Portland Profile: Jefferson Alava

Portland Profile: Jefferson Alava

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received in your career so far?

Very early on I was advised to never take anything personal. Resilience goes a long way in this business. This piece of advice has been of tremendous value given that each day is different, all of them presenting their own challenges and rewards.

What is your favourite part about your role?

I enjoy the variety and problem-solving aspect of the work. Be it by tackling new sectoral legislation, or successfully engaging with media on an exciting brief, or building on recently acquired skills, or developing business. After more than 10 years advising clients, I’m glad I can connect the dots from previous experiences while exploring and sorting new ones.

What has been your most enjoyable experience at Portland so far?

Developing comprehensive market-access business plans for a European multinational seeking to increase the sales of its equipment in several emerging markets. In honesty, it was the first time I had led such a deliverable. While the final report was up to standard, I was pleasantly surprised when the client told us the plans were implemented to the detail and yielded a drastic increase in sales. The project was a true team effort, and we collectively went above and beyond.

What advice would you give to someone entering this field of work?

Always keep in mind the client’s ask. Each client has different priorities, and a great degree of adaptability is necessary. And bring the best of yourself – I think the sky is the limit for someone who is driven and seeks to go above & beyond when opportunity presents itself. Lastly, learn to trust your team.

What do you do to switch off from work?

I am very keen on watching movies, in particular films by Martin Scorsese! Most of my musical culture comes from his carefully selected soundtracks. Goodfellas should have won the 1991 Best Picture Academy Award.

To find out more about our Brussels team and the work we do, read our office profile here.

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