Maria Oxapampa on the beach at sunset.

MS Marketing Student Spotlight: Maria Tudelo-Proano

Maria Tudelo-Proano is graduating from the MS Marketing program this summer. She shares how the program has supplemented her previous work experience to further her career.

Maria Oxapampa overlooks a valley.

Overlooking a valley in Lima, Peru.

Q: What is your background?

Tudelo-Proano: “I studied business administration at the University of Lima. I always had this idea of going abroad for a master’s degree. I wanted to experience student life in a new place, live on my own, meet people from different countries and step out of my comfort zone. It was something I really wanted to do, and I was excited about the possibilities it could bring. After working for four years in marketing, I decided it was an excellent time to study for a master’s degree. I knew I wanted to specialize in this area, so I chose the MS Marketing program. I chose UF because of its prestige and because I wanted to have the experience in Florida.

“A little bit about Peru: I love my country. It is a multicultural country known for being one of the most varied in the world. What I love most about living here is that Lima is an incredibly dynamic city. It offers a little bit of everything, catering to a wide range of interests. Peruvian gastronomy is internationally recognized. The flavors, unique ingredients and fusions are three things that are characteristic of Peruvian food. My favorite dishes are ceviche, lomo saltado, aji de gallina and arroz tapado with Inca Kola.”

Q: Why did you join the MS Marketing program?

Tudelo-Proano: “From the beginning, I was attracted by the variety of courses offered by the marketing program and the opportunity they give you to customize the curriculum according to your interests and goals. For example, you can choose marketing courses focused only on analytics or a combination such as branding, new product development or general marketing considerations. In addition, the electives are also quite varied and from different fields such as management, legal, economics, systems, finance or real estate. This variety and flexibility allow you to adapt the program to your interests and goals. I finally chose UF because I like Florida and this is one of the best universities and because I have uncles who did their undergraduate and MBA here, as well.”

Q: What are your best memories from your time in the program?

Tudelo-Proano: “One of my best memories of the program and of Gainesville was the opportunity to meet and connect with people from different countries. During my time there, I was fortunate to be part of a fantastic group of Latino students who became very close friends. The experience of going to games was incredible; it was my first time going. Overall, I enjoyed the student experience on campus and was amazed by the sense of belonging and community.”

Q: Did you have work experience prior to joining the program?

Tudelo-Proano: “During my professional career, I gained experience in the marketing field through two internships and one meaningful job. My first internship was in the marketing department of Hasbro, where I immersed myself in various marketing activities and gained a general understanding.

“Then I had the opportunity to do a second internship in trade marketing at AB InBev. My most significant work experience was at HP Inc., where I worked as a marketing specialist for the last four years. During this time, I specialized in the printing and supplies categories. I coordinated and executed various promotions and marketing campaigns for B2B and B2C, adapting them to different seasonalities such as Back-to-School, Mother’s Day, Halloween and Christmas.

“In addition, I had the opportunity to plan and execute trade shows and activations in physical and virtual environments and organize client and press events. I also managed loyalty plans for business customers and key accounts. At HP Inc., I learned to develop a comprehensive marketing plan, defining clear objectives, communication strategies, the right marketing mix and effective tactical actions tropicalized to the Peruvian consumer and market. Throughout these experiences, I have acquired key marketing skills, such as strategic planning, campaign execution, event management and coordination of promotional activities. These experiences gave me a solid foundation for understanding the marketing landscape.”

Q: What are your career plans after graduation?

Tudelo-Proano: “Upon graduation, I will be moving back to Lima, Peru. I love marketing, so I will look for job opportunities in this area, specifically in marketing or trade marketing. However, I am still deciding whether I would like to return to the technology industry, where I have gained previous experience, or explore new opportunities in the mass consumer sector. I am very excited for everything new to come and to be able to put into practice everything I have learned.”

Q: Any advice for incoming international students?

Tudelo-Proano: “Make the most of the experience. First, I recommend they look for clubs and student groups that interest them; it is the easiest way to meet new people. Also, I would tell them to attend the events organized by the Hough Ambassadors. And, finally, tour the campus. It is enormous and one of the nicest I have seen. You can find a variety of facilities and green spaces. The campus has a lot to discover, like accessible areas, libraries, faculties, residences and sports facilities. The infrastructure is beautiful; there are always events inside the campus, like activities, conferences or presentations. Lastly, I would tell them to live the student experience by taking advantage of the university’s different resources and opportunities.”

A woman sits on her bike in front of a gate.

Biking in Lima, Peru.

Q: Tell us one cool fact about yourself.

Tudelo-Proano: “I love to ride my bike alone or with friends; my favorite part is being able to stop for breakfast or coffee in a lovely cafe in Lima. My dream is to one day have my own brand. During this year away from Peru, I missed Peruvian food so much that when I traveled to New York, I ate at Peruvian restaurants for four consecutive days.”