Some would say that José Enrique was born for business.
At the age of 12, he started to work on his family’s farm. There he learned the significance of time management and manual labour. Every day, he had to wake up at 5am to tend to this cattle, which he would sell to save up for his future.
“That was really hard work,” he told Study International in a Zoom interview.
Later, in his college years, José almost threw it all away when his adolescent angst led him astray:
“During my first semester of my industrial engineering course at college, I failed my first exams and lost motivation.”
After finding out that his son lost sight of his goals, José’s father summoned him back home to work on the family’s construction site.
“This was my father’s punishment for failing my studies, but it actually helped me to jump from a construction worker position, to a project management position, and then to building for myself,” says José.
But for José, it was his MBA in Digital Business degree from EU Business School in Munich that merged his construction industry experience and his entrepreneurial ambitions together.
Fearlessly creating his future
Rather than opting for the US business school route, something many of his peers would have done, José wanted to take the biggest leap he could.
“I really wanted to open my mind and go on an adventure, so I went to the other side of the world — to Germany!”
He knew that he could support himself with a stable income from his construction business back in Mexico, and from speaking to others who had studied abroad, he knew that his mindset would shift from a national to global perspective.
But when he arrived at his business school in Munich, José decided to reroute his study direction:
“I originally went there to study finance through my MBA, but I then realised that I could do a specialisation in digital business, which caught me by surprise because after reading ‘Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle,’ my interests in tech grew.”
Through this book, José knew that there was potential in using technology to amplify the success of a start-up.
“Suddenly, all the dots just added up. I didn’t even know this major was available, so I jumped straight into it at the first moment I could,” he says.
To his surprise, José didn’t need to have a technology background to enrol in his MBA in Digital Business and fast forward to today, he’s using many of the practical and tech-based skills he learned through his degree.
“One of my teachers once told me that if I wanted to build my own start-up, then I shouldn’t waste my time on making it perfect,” he said.
“For instance, if it doesn’t fit on an A4 sheet of paper, then it is not a start-up. So I jotted my future business model down on a piece of paper too.”
Today, that business model has jumped from an idea to reality as he is now the owner of BREAT, a company which builds technology for real estate developers to optimise the potential of their projects.
And every time the BREAT business leader faces a challenge, like launching a new product or adding a new feature to his website, he goes back to that blank page and sketches it into a simple structure.
A well-built business network
Another aspect of his Master’s degree that José still relies on today is his international network of contacts:
“I was the only Latin American student in my cohort and Mexico used to be the whole world for me, so when I met learners from different countries, my cultural awareness expanded.
“For example, I met a guy from Afghanistan who told me someone he knew died because a mine exploded while he was walking to his school. It made me realise that there’s a whole other world out there and that there’s a lot we should be grateful for.”
The global network José gained from studying abroad also gave him many job opportunities beyond Germany.
“I lived and worked in Leeds, England because of a contact that I had from my MBA. She introduced me to some people in the start-up world and I began working for fintech start-ups such as Rebuildingsociety,” he says.
José also travelled to Hungary where he found an event that CEOs of major European companies would be attending, but couldn’t find a ticket.
But thanks to his friend from his MBA, he managed to attend the event for free and meet three of the CEOs!
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Since choosing to study abroad, José has accumulated a long list of business contacts, a pocket full of practical skills and memories that last a lifetime.
Currently, he builds technology for real estate developers so that they can optimise the potential of their projects through his company BREAT.
“Just how I learned from my MBA, we help businesses by merging data and with finance,” he explained.
“And through our services, real estate developers get access to all the latest trends and have data pulled to give them a better decision of what to build and why.”
Looking back on his business venture, José admits that his father’s punishment to work on the construction site ultimately evolved into a blessing.
Without it, he would never have had the chance to study abroad or build a thriving property technology company from the ground up.