From Venezuela to Vancouver and Toronto, Alice Chacon's career has already taken her far. Since graduating from the UBC MBA program in 2010, Alice has carved out an exciting career in marketing with financial institutions such as American Express and CIBC in Toronto.
UBC degree: MBA 2010 (Marketing)
Current job: Marketing Manager, Loyalty Rewards, at CIBC (Toronto)
“When I left the Toronto airport, one of the first things I noticed was the number of corporate head offices; you’re surrounded by buildings with big company logos like Johnson & Johnson, Nestle and PepsiCo.”
Exploring a new job market
As an international student from Venezuela, I knew very little about the North American job market when I arrived at Sauder. To learn more about the opportunities available I attended workshops and information sessions hosted by the Hari B. Varshney Business Career Center. I also built strong relationships with my professors and the staff at the career centre so I could be front of mind when new jobs came up.
I soon realized that a career in my chosen field of marketing would be challenging in Vancouver. Opportunities in this sector are not as prevalent in Vancouver as they are in cities like Toronto and New York. However, I was open to exploring job opportunities outside of BC, so I decided to get a foothold in the Ontario job market.
I landed a summer internship with RIM (now Blackberry) in Waterloo. It was a fantastic experience and helped to create momentum for the rest of my career. Some of my peers were reluctant to relocate for their summer internship, but I figured it was the best time to make the move. An internship is a great opportunity to try different roles and relocate on a temporary basis.
Career after Sauder
My internship introduced me to life in Ontario and I loved it. After graduation I moved to Toronto to work as a Senior Marketing Analyst in Card Marketing for American Express. I have since moved on to CIBCwhere I work as Marketing Manager in the Loyalty Rewards department. The role is very analytical and extremely numbers based. I find it very rewarding to work with internal and external partners to get the most value for CIBC customers.
Living in Toronto
Toronto is a fantastic place to live. I’ve met some great people here and have extended my network through the Sauder Business Club of Toronto. As the President of the Sauder Business Club of Toronto, I am involved with a dedicated group of over 300 Sauder alumni who actively participate in fun networking events and offer career support and guidance to one another.
Advice to current students
I encourage all students to get involved while you’re still in school - get the ball rolling before you graduate, establish relationships, and then just keep them going afterwards. Also, don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone and do what’s best for your career.