11 years shaped Eliseo’s teaching style. The typical graduate of a Mexican business programme receives a job offer before graduation after 4.5 years of study. He focused his teaching style on real-world applications of advanced skills rather than textbook lessons.
The United Kingdom was a launchpad for his academic career. He earned his doctorate and later taught at the University of Lincoln. Eliseo then joined the Aston University faculty in 2020 to teach undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
Imparting global knowledge to worldly students
From Mexico to England, Eliseo has accrued a wide breadth and depth of international business knowledge. This wealth of experiences informs his tutelage of MBA and DBA candidates at Aston University. He also learns from his students because they are located throughout the world.
Eliseo continues to work with contacts across North and South America and all over Europe on new projects. These connections allow him to continually challenge his assumptions and learn emerging trends not yet covered by academic journals. He encourages students to share their professional experiences to facilitate growth in virtual classes.
Choosing the Right Time for a Degree
Aston University’s MBA and DBA programmes are designed for experienced professionals across the world. Eliseo chose to work at Aston because “...it’s not only an academic establishment in the traditional sense of just doing research or teaching. It is a place that connects to reality and gives students real-world experiences with organisations.”
Finding a graduate business degree that connects to global realities is only one bit of advice offered by Eliseo. He believes students interested in completing their degrees online should make the following considerations.
Understanding the commitment required for success
The virtual business degrees offered by Aston University are intended for working professionals. Balancing work, school, and family responsibilities can be challenging even in the best circumstances. Eliseo recommends finding the right window of time in your life where you can fully invest in business education.
Successful graduate students seek the support of their families and colleagues before starting class. Aston University employs Student Support Advisors who guide business students from admission through to graduation. The school’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is geared toward reducing barriers to learning no matter your degree.
Eliseo acknowledges the sacrifices and dedication needed from every student. He believes that years of focused study not only improves academic performance but integrates classroom lessons into the workplace. Succeeding in an Aston University postgraduate programme requires the drive that helps students reach great heights in their careers.
Stay conversant in the business world.
Newcomers to the business world often focus on their particular job function or department. This vision can lead to success in a narrow path but makes career changes more difficult. Eliseo emphasises that professionals should stay well-read across the business world after their undergraduate degrees.
His career was shaped by a desire to blend real-world experiences with continuing education. A continued familiarity with new markets, industries, and products is essential for potential MBA and DBA candidates. This research takes the form of academic journals, business papers, and networking with fellow professionals.
What Sets Aston University Apart from the Competition?
Eliseo believes that Aston University produces more employable graduates than competing universities. He analysed the school’s achievements and found:
- A focus on producing generalists with agile mindsets;
- High student retention rates;
- Deep connections with businesses.
Online MBA students complete six core modules on topics ranging from the global economic environment to measuring financial performance. This programme includes specialisations in entrepreneurship, finance, and global businesses that customise learning experiences. The throughline from start to finish is the Aston Edge workshop series covering topics like:
- Diplomacy and inclusivity
- Strategic change leadership
- Fostering innovative work in others
Aston University has been recognised for the impact of its postgraduate business degrees on the world. The Guardian University Guide 2021 ranked Aston University 30th and it was recently shortlisted for the University of the Year 2021. This distinction stems from the school’s diverse students and faculty along with high graduate pay.
The Aston Business School holds a Small Business Charter because of a “strategy which explicitly references links with entrepreneurs, developing entrepreneurial mindsets and productive partnerships with SMEs.”
Speak with an Aston advisor about how an inclusive and cutting-edge business education can elevate your career.