Let’s get started, we want to get to know all about you, what is your current role and your background?
I am Juan Lopez, a Global Sales & Marketing Executive here at Vernacare, looking after several European markets as well as some Spanish speaking countries in Central and South America. Originally I am from a small town near Seville called Jerez de la Frontera, in Spain. But, I moved to the UK 6 years ago, with no English speaking skills, 500 euros in my pocket and a three-night stay booked at a hostel in Oxford.
Originally I travelled to the UK to learn English with the intention of returning to Spain, however, I decided to live here permanently as I fell in love with the country and the culture. I later moved to Manchester in 2015 to complete a Master’s degree in Marketing and Communications at Manchester Metropolitan University, in which I graduated with a Merit.
How long have you been with Vernacare? What role did you start in and how did you get to where you are now?
I have been with Vernacare for just over a year; I originally joined the company as a Global Marketing Executive. As I gained more experience working with distributors, I decided that sales was a route I wanted to pursue as I loved the idea of supporting distributors more with their commercial activities to covert healthcare facilities to using Vernacare products.
I got the opportunity to move into the Global sales team when an internal vacancy appeared due to the company growth in international markets. I was interviewed by Hakeem Adebiyi, Christina Smith and Jowita Niedzwiecki. I guess you could say I was the most suitable candidate for the position as I was offered the job! To date, I have successfully set up communications with many great distributors and established exciting new, commercial trade.
What would you say is your most significant personal/professional achievement to date?
A significant personal achievement is my Master’s degree as mentioned above. This was a challenging time for me as the qualification was in English; a language I was still learning, and I was working full-time in order to fund my education. I would come home from work and go straight into the library to complete assignments.
On a professional level, it would have to be working for a global company such as Vernacare, and subsequently being offered the job I am currently in.
What values would you say are essential to be successful within your role and life in general?
I value hard work. It is one of the things I love about the UK, the people work hard to achieve success. Another value that I follow is that you have to love what you do, and you have to be passionate and committed to it. I feel as though these values have helped me in my work and personal life, as I am passionate about my job and work hard to achieve targets and help contribute to the global success of Vernacare.
The quote; “the only time success comes before work is in the dictionary.”; is something that always gives me focus.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not at work?
I love to go travelling. It is one of the reasons why I love my job because it gives me the opportunity to visit new places. Some of my favourite places include the Philippines, Stockholm and Mexico. In the near future, I hope to go to Sri Lanka, Peru, and California. As you can see I don’t like to stick to just one region as I want to experience a variety of different cultures. I am also a lover of food and drink. I like to go to Food Crawls, which is sampling small amounts of dishes from different restaurants. Additionally, I am a football fan and support Real Madrid. If I had to choose a British team to support it would be Arsenal, I grew up watching them at their best and have followed them ever since I moved to the UK. My favourite Real Madrid football fan moment was watching Zinedine Zidane score his first goal for the team against Real Betis. Real Madrid lost 3-1 due to two errors from Ivan Campo. I remember this game well, as the atmosphere was electric inside the stadium throughout the game, hence whenever I go back to Spain, I always make sure I go to a game.
Let’s have some fun! Tell us something you have always wanted to do and why?
I love anything that makes me feel alive and gives me an adrenaline rush. I would like to go sky diving or bungee jumping one day - hopefully somewhere beautiful with a lot of things to look at as I’m flying through the air.
Other than that I have always been tempted by the idea of being a wedding crasher for the day, like the film starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. I would arrive at a random wedding and pretend I know people there, or that I am related to the bride’s uncle. I guess you could say that this is also an adrenaline rush!