SLU-Madrid Alumni Share Expert Career Advice
Recent SLU-Madrid graduates returned to campus to advise current students on how to launch their professional careers at the 10th annual Expert Alumni Roundtable. Paula Móvil ’12 (Communication), Catalina Carnicero ‘12 (Communication), and Maitane Aramburu ’16 (International Business) shared significant personal experiences and useful tips on establishing a career path.
Paula Móvil, who now works as the lifestyle editor at Conde Nast (Spain), explained that she carved out a career in the competitive world of journalism by starting a food blog and immersing herself in the journalistic culinary world, which includes attending restaurant openings and magazine events and keeping up with the latest trends. She started as the Madrid editor of Plateselector.com and has written for numerous publications, including Tapas, vogue.es, El País’ annual restaurant guide and Vanity Fair. Móvil advises, “I think the 'secret' to working in what you like is to create your own job. At first it is frustrating and might seem like it leads to nowhere, but if you get your name out there, knock on doors and promote yourself, eventually someone will think of you for jobs.”
Catalina Carnicero initially pursued her passion for art history after graduating. While working at Christie’s in London, she discovered that she wanted art to be her hobby, not her job, and decided to pursue the marketing areas she learned about at SLU-Madrid. She transitioned to Grupo VIPS as a product developer, then later launched Wagamama’s entry into the Spanish market and helped TGI Fridays introduce and market new products. She currently works as a marketing specialist for the Starbucks brand. Carnicero stresses that, in the business world, she quickly learned what is important: “cuentas no cuentos,” meaning numbers are more important than telling stories.
Before her first job interview at Banco Santander, Maitane Aramburu called and canceled. Luckily, the interviewer told her to give it a chance and come anyway. Only a short time after landing a job in the middle office, she was asked to take on the role of junior business development specialist. Aramburu’s experience at Santander showed her that in the working world, a curve in the road may lead to another opportunity. She reflects, “Sometimes your plan changes suddenly, but it might help you get to the next position.” She believes that SLU-Madrid helped her stand out among other job candidates due to her experience as a campus ambassador, volunteer, member of the Student Government Association, and as a study-abroad student at the St. Louis campus.
Despite the different career paths chosen, all three graduates agreed that SLU-Madrid prepared them to work with an array of people and to see the bigger picture in a globalized society.