Porsche comes to FIU for project management know-how


Every year, as president and managing director of Porsche Latin America, Inc., George Wills helps plan his team’s shared learning experience. He seeks out a training opportunity that can be tailored to meet the needs of each member of his team, from interns and novices to seasoned experts. He is particularly selective about the program he chooses, since he makes it a point to participate.

“I never ask anyone to do something I wouldn’t do myself,” said Wills, who started his career as a mechanic and now oversees every aspect of Porsche Latin Americas’ operation, from sales to supplier relations, in 23 different countries—with 23 different cultures.

This year, Wills wanted a project management training program that would deliver an engaging experience for more 40 employees, interns and contractors based out of Miami. The additional challenge: providing an educational experience that would satisfy colleagues with varying levels of expertise. Some work daily in project management; others barely use the tools.

After looking at several programs, he came to FIU Business’ Executive and Professional Education (EPE) department. EPE faculty and staff customized its Professional Training Development Program to meet the needs of attendees.

The result, Wills said, was all he had hoped for.

George Wills (at left) with program participants
George Wills (at left) with program participants

The first set of employees who attended the training, delivered through two two-day programs scheduled a week apart, came away with specific tools they could quickly put to use. The first group also teased the second group of co-workers who had not yet attended yet that they would not “spoil the surprise”—an indication that fun and engagement had been built into the training.

For Wills, whose team frequently participates in philanthropic engagement activities, the feedback indicated great success.

“I strongly believe this training has helped us at all levels,” Wills said. “We have varying levels of skills, and everyone was engaged, which perfectly fits what we needed.”

Sitting in FIU’s Faculty Club, where the team members enjoyed lunch, Wills also noted that the location of the program was a plus: “We liked the idea of bringing everyone onto the FIU campus.”

Rosangel Quintero, program director of EPE, worked closely with Wills and his team to tailor the program to Porsche Latin America’s needs.

As a testament to the success achieved with this first custom program, Porsche Latin America, Inc. has expressed interest in establishing a long-term commitment with EPE as their strategic learning partner of choice.