Joanna Herrera, ’15, graduated from the Robins School looking for a job in marketing, but never expected it would be within the fintech industry.

“I never would have imagined myself at a financial firm. But there’s been so much that I’ve been able to do here and leverage what I learned at the business school,” said Joanna Herrera, ’15.

She is now managing web strategy for multiple countries in Latin America for BlackRock, a financial planning and investment management firm in New York, N.Y.

“I grew up in a Spanish speaking home, my family is Guatemalan,” Herrera said. "And many times during meetings, I’m able to speak to my colleagues based in Latin America in Spanish. It’s such a strong connector as you start to build relationships with people across the firm.”

She joined the Latin America team in October as the web program manager for Latin American business, managing five websites across the region, informing digital strategy.

“I work on building out the digital user experience, keeping simplicity and scale in mind,” Herrera said. “We set the strategy, then execute on it.”

She took the Business in Latin America course with George Hiller, lecturer of international business, and says she’s used her interaction with those clients to inform her decision making now.

“I was able to leverage some of those experiences on my resume and in job interviews during undergrad. It has proven beneficial,” Herrera said.

She says in that course she learned that every company and demographic segment require specific plans, and she keeps that in mind every day.

“My team adapts for different markets, because what works in one place might not work in another,” Herrera said.

Hiller says he knew from Herrara’s time in class that she would be prepared to work with international clients outside of the classroom.

“Joanna was always up for a challenge, eager to expand her knowledge, and make new professional contacts,” Hiller said.

He also worked closely with her when she pursued her first position at BlackRock, as the majority of her experience was in marketing.

“I helped her prepare for her interviews, and she landed the job,” Hiller said. “She aims high, works hard, is well-prepared, and then just goes for it. That’s always a recipe for success.”

Herrera says Hiller’s class was not the only component of her success. She also credits the Center for Professional Skills and Development at the Robins School for helping her land her position.

“I think the Robins School prepares you for life after graduation in a unique way,” Herrera said, “Attending Q-camp, networking with clients, pitching proposals, having that hands-on exposure; they all make a real difference.”

Since graduation, Herrera has participated as a guest speaker in Hiller’s business in Latin America class.

“She is eager to give back to the Robins School,” Hiller said. “She made a terrific presentation on digital marketing in Latin America to my class this semester. Now, several of my current students have established a relationship with her to discuss international marketing opportunities. I am extremely grateful for her commitment.”

Hiller’s students are wrapping up their consulting project with Hamilton Beach, a Richmond-based appliance company. They are presenting their strategies for market-entry into Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, and Peru. You can read about their findings in our May newsletter.