This memo presents a detailed descriptive report of an interview that was conducted for the purpose of gaining expert knowledge shared by an experienced business-professional working in the industry of choice. The interviewed person was approached several days ago and kindly agreed to participate in the project and answer the questions. The interview was conducted in a quiet café chosen by the interviewed professional based on the area convenient for an appointment since he was tied up by his busy schedule required a lot of moving around the city. The interview went successfully, the businessman answered all of the questions in an elaborate and comprehensive manner and overall was willing to cooperate and share his experiences.
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The Interviewee’s Occupation and Professional Background
Mr. Rivera, the interviewee, has a construction business that he has been developing for over ten years. This is not the first business project created by Rivera, but it is the most successful one. The businessman was quite honest during the interview and shared some unique experiences that he faced throughout his professional journey. The respondent noted that it is common for a business person to fail many times in their career and go through several ups and downs. Rivera had had a variety of businesses over the last two decades that he tried to develop and grow. However, even though he has a business degree, the interviewee failed to plan, adjust, and promote his previous business projects and thus lost income and investment. When it comes to his current business, Rivera began to work in the field of construction 15 years ago as an average builder. In other words, he started at the very bottom of the business and had an opportunity to see how it works from the sides of an employee and, eventually, a leader.
The Journey of a Business Person
Having worked as a part of a construction team for several years, Rivera began to assume leadership roles and soon was appointed as the leader of his group. This experience helped him learn how to manage several people, plan smaller and bigger tasks, and fulfill long- and short-term goals. When Rivera decided to start a construction business of his own, he knew how to staff teams, work with different kinds of projects, approach and retain clients, choose and order tools and materials, and even schedule the work when more than one construction projects had to be completed at the same time.
Challenges and Efforts
The major challenge Rivera’s new business faced was finding clients and convincing them to trust his firm as it had no background and required a stronger reputation. His first orders were small projects of his friends and acquaintances. However, they became the basis for his firm’s portfolio. Also, staffing was a significant challenge at the initial stages of his project. He had to compromise and hire people with weaker skills and without reputation since he could not afford highly qualified professionals. As a result, he had to deal with several losses of capital due to low-quality work, customers’ dissatisfaction, work-related accidents, and workplace theft.
Choices, Determination, and Risks
Rivera pointed out that it is important to match the philosophy and approaches of a business to the business owner’s personality because the misbalance in the requirements of the business and the resources of the owner will eventually ruin both. The business owner described himself as a very energetic and active person who likes to be on the move all day long and dedicates all of his resources to new projects. As a result, his business is very dynamic, filling his daily schedules with many appointments, discussions, tasks, and challenges. Moreover, speaking about the risks and decisions of a business owner, the interviewee emphasized that loss is an inevitable part of the business and it is important to be prepared to face risks and know how to overcome them. Also, the professional stated that excessive pride is a business owner’s worst enemy that may cause him or her to make wrong decisions, waste resources, engage in risky operations, and stop learning. Rivera added that learning the sphere from the very bottom and gradually moving to the top is the key to successful management and planning.
Working in a Team
Rivera described his work in a group and team leadership performance as ultimate growth experiences for all of the participants involved. He emphasized that any group is comprised of several people with different personalities, views, and ideas; as a result, it can be very difficult to align their perspectives on the collective mission and complete the project successfully without wasting time on interpersonal clashes, arguments, and conflicts. Rivera stated that he had to work with many strong and opinionated individuals who were unwilling to cooperate with one another. At the time, as a team leader, he was the one responsible for the inner climate of the group as the relationships between coworkers impacted the projects heavily. Rivera added that the emotional climate in the workplace is a critical element of the success of an entire department or an organization as a whole. Also, this climate is comprised of many interpersonal relations and can be rather unstable.
Being a Leader
A leader at the top of a business must never lose connection with the employees working at different levels of the firm. Rivera mentioned that in his opinion, frequent interactions with the employees and close supervision of the ongoing projects is a great learning experience that provides a leader with many small and big insights as to the current challenges and opportunities involving different components of the firm, as well as its human resources. Rivera admitted that at times he “demotes” himself to a simple builder and enters his construction sites to operate as one of the laborers. He said that this is his way not to lose contact with his people and projects.
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All in all, the interview went successfully as the interviewed business professional provided a lot of useful information enriched with his personal experiences of attempting to start a business, failing, dealing with losses, and starting at the very bottom of the industry to move towards the top with the help of life-long learning. The interviewed professional has a very rich experience in business that represents a set of highly valuable insights for the learners. It is possible that one way to improve the interview project was to make it in the form of a field trip where the business owner could show how his firm operates and talk about its different components directly in the workplace. However, this type of pf learning experience could only be possible if the interviewed business person is a close relative or a friend of the interviewers.