QS Scholarship Winner: Career Success and Giving Work in Tandem

Scholarship winner Carlos Gomez

Meaning, impact, results – the full significance of these words, drawn from the concluding statement of Carlos Gomez’s QS Community Scholarship application had threaded their way through the preceding text, painting the story of a career that has been guided by a drive to live purposefully.

Gomez grew up in Mexico, a country where just over 52% of the population lives below the poverty line. Unraveling the causes of the nation’s economic trials is a labyrinthine journey through often conflicting data. However one force striving for good is Mexico’s long-established mandatory service requirement for students enrolled in higher education. The goal of this government program is to build on the awareness of the economic and social issues facing Mexico and to encourage would-be professionals to incorporate social responsibility into their working lives. It was this government program that successfully kick-started Gomez’s involvement in social responsibility and environmental enterprises, beginning with the protection of coral reefs. Since then, he has been spurred on to other social projects which he continues to incorporate into his calendar despite the hectic nature of his MBA study schedule at IE Business School.

A career in marketing launches alongside a dedication to good works  

The initial coral reef project took Gomez from his university studies in marketing in the bustle of Mexico City to the idyllic white sand setting of Akumal on the Yucatán Peninsula. To combat potentially dire consequences on the reef and ecosystem, which would have a knock-on effect on the tourist industry and therefore on the income of local people, Gomez ran a campaign to get the local community to use septic tanks to filter their water. “It was a two-month, intense project during the summer of 2009, in which I had to develop a marketing plan to discourage people from polluting the water of the subterranean rivers that ran through Akumal Bay,” Gomez explains. 

Gomez was, in some ways, an opportunist. By utilizing the marketing skills he had been taught at university and putting them towards a good cause, he created an excellent marketing case to put forward to 20th Century Fox, where he was soon hired as a marketing intern. In the six years that followed graduation, Gomez steadily grew his expertise in strategic planning, marketing and communications, and adapted these skills – post 20th Century Fox – to the requirements of the finance and wealth management sector. Through every juncture and transition of his career, there was a cause that Gomez supported on the side, making social responsibility a kneejerk consideration at every point in his career. While employed as a financial services and promotions analyst for Best Buy, for example, Gomez also volunteered for the company’s brigade to support emergency cases such as earthquakes and fires. He also led Best Buy’s employment satisfaction committee, about which he says, “I was able to combine my professional work with my social commitment to Mexico and the company...I executed monthly integration dynamics, recognition awards between areas and co-workers, and an action plan so every employee could carry out their desired career and development plan.”

While still a financial services analyst, Gomez added Fundación México Vivo to his list of causes, helping the charity fund projects that support people with AIDS and other STIs. He carried this charity work to his next position at American Express where he chose, alongside his new director, to again work towards promoting employee satisfaction within the company. With a healthy six years of work experience now under his belt, Gomez applied and got accepted into the MBA program at IE Business School in Spain, opting for a specialization in market research and consumer behavior. Now living in Madrid and over 9,000 km from home, Gomez continues his work with charities alongside his studies and is also, perhaps unsurprisingly, an ambassador for his MBA class.

Leaders should complement professional life with social impact

Gomez sums his experience to date with the following; “I think that we always have to complement our professional life with social impact. In my perspective, future leaders have not only to focus on being successful, but also on changing how the world works. Giving something back to society can open our eyes to what’s going on and to the fact that people have different needs. Understanding that we are all different but that we each need to share the same space and work together is elemental.”

Gomez, one of this year’s QS Community Scholarship winners and an entering IE Business School MBA reports a successful career in large part due to his choice to embrace the ethics of social responsibility alongside a dedication to formal career progression. Meaning, impact, results; three words Gomez embraces, and three words that can arguably help pave future triumphs.  

Karen Turtle
Written by Karen Turtle

A content writer with a background in higher education, Karen holds an MA in modern languages from the University of St Andrews. Her interests include languages and literature, current affairs and film. ​

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