Alejandra Sotelo (MSc ‘19): “Because of the size of the company, the impact of your work is difficult to measure”
A great leap forward as a professional
You are currently the Digital Marketing Manager at Silence Urban Ecomobility. What does this career change mean for you? What attracts you to this new challenge?
It is a big change, both professionally and personally. After finishing the MIM at Esade, my number-one option was to work abroad to gain personal and professional experience. I took it as a 360° challenge. And I did it – I spent nearly three years working at Google in Dublin, Ireland. Google was a great opportunity – the chance to get to know one of the top companies in technology, data, software and digitalisation was nothing short of amazing. However, from the start of the adventure, it was clear to me that at some point I wanted to migrate to a role where I could make decisions and have a bigger impact on the business.
How did you learn from experience at a company like Google?
I learned so much from Google. First, I gained an understanding of how the digital ecosystem works and the key ingredients to generate online business: tracking, traceability, data analysis, user experience, clarity in objectives and KPIs, etc. I also came to understand the most common challenges and opportunities in the online world. And I also learned the difference between the challenges faced by large companies and those faced by small companies.
Second, I learned how an American company like Google works, not only as a business but also culturally. That was very enriching. The importance they place on employee welfare and the number of internal diversity-promotion initiatives are great things that you take away just from working there.
What are the pros and cons of working at a multinational? And how does it compare to working at a small but fast-growing company?
The pros of working at Google are, firstly, a great culture. Beyond the American culture, the camaraderie at Google is extraordinary. Everyone helps each other. Secondly, there was very good work-life balance and very good pay. And thirdly, you have all the opportunities in the world. I always felt that I could do pretty much whatever I wanted. It was up to me.
Of course, there are also downsides. Although Google has very good promotion processes, at any big company it is more difficult to climb the ladder. It’s not enough to just do well in your role. Also, because of the size of the company, the impact of your work is often difficult to measure. It is also difficult to have a global perspective on the company. My EMEA Sales team alone was around 2,000 people. There are so many teams and so many people. Either you know your way around, or understanding the structure can be a challenge.
I need more time to identify the pros and cons of working at a small, high-growth company. But I think it would not be wrong to say that the pros and cons of a big company are the cons and pros of a small company that is growing very quickly. For me, the pros are as follows: there is a lot more agility, things happen only if you push for them, and you have a much broader view of the business.
“My goal is to settle in at Silence and launch the digital part as well as I can. There is a long way to go in terms of digital marketing, and I will be the first to grow in this direction”
What are your medium-term goals? To keep developing your digital marketing skills?
I don’t set very distant goals for myself. For now, my goal is to settle in at Silence and launch the digital part as well as I can, which is already a big challenge! There is a long way to go in terms of digital marketing, and I will be the first to grow in this direction, in parallel with Silence. Once we have achieved this, we’ll see what comes next.
At the service of society
You earned an MSc in International Management at Esade. How did your time at the school shape your education?
For me, Esade was a well-rounded experience. It’s one of those experiences that mean a lot, both personally and professionally. On a personal level, it was great to be able to share a year with international colleagues. Like Google, Esade helped me to open my mind and understand the world we live in a little better. On the professional side, I think Esade was the perfect complement to my previous training as an industrial engineer. Without a doubt, it’s what I needed to take my training to the next level. I’m not saying this as a compliment to the school, but I truly believe that I never would have been able to work at Google without having studied at Esade.
“I never would have been able to work at Google without having studied at Esade”
How did Esade Alumni help you when you decided to move to Dublin?
During the interview process, Esade put me in contact with ex-Googlers, which was very useful to get a feel for the company. Once in Dublin, I joined the alumni group there, which is always useful when you start out in a new city.
You are on the board of the Esade Alumni Marketing Club. Why did you decide to get involved in the club?
My aunt has been in the club for several years. She encouraged me to join. Knowing that at some point I would return to Barcelona and that I wanted to be connected to the world of marketing, it was a very good opportunity. The key point was the members of the club, who have a more senior profile. I am still very junior and have a lot to learn, so I thought it would be the perfect forum. .
What does the alumni network give to young people, and what can you contribute to the community?
Through Esade Alumni, I think we have the opportunity to stay connected and keep learning. Most of the association’s initiatives are focused on current affairs, trends, etc. For me, it is another source of information and content that allows me to stay abreast of what is happening in the world. We young people can certainly contribute a fresher vision that is more in tune with the new generations. I believe that the mix of young people and senior professionals can give very fruitful. They have more experience, while we are more sensitive to what today’s generations want or are interested in.