Where is your home country?
Where do you live now?
What languages do you speak?
English, Spanish, Portuguese
What was the name of your course?
Master of Commerce in Marketing
When did you graduate?
What was the name of your education institution?
Work on traits and characteristics that not only define who you are but also how you are seen by your friends, colleagues and people more senior to you.
Why did you choose to study in this field?
Since graduating college, when social networks were still relatively unknown, I started working for a digital marketing agency, where I had the chance to get a glimpse of what digital was. The academic offering of Macquarie University at a time marketing was heading towards digital was just what I was looking for to learn more about. When I returned to Colombia social media f was getting bigger and most companies and their agencies were trying to figure out how to navigate this new trend, so they were naturally looking for talent able to understand it a little better.
Why did you decide to study in NSW?
After choosing the actual university to study at the next thing was to validate the place it was located at. Macquarie University is conveniently located in a central place in Sydney, where most things happen. Being so far away from home) my friends and I started exploring the life, both as students and on a personal level, discovering everything the city had to offer. It is a fast-paced city environment but also with plenty of things to do in the suburbs. Also, the beaches were a major drawcard for deciding to move to New South Wales as well as attending university with people from all over the world and learning from them.
Tell us about your experience studying in NSW
Since day one at university, I was impacted by all the different types of people that started the same year with us. I knew that from all those diverse backgrounds we were all able to get a great benefit that would boost the education experience. The lecturers and professors were highly knowledgeable, also from different backgrounds, coming from academia and the corporate world.
What was the highlight of your experience living in NSW?
Living in Australia, and particularly in NSW, was a life changing experience for me. We were on 16 hours of time difference to Colombia and 48 hours travel time from there. It was far enough to miss home but to really enjoy everything we could from shopping for groceries to traveling within Australia or even to Asia. I was very fortunate to meet people from across the globe with very different backgrounds, many of which I am still in touch with. Studying, hanging out on the beach, a restaurant or at a party with these people was something that enriched the learning experience.
Did you work or undertake projects with employers or industry groups during your studies? If yes, how did this experience benefit your career?
I started looking for a job before finishing my first semester in NSW. I was hired in Harvey Norman at their Chatswood location and was then noticed by the store manager who found out I was in marketing. He then gave me the chance to implement some local marketing strategies to drive traffic to the store, so I had the opportunity of experiencing real world setting and using the power of digital tools such as Google and Facebook.
What are you doing now in your career?
I currently work for the largest retailer in Colombia. The company is a retailer with goods ranging from groceries, textiles and consumer electronics. I have responsibility for five different retail banners and several other adjacent businesses serving as Marketing Vice-president and CMO. I was hired at the age of 35 and I have the responsibility for every single marketing aspect for our brands. I proudly lead a team of almost 150 people plus 200 more or so in our four agencies. All my previous experience led to me being the youngest person in my position. The most important part of my work is delivering with my team, presenting great performance and key results for our business.
Why did you decide to follow your chosen career path?
This career path is in the making due to landing in the digital marketing scene early in my career. Now, more than just knowing about technical stuff I am able to look at things with a very different perspective than other peers or colleagues. Digital is more a mindset than a specific knowledge. This has been applied and learnt through working as a e-business manager for an airline, when e-commerce was just about to kick off, and a head of advertising sales for Google.
Can you share any career advice for current students or graduates?
It’s not easy to give advice on something this personal, but I would say it is important to seek elements about work that you feel absolutely passionate about and try to excel at them. Not just in technical knowledge but in a more holistic view. No matter what it is growing as a professional is, in large, due to working your personal skills as well. Work on traits and characteristics that not only define who you are but also how you are seen by your friends, colleagues and people more senior to you.