The experience of a lengthy professional career and being keen to learn
and receive training in a global company are fully compatible. If you think not, try telling the 648 people who, in 2018, have now been at MAPFRE for 25 years, in contrast to the 1,601 employees who are now aged 25 and joined the company not long ago. What does each group think of MAPFRE? Eight colleagues offer us their views.
TEXT CAROLINA CALVENTE | ILLUSTRATION THINKSTOCK | PHOTOGRAPHS MAPFRE
A lot can happen in 25 years. Just ask Carlos Nagore, one of those who has spent that many years in the company. Carlos has had an extensive professional career in MAPFRE and eventually moved to Germany (something he would never have imagined), where he has worked as technical manager of VERTI VERSICHERUNG AG since 2016. “MAPFRE has changed so much over these 25 years… I first knew it as a mutual insurer in Spain that only thought about Spain, although it soon began testing the waters in America,” he observes.
With regard to the 25 years this magazine is also celebrating, Carlos recalls the early issues with nostalgia: “It may seem silly, but we’re talking about a paper magazine here (we had no Internet, or email, or internal portal, or anything like that), so we really did find out what was happening in the company through the magazine. It was also good for seeing the faces of people I often only knew from speaking on the phone.”
Obviously, MAPFRE has changed a lot over all these years and employees like Carlos who have been in the company for so long have been lucky enough to form part of several work teams and different departments. Even so, Carlos knows that, despite these 25 years, the company still has to undergo more changes and he has no doubts about the priority: “the most important challenge MAPFRE faces is digitization. Digitization has led to whole sectors changing over the past few years,” he declares.
José Manuel Corral, general manager of the Corporate Business and Clients Area, confirms the company’s progress over the past 25 years.
“I joined at the age of 23, like almost everyone at that time, when the average age of employees was 24-25. That was rather spectacular at that time. 25 years on and the company has progressed, just as we too have progressed,” he tells us.
One of the major challenges facing MAPFRE is “to keep guaranteeing the best possible training for those of us in the company, so that we can avoid getting left behind and be able to keep up with the incessant pace of development evident in the market, as well as the new demands of clients and consumers in general,” Corral comments.
Cristina Soria, secretary to the general manager of the Group’s Legal Affairs, is another of the veteran employees who have experienced MAPFRE’s transformation process over these last 25 years: “MAPFRE has grown greatly and continues to do so by leaps and bounds, in its structure and personnel, in its international expansion… But, what strikes me most, is at the technological level. When I joined, there were no cell phones, no Internet, and faxes were the latest thing!” Cristina nostalgically recalls how the first issues were like having a ‘celebrity magazine’ in the company.
Our next protagonist has little to remember: Jesús Núñez, a 25-year-old young man who joined MAPFRE as an IT auditor, defends his work as an added value for the company. He underscores the fact that both he and the rest of the Internal Audit team perform a vital task, as it “adds value to the company by identifying vulnerabilities.”
Jesús expresses his desire to see the company grow ever bigger and better: “I believe that, if we all keep working hard, we can make MAPFRE even more global.”
Not very different from the views of another 25-year-old colleague, Odoga Treviño, a Spanish woman who joined us a few months ago as a Business Development technician in the Social Networks Area.
“MAPFRE is a company with a great tradition in the market, which is committed to innovation and strives day by day to keep up to date. On the digital front, which is currently so important, much progress has been made in recent years, but there’s still work to be done,” Odoga declares.
This colleague is a faithful reader of the in-house magazine and loves reading it in her spare time whenever she receives a new issue. “I’d like to come across experiences from other companies that stand out in their particular field, so that we could learn from their experience,” Odoga suggests.
Ana Gutiérrez, head of social media communication, insists that these last 25 years “have forced many of us to confront a huge number of changes. However, the company has always shown an infinite capacity to be at the forefront of technology and provide us with training opportunities.”
With regard to the first few issues of The World of MAPFRE, Ana recalls that they were laminated and came through the internal mail system. “The most interesting thing was that we were able to put a face to the company’s senior managers. We learned about MAPFRE’s achievements and, away from the daily routine, we read about some of the company’s future projects,” she remarks.
We now go over to the United States, where we find Wendy Harris, Program Manager at VERTI USA. With
a 25-year professional career behind her, she has no doubt about the biggest change the magazine has faced over this period: digitization and its availability on the Global Intranet.
“The Global Intranet has also helped connect the whole corporate community and better understand what is happening around the world. In particular, we have greater knowledge of Fundación MAPFRE and of the events organized through that part of the organization,” Wendy explains.
We know that things have changed a lot at MAPFRE in the last 25 years, but what will happen in another 25?
According to Wendy, “the technological developments all over the world may make relationships with our clients easier, but who will our clients be and what will they want to insure? I believe there will be many changes in the market and it will be interesting to see how things develop,” she declares.
Hannah Snow, also from the United States, has realized at the age of 25 that MAPFRE “is an amazing place to work and the people are great.”
Like her colleague Wendy, Hannah also thinks that one of the biggest challenges the company faces is digitization: “I believe that enhanced technology is what will help us tackle our greatest problems.”