Name: Mariana González Parásswiss_school_of_management_Mariana González Parás_1
Place of work: Johnson & Johnson Mexico
Graduation year: 2014
Current Job: Brand Manager

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
My father owns a very small Public Opinion agency, in 5 years I want to be in charge of that agency and transform it into a full-service Marketing Research agency conducting both quantitative and qualitative studies for public and private companies in Mexico.

So you finished classes in 2014 Tell us about your experience after your MBA Program.
After one of the best years in my life studying abroad at SSM Rome, I came back home with a new vision of how businesses work, and with great ambition to boost my professional career. Finding a job wasn’t hard; I received more than 3 offers from transnational companies who found my professional and academic experience relevant and valuable. I consider myself lucky because the unemployment rate in Mexico is very high, but having a Masters’ degree is a real differentiator, and the skills I was able to develop helped me to not only perform well at business interviews but actually to bring value to my job.

What skillset do you need to do your job?
Being a Brand Manager requires a bunch of different skills, such as leadership, decision making, networking, frustration tolerance, among others.

How has your MBA helped you in your current position?
I was offered a managerial position at a very young age (27 years old), my earnings are now 110% higher than my last position before studying the master. The MBA helped me develop even more my analytical skills, in order to understand the financial impact of any marketing activity I plan for my brand.

What are your future plans?
I would like to consolidate my position as a Marketing Brand Manager in the following 3 years, and afterwards I look forward to take the leadership of my father’s small Public Opinion Agency in order to grow the business offering new services to new clients, transforming it into a certified Marketing Research agency.

If you could describe your experience in Rome during your MBA how would you sum it up?
Living in Rome is the most enriching experience I have lived; it is the capital of culture and gelato, two of my biggest passions. SSM gave me the opportunity to learn from top entrepreneurs who go beyond theory and really teach with their life experiences: former Wall Street traders, bankers, hotel partners… I also met great friends from all across the world, which has now provided me of an international network of professionals who purse the same goals that I do.

Can you share an experience that is most memorable with relation to the MBA program?
One of the best memories I have from the program was the Adventure Day. After a few weeks of classes, we spent a whole day at an adventure park in Rome learning how to take the best out of ourselves while working in teams to reach different goals. I overcame fears that I didn’t even know I had, I helped my classmates overcome their own, and the relationship we built that day lasts until today.

What was your favorite class in the program and why?
Negotiation, because I had always considered myself as a weak negotiator, but I learned there are techniques that guarantee success if you know how to use them. Live performances were fun, and feedback from the class was very valuable.

What advice would you give newcomers to the MBA program or for those interested?
For those who are interested, go for it. It seems hard to leave everything in order to pursue an MBA, especially if you want to study abroad, but the time to do it is now, because the personal and professional growth you will experience, and the opportunity to live in the most beautiful city in the world goes beyond any job (or anything) that is holding you back. Plus, investing in education pays back every time.

What do you think differentiates this MBA from other MBA programs?
The focus they give to presentation skills. The first classes I was evaluated, I was so nervous to receive feedback from my teacher and classmates that I thought the whole class could hear my heartbeats. However, after putting in practice the advices they gave me, I improved dramatically my presentation skills, especially in English, which now has provided me of a competitive advantage Vs my peers. This exercises also helped me receive any kind of feedback in a much better way.