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“Being aware of the fact that I could make my passion my career, pushed me to continue on this path”

We have interviewed the alumni Andrés Felipe León Fierro, a former student at the Real Madrid Graduate School - Universidad Europea.

The Master Degree in Health and Physical Activity is oriented to design specific training programmes and to improve the lifestyle of wide groups of the population. The practice of sports in Spain has grown considerably. Do you think that there has been a mindset change when it comes to having an active lifestyle in order to improve overall health?
I think that the change is not only visible in Spain but worldwide. Nowadays there’s stronger evidence of the actual benefits of leading an active lifestyle. Our body was built to be active, to move… However, I believe that there is still a long way to go when it comes to changing the mindset of the population when it comes to the importance of exercise and creating more public policies about it. 
How would you describe your current work? 
I am currently part of the Metabolic Center of the Medical Systems at the San Francisco University, which is a group formed by doctors of several disciplines, nutritionists and psychologists that are looking into giving a multidisciplinary treatment to people who are suffering from non-transferable metabolic and chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes or hypertension with a special focus on prescribing exercise and suitable nutrition adapted to each of their pathologies.
In Sociedad Deportiva Aucas I work hard looking for ways to improve the performance of the football players, help the younger ones and prevent injuries.

Which challenges do you face as a professional when it comes to applying therapies to high-performance athletes?

There are various challenges, and for me, the most important one is injury prevention, as well as the improvement of performance and the creation of scientific protocols of the various pathologies that can be present in professional athletes. 
What is it that you like the most about the physical activity world?

The fact that, with your own efforts and by taking the habit of practicing sports, you can reach a great life quality and it can have a great impact on the population in general. Knowing that with adequate guidance and with sports prescriptions you can prevent some illnesses like sedentariness and obesity.

Furthermore, practicing regular physical activity can help to educate children and teenagers, as it can teach commitment, discipline, and many other values.
What are the main reasons behind your decision to become a professional in the sports industry and for choosing the real Madrid Graduate School – Universidad Europea?
For my whole life, I’ve been passionate about physical activity and sports. Knowing that I can make my passion my career, was the final push I needed to follow this path.

Choosing to be part of the Real Madrid Graduate School – Universidad Europea was a decision that changed my life, widened my horizons, meet new people… The classmates I’ve met have taught me a lot, adding even more value to this wonderful experience at the school. 
Did you ever dream of being where you are today, doing what you’re doing? 
Somehow yes. I had clear objectives and goals and I still have them. More than dreaming about being where I am today, I think that what got me here is all the effort, discipline and working hard toward reaching those dreams and working every day to reach them. I know there are still some paths to be walked, but I’m still working on them. 
How has the school helped you in your career path? 
The school has helped me in many ways. You acquire a different point of view of many things. However, I think that the most relevant thing that I’ve learned is to apply scientific evidence in my daily work. It has changed entirely the way I work with my patients.

What do you miss the most about the school?

How easy it was for students to join groups and work teams doing serious investigation work, and the great relationship with the great chair of professors the school has. 
What’s the tip you’ve never forgotten? 
More than a tip, it was a series of experiences, many small details that still today I value and treasure.

Which message would you give the students and professionals of the sports industry joining the master this year?

To make the most of every single moment. To have clear objectives and goals in mind, and to work relentlessly until they reach them.

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