Salvador Martí: "Training helps you face new challenges without fear"

Interview with Salvador Martí, former student of the Postgraduate degree programme in Wholesale Food Company Management

Q- Why did you decide to do a Postgraduate degree?
A- I've been here at the Market for 30 years and I've worked in several companies, always starting from the bottom as an assistant and working my way up to manager. I wanted to continue growing professionally and one day to have my own company. For this reason above all, I wanted to get some training by doing a Master's degree or course. But my plans changed…

Q- Oh yes? How?
A- I was offered the chance to set up my own company and I dived in headfirst. As of that moment it was difficult for me to find time to do any sort of training, until I found out that they were doing this first Postgraduate degree in Wholesale Food Company Management - and even better than that, they were doing it in Mercabarna! It was perfect for me!

Q- Was it a positive experience?
A- Yes! I learnt nothing in particular but everything in general. At times you think that, since you've been working in the sector for so many years, you already know everything. By doing the Postgraduate degree, however, you realise you don't: that you can always learn new things. What's more, it helps you to see things you do everyday from a new perspective and not to fear new challenges.

Q- New challenges such as running a company!
A- Exactly! They give you an overall picture of how to run a wholesale food company: from how to deal with your staff to understanding an accounts document. For example, we had a specific subject in which they showed you some tools for dealing with your clients, providers and staff. And this has helped me lots!

Q- Therefore you use some of the things that you learnt on the course on a daily basis…?
A- Yes. (He shows me a cup that he has on his office table which has written on one of its sides the word 'equivócate' – 'make a mistake'.) For example, one of the key lessons that I learned during the course was that if you run a company you have to do so with all the consequences. If you're wrong, you have to accept this and correct matters. But someone always has to make a decision, because if you hesitate the people that are behind you won't trust you.

Q- Who would you recommend to do a Master's degree?
A- Anyone who aspires to grow professionally, and who is a budding businessperson or who, simply, already has a job and wants to retrain – whether they're companies in Mercabarna or not! I think that any professional with normal concerns and interests and who wants to manage a company ought to do it!

Q- Why is it so difficult to get people to do a Postgraduate degree?
A- Because doing a course like this requires willpower. You go to the classes after work and then afterwards you have to do the exercises at home. And that puts people off!

Q- And how would you encourage these people?
A- I'd say to them not to be afraid. Doing the Postgraduate degree gives you a clearer view of the future. And we need more people like that in the Market!

Q- …?
A - There is a lack of professionals, people who are trained, with drive and with new ideas and ways of doing things. Don't think that running a company in the Market is knowing that today fruit is worth 3 and tomorrow 5 without knowing why! We need people who understand the sector and who, by doing so, help to bring some dignity to our profession.