NAME: Laura Abasolo
ACTION/SECTOR: Bank and Finances
POSITION: Manager of Planning, Budgets and Management Control in Telefonica
My Background and Career
I entered the workforce immediately after finishing my post-grade studies. In 1996 I became part of the team of Investment Bank of Goldman Sachs in London. During my professional period in this enterprise, I took part in several activities and initiatives that included from entries in the Stock market to projects on mergers and acquisitions.
The end of 1999 meant a turning point in my professional career. I started a new and interesting project: Terra Networks, subsidiary company of Grupo Telefonica, with responsibility for the area of Management Control.
After the merger of Terra into Grupo Telefonica in 2005, I took the responsibility of the same job, but for the whole Grupo Telefonica. This was a jump to another “dimension” because of the size, diversity, and business. The integration and constitution of the company within Grupo Telefonica meant a great challenge, as well as the restructuring of teams and of the company itself.
Two years later, I expanded my professional duties after being promoted, and I was appointed Manager of Planning, Budgets and Management Control in Telefonica, the job I still carry out, reporting to the Chief Executive Officer. After several years, the current challenges are the sector itself: the digitalisation and the need of being in touch which is more and more important every day, and the company itself, with a great ambition.
Although it sounds a little bit utopian, I didn’t have to overcome serious problems to be where I am. I’ve had to work very hard and give up certain leisure activities, but I’ve never worked in a calm environment. Being in the correct place and not being afraid of facing new challenges. Adapting myself very well not only to my superiors but also to my colleagues and my team, being transparent with them, creating relationships of confidence that make people want to work with me. Sometimes, it isn’t very important that all the people support you but that they do not veto you. Solving problems, and not give them to others, assuming my responsibilities.
Economic problems: I didn’t have economic problems. My family had the means for giving me a good education.
Family problems: My family hasn’t restrained me, and the organisation where I’ve developed most of my career has supported me in my personal decisions, they have promoted me on two occasions being pregnant. It is also true that my job has been rarely reduced by the fact of having a large family and I’ve had certain flexibility when I needed it. Till now, it hasn’t been a curb but if in the future someone offers me a job which would require certain mobility and excessive trips, maybe I would have to renounce to it. My children are at that age where being close to their mum is crucial. Maybe in some years, I would be able to consider it.
Personal problems: Maybe I am very sensitive, although it doesn’t seem so. I have all the tension inside, particularly in my stomach. When the issues are outside the content and get complicated with politic issues, it causes me stress and I can suffer in the process, but I try to not show it, although I give my uneasiness to my closest team members.
Social problems: I’ve never felt discriminated and I’ve taken the conscious decision of be true to myself and my way of working and relate, obviously adapting myself to new changes of the environment but keeping my essence. I don’t like to triumph having had to renounce too many things.
Competences: I adapt easily to changes, I listen and pay attention to the problems of others. I like to cooperate with other people when I work, and I bring peace in cases of conflict. In addition, I like that in the negotiations all people end up satisfied. I am able to coordinate and motivate the staff and people close to me. I also like to work in a team, I am able to solve problems and find solutions and I have the humility to ask for advice.
Qualities: I consider myself very active and persistent. I am confident and practical. I also think that I am flexible enough, open-minded and self-confident.
Hints & Tips
Lucky Saying: Any popular saying that implies common sense.
You have to work hard but without limiting yourself to do things. You must go further, contribute, leave a mark, make an impact. Honesty is the key to trust in you, especially if you are going to start a business or a project with partners. The success must be shared in order that they feel involved and pull together. You can’t do it on your own.
You also have to try to make the things right, not perfect because we will not get that, but that doesn’t mean that we cannot make mistakes. It is very important not to be afraid to make mistakes, give opinions and take risks.