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Hector Gonzalez Jimenez

PhD, 2014

Hector Gonzalez Jimenez
  • Nationality: Spanish

“Being Spanish, but born and raised in Germany, I have always seen myself as multinational and been interested in different cultures from a young age. As a result, my career path has been very eclectic and has taken me all over the world. I chose to do my PhD at University of Bradford School of Management because of my interests in culture as well as branding."

"At 18, I did a vocational training course in business administration in Spain. This ‘apprenticeship style’ course gave me the opportunity to work for hair care brand Schwarzkopf, working in different departments of the business. I became interested in marketing and got a role working for a German firm , part of the Siemens Group, in Madrid when I finished the course.

I then decided to go to the US to do some language training to make myself more attractive in the corporate market place. I had planned to only be there for six months but ended up studying exercise science (Bachelor of Science) at California State University Fresno. During my time there, I met lots of interesting people from different cultures, including a number of Japanese friends.

My interest in different cultures then took me to Japan to teach language to school children and business people. This taught me a lot about the issues that businesses face in international communications.

I then went back to the US to do an MBA with an emphasis on marketing and entrepreneurship. I felt I needed this higher level qualification to make myself more marketable to international businesses. I was lucky enough to secure three MBA internships in South Korea and for two US businesses.

After graduating from my MBA, I used the year left on my US visa to work for a multi-cultural market research firm in LA looking at consumer preferences in different markets for big brands like Pepsi and Ford.

When I returned to Germany, I worked in a strategic corporate development role in which I used my MBA expertise to advise the CEO on long term strategy planning. After two years, I was ready to return to education again. I feel comfortable in a learning environment and am passionate about investigating new areas.

I started my search for an international business school to do PhD research at by looking at those with a strong academic reputation with researchers who shared my interests in consumer cultures. I came across University of Bradford School of Management and had a strong chemistry with the academics here. These human relationships are particularly important for PhD students, as we work very closely with supervisors on our research and this relationship is likely to go beyond the PhD experience.  Yorkshire has a reputation for being a friendly place and the School of Management and surrounding area provides a welcoming environment in which to study. It is also an affordable place to live which means I can have a good standard of living as a self funded full time student.

My goal is to use my PhD to extend current theories but it is important that my research has a practical application. Bradford’s close links with real businesses and practice-focused research is important for this. When I graduate, I would like to pursue a career in academia but want to stay firmly routed in the corporate world. The opportunity to lecture undergraduates and mix with other students at the School of Management from all kinds of backgrounds has been invaluable."