7 pieces of career advice from HP’s CEO for those just starting out

Some of the lessons Enrique Lores has learned from three decades at the company, where he started as an engineering intern in 1989.

By Sarah Murry — August 23, 2022

More than 200 HP summer interns from around the world tuned in earlier this month to hear career advice from a former HP intern himself: Chief Executive Officer Enrique Lores. 

Lores came from Spain to San Diego as an intern working on printer technology for HP more than three decades ago, kicking off a career that took him to three different continents and a variety of senior level positions in Personal Systems, Print, Industrial, and Services businesses. 

“I have had the opportunity to work almost in every business, across every function of the company,” Lores says. “For me, it has been a great journey.” 

The ability to take on different roles, challenges, and live in different locales is “part of the reason I have stayed with the company for so long,” Lores says. “I never dreamed I would end up being the CEO.”

HP interns — university students who chimed in from Costa Rica, Spain, Texas, Idaho, and California — asked everything from how he’s leveraged his technical background (Lores holds an electrical engineering degree from the Polytechnic University of Valencia) to what he’s reading right now (a Spanish noir mystery).


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Huzaifa Ambakhutwala, an R&D security software intern in Spring, Texas, asked Lores about the tradeoffs of pursuing a technical career versus climbing the corporate ladder. 

“Is it better to stay lower in the hierarchy and do more innovative things with technology?” he asked. 

Lores rebutted that he doesn’t find the managerial parts of his role as less interesting than the technical aspects. His background in engineering prepared him for the collaborative problem-solving he does every day.

Enique Lores as an intern at HP.


Enique Lores as an intern at HP.

“In my case, I enjoy problem-solving, I enjoy working with teams, I enjoy defining the vision of the company and mobilizing different teams to execute on it,” he says.

Lores explains that the direction of a person’s career trajectory is “a question that each person will need to answer differently.”

Below are some other gems for those just launching their career journeys.

Deliver on your goals, build your reputation

“The first thing you need to do is deliver and meet the goals of whatever job you are doing. You will build a reputation for yourself and there will be others who will see this and be willing to hire you into other organizations.”

Learn from the job, whatever it is

“I have mostly learned on the job and learned from great people. Learning is the most important thing, because it really is the best way to make sure that you continue to grow your value.” 

Don’t underestimate teamwork

“Building on your ability to define a common objective, to compromise, and to really focus on problem-solving — rather than on being right — is so important when you work on a big project.”

Redefine your ‘passion’ for the role

“Every job has some good and some bad aspects. It’s really easy to like the good things, but you also need to enjoy solving the problems. To do any job well, you really need to feel passion in doing it — all of it. Only if you enjoy something will you be able to do it extremely well.”

Be soft on people … but tough on problems

“I don’t know anybody at the company who comes to their job and tries to do it wrong. Every employee needs to be recognized, supported, and challenged — but challenged in a positive and constructive way. Empathy has become one of the key leadership principles. At the same time, we are working on difficult problems and it’s important to be tough on them. Make sure your teams understand what they’re up against in detail.” 

Make time for those you love

“It has been always a big priority for me to make sure that, despite having a busy schedule, I help my children grow and learn, and that we really spend time together as a family.”

Imagination is your only limit

“Something really important is to believe, always, that anything is possible. I really believe that the only limits we have are the limits of our imagination.”


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