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"I could say that the ability to overcome something like this is innate, but it's not true."

Juan Badiola, Tecnun 98', gave a session on resilience to the students of the Master in Industrial Engineering.

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Juan Badiola, Tecnun 98, at the School's entrance PHOTO: Communication Service
28/03/19 10:12

Recently, students of the Master in Industrial Engineering received the visit of the former student Juan Badiola. Framed in the subject of Personnel Management Service taught by Álvaro Lleó, Badiola gave a session to the students on resilience. Badiola wanted to focus on the RAE definition that speaks of resilience as the ability of a living being to adapt to a disturbing agent or an adverse state or status . And he decided to talk about his experience to bring the meaning closer to the students' minds.

It was in 1998 when Juan Badiola finished Degree in Industrial Engineering at Tecnun and decided to move to Logroño to embark on his professional adventure. "There I was, an engineer from a prestigious university, working in a large, independent company, with a very clear plan, with a 2 to 3-year deadline : to move up and get a transfer to the head office, San Sebastian, and capitalize on enough experience to be able to obtain an interesting position in Guipúzcoa," Badiola recalls of those times.

 "What could go wrong?" he wondered. For two years, as he recounted, everything went smoothly. "Every Friday at 5:30 p.m. I would leave Logroño at full speed, spend the weekend at home with my family and my girlfriend, and on Monday at 6:00 a.m. I would leave home and go straight to the office."

One day his boss offered him the position of director purchasing at the head office. "goal got it," he said to himself. That same weekend his girlfriend and he (she was also a former student of Tecnun) were looking for a church to get married in.

The following Monday he was in a car accident. He spent a year in the ICU. I could only move my right arm and neck, which being left-handed," he said with a smile, "is important. The doctors who were treating me didn't seem to be too sure what the end of the story was going to be, but it didn't look good. I had a spinal cord injury.

Badiola continued his speech by defining himself as a "rather pessimistic" person, in comparison to his wife, from whom only kind words came out. Badiola knew that, if he lived in a state of permanent grumpiness, somehow, his friends and the people who loved him would understand and justify it. "But what good was that to me? After all, if I threw my life away by not accepting the status that I had to live, I was the one who was going to pay for it".

He did rehabilitation for a year, going through different hospitals and learning, among other things, how to write again.

But one year, one month and one day later he got married. As a good engineer, he remembers the date perfectly and everything that followed: four children: a girl, two twins, and the fourth, adopted at 18 months old in China. They had always wanted to have a large family and so it was.

His ambition to continue learning led him to take a master's degree at Deusto and to resign from work incapacity. The management position he held before the accident had been occupied by another person, and he decided to seek new challenges and opportunities. Among various functions, he has been Director of a Division of the Gureak Group being responsible for 450 people and 5 production plants.

"I could say that the ability to overcome something like this is innate, you either have it or you don't, business done, but it's not true. It takes effort. Being the protagonist of your life is more difficult than that. It involves knowing yourself, analyzing and deciding, doing it continuously, and assuming the consequences of the choices you make and the choices you don't make," Badiola continued.

"In the course of your career, you will probably manage teams of people. I think it's the hardest thing I've ever done, and you'll never manage a team well if you can't manage yourself first," he concluded.

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