Embrace Change; Don't Be Afraid of the Challenges Headshot

María José Galeano Mongelós

MSc Entrepreneurship and Innovation 2018

Senior Innovation Consultant, EY

Thanks to her MSc and the confidence and consultancy experience it gave her, Maria from Paraguay has changed her career direction and is now an innovation consultant with EY.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Edinburgh Business School?

I was interested in an entrepreneurship and innovation programme, and I had a scholarship to study in the UK. Of all the different programmes I researched and applied for, the University of Edinburgh was my first option. I liked the consulting projects and the option courses that the programme offered. I had also been to Edinburgh before and had fallen in love with it.

Tell us about your career path before and after graduating.

I am a lawyer and I knew I wanted to change my career path. I started working with different projects and startups in Paraguay, and that is why I decided I wanted to study entrepreneurship and innovation. I found something I was very passionate about and I wanted to learn more about it.

After graduating it was very hard to find a job in the innovation area in Paraguay, but after a few months, and a business case presented to a board of partners, I started working at EY. I started as an innovation consultant and my challenge was to start developing the innovation department in Paraguay. After a year I got in to a Fellowship programme with the LAS region (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay) where we developed an internal innovation challenge for the region. Today, I work 70% of the time for the Americas Region at the new Americas Innovation Business Unit of EY, and the rest of the time I’m developing the innovation department in Paraguay, which is starting to grow.

Beyond this, I am also working as a volunteer at Shaping Horizons, which is a registered open method developed to foster social innovation and diplomacy.

How did your degree prepare you for your future career?

Actually, it did everything. First, it helped me to feel confident about starting a completely different career path. The consulting projects helped me gain experience and knowledge about how to develop and present consultancy work and how to work with different types of clients. Everything was new for me, and all the classes I took prepared me for what I am doing today. I even took an extra class and couldn’t be happier with that decision. I am an innovation consultant who studied innovation: I don’t think I could be luckier!

What key thing that you learnt at the Business School do you still rely on today?

Outside the consulting skills which are very helpful for my job, I undertook the Professional Development programme at the Business School, where I learned about priority management and making decisions, and that has helped me a lot since. Something I loved from my class was the diversity. I learnt so much from working with a very diverse group, and today I truly believe diverse teams are the best asset.

What is your proudest work-related achievement to date?

To be part of the new EY Americas Innovation Business Unit, and to have developed the innovation department in Paraguay.

Tell us about any recent involvement with the Business School and what you have gained from being involved?

I participated in a panel with other alumni, where we shared our experience after the masters. Being able to hear their stories and listening to the questions and comments from the students was very insightful. Having these networking events and keeping connected to the Business School, creating a community where we can still learn, is a great opportunity.

If you could offer one piece of advice to current students, what would it be?

Embrace change; don’t be afraid of the challenges. Take advantage of every class you have, and if you want to take another one, and you have the time, do it, learn from all the teachers you can. Make a lot of friends, as they will be your new family. And finally, enjoy the most beautiful city in the world. That is one thing you will always miss!

I am an innovation consultant who studied innovation: I don’t think I could be luckier!