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Meet Luminary Member, Maribel Lara

   

Tell us a bit about yourself! How did you get started with your current career path/business journey?

In 2007 after 8 years working in student development roles at various colleges and universities I decided to go back to school full-time to get my MBA in marketing and management. I was particularly interested in exploring how the then new social media channels were changing the communication landscape and the implications that would have for how we connect with each other.
 
I also wanted an MBA so that if I wanted to in the future, I would have the foundational knowledge on running a business not just marketing it. Graduating in 2009 when we were recovering from the great recession made it difficult for me to get an agency job so I got my start as an independent consulting.
 
By the Fall of 2010 I had enough experience under my belt that I finally got my foot in the door in the agency world. I had to start from the bottom but with some patience and support got the opportunities to show I could take on a lot more.

How are you overcoming challenges during the pandemic as a business owner?

I am not a business owner but as part of the leadership team at The Sasha Group we had to take the time 6 months ago to evaluate how we could continue to provide our services entirely virtually which meant figuring ways of working as a team without being in the same offices.

The work and focus we put in 6 months ago to innovate continues to pay off as we're still operating virtually. We've managed to get the same level of engagement in or our workshops and other offerings and realize that even when we are able to travel it won't be the necessity we thought it was which will result in long lasting cost savings.

What behavior or personality trait do you most attribute your success to, and why?

I chock my success up to keeping perspective on what makes me happy and shifting way from the things that in the long term don't.

What’s a mistake you made early on in your career, and what did you learn from it?

Thinking that just putting my head down and working hard was enough. I learned the hard way that I had to be my biggest, most vocal cheerleader and that I had to go out and recruit the rest of the squad and keep them actively advocating on your behalf.
 

What’s one professional skill you’re currently working on?

Time management. I've never been great at it but I've now been more committed to cracking it. I am getting to the point where I schedule EVERYTHING. What I thought would feel restrictive actually feels freeing because I'm controlling how my time get used rather than being reactive to things as they come due.
 

In what ways are you taking care of your personal well being and what are your #selfcare tips?

I'm listening to my body. It needs more sleep now than it used to and once I realized that it was a whole new world. But sleeping more also meant I couldn't work the hours I was working or I'd be taking time away from my family and friends. I'm less prone to be a workaholic because with the added stress of thinking about what's going on in our society right now, it's just too much to handle. I had to learn to be okay with not being the me I was 6 months ago. This me is good too just different.
 

How are you inviting others to take a seat at the table #virtually?

I continue to connect with the mentees I've fostered over the years and still make myself available to people, particularly women and BIPOC who want to learn about my personal and/or professional experience as they seek to carve their own paths. Sharing our stories is a powerful tool to giving back to our communities.

 

What impact has Luminary made in your career? eg: Business Generated, Revenue, New Clients, Career Connections, Advancement Opportunities 

For sure community. Luminary allows me to connect with women in AND out of my industry which is a valuable contributor to preventing a myopic view of the world. I've found support and enrichment with my fellow Luminaries.

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