Launching a U.S. Business Career
Omar Heredia Consumer Marketing Academy
Students go through a four-phase process to help them discover the right career, improve their networking and interviewing, and prepare to perform on the job.
Omar Heredia was in a position many MBAs would envy. Just a couple years out of school, he was already working as a brand manager for marketer and distributor Maxxium, home of Jim Beam, Remy Martin cognac, and other leading liquor brands.
Omar loved the work, but he craved bigger challenges. “Because the cost of doing business is higher in the United States, marketing has to be that much more effective,” he explains. “Decisions have to be informed by extensive research and careful strategy.”
He chose Kelley because of the school’s strong consumer marketing program. He also found a Kelley career coach who offered sound advice on managing the transition to a U.S.-based career.
The reality is only a small number of U.S. companies are willing to consider international candidates. So Omar spent his first weeks in Bloomington researching which consumer products companies hired MBAs from outside the United States. That whittled down his list of prospective employers to a manageable size.
Next, he reached out to Kelley alumni at those companies to speak candidly about their culture and whether he would be a good fit. That knocked a few more companies off the list. He visited the remaining organizations in person on student treks with the Consumer Marketing Academy.
Once it was time to interview for a summer internship, Omar focused on just six companies. Because his research was so thorough, however, he felt confident that they were right for him—and he was right for them. He received an offer from the first company he interviewed with, Colgate-Palmolive. He spent the summer developing a global marketing strategy for one of their products and did well enough to be offered a full-time position after graduation.
His advice to other international MBAs: Start thinking of your background as a competitive advantage, not a disadvantage. “Because you’re from outside the United States, you have a different perspective,” he says. “Once you target the companies that are looking for that kind of experience, it’s easy to tell your story effectively.”