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SLU-Madrid Alumni Share Expert Career Advice

by Katie Gortz on 03/16/2021

Recent SLU-Madrid graduates shared advice with current students on how to launch their professional careers at the 11th annual Expert Alumni Roundtable, held virtually this year. Katelin Huber '20 (International Business), Paula Otero '18 (International Business and Economics), and Jorge Serrano '20 (International Business and Economics) discussed their personal experiences and offered useful tips on establishing a career path.

11th Annual Expert Alumni Roundtable

From left: Katelin Huber '20 (International Business), Jorge Serrano Fernández '20 (International Business and Economics) and Paula Otero ‘18 (International Business and Economics) took part in the 11th annual Expert Alumni Roundtable, held via Zoom this year. SLU-Madrid graduates – now successful professionals – prove to be a valuable resource in learning how to launch a career and excel in it.

After graduating from SLU-Madrid in December of 2020, Katelin Huber's job search coincided with the onset of the global pandemic. Despite the challenging job market, she persevered, received many offers, and ultimately accepted an offer from Email Meter. As a student, she worked remotely on a data analytics project through Appen and completed a management consulting internship at GP Group and a business development internship at Wedge Global, a marine energy firm. Huber explained in detail what students should do to look for jobs, including the keywords to use when searching on online platforms. She described the current interview process, which typically starts with a phone interview that incorporates behavioral questions, followed by skills tests, video interviews that use artificial intelligence for assessment, and case study exercises, all before sitting down for a face-to-face interview. She stressed the importance of researching the company, the position and even the person who will interview you before embarking on the process.

Before graduating from SLU-Madrid with a double major in international business and economics, Jorge Serrano Fernández interned at Babor Cosmetics and Master Tennis and Paddle Academy, and launched his own company, WeDemClothes. A hardworking entrepreneur, he moved to Lyon, France, after graduating to launch a new business with the pandemic in full force. While this did not work out, he learned an important lesson that he shared with students – the importance of working for a business prior to starting your own. He returned to Spain and now works as an account manager for Amazon. Serrano is relishing the learning opportunities he now has at Amazon and thriving in his position. He actually connected for the roundtable from the road, as he had spent the day meeting with Amazon clients in Extremadura. He urged students not to get discouraged even though times are hard, and to remember to appreciate and build on what they already have.

As a SLU-Madrid student, Paula Otero interned at the British Embassy in Madrid, where she combined her passions for political science and business. The internship led to a full-time job after graduation as private office assistant to the British Ambassador in Madrid. Otero discussed how she came into her own and honed her communication skills in this position. "I dealt with people at all levels of hierarchy at institutions and from other countries. It was important that I treated each person the same way," she explained.  "Also, I was quite young and had to demonstrate that I was professional and knowledgeable." She now works at IE University's Corporate Innovation program, known as IE Rockets. As she noted, her career path demonstrates important points for students who are beginning to plan their careers, such as finding internships as soon as possible and being strategic.  

Despite the different career paths chosen, all three graduates expressed how thankful they were that SLU-Madrid prepared them to work with an array of people and to see the bigger picture in a globalized society.