Rafael began his professional career in 1980 consulting for public and private companies. He collaborated with large companies such as Procter & Gamble and Sabritas, and in the financial field with GBM. At the end of 1988, he joined CESSA as the director of administration and finance; in 1998, he was appointed general director of the institution and, in 2014, he was appointed rector, a position he held until mid-2020. During his tenure, high-level, pioneering programs were developed in Mexico, the Lisa and Llana certification was obtained through FIMPES, and the institution achieved international recognition through various exchange agreements and academic accreditation with similar institutions in France, Switzerland, USA, Italy, China, United Arab Emirates, and New Zealand, so that its graduates can perform professionally on five continents. In addition, he was decorated as a Knight of the Order of Academic Palms in 2018.