Episode 2 - “Introducing Mariana Thomas - Part 2.”

In this episode, you'll get to know a little bit more about Mariana as she left high school and continued on this journey that's brought her here today as a leader, a Certified Yoga, Pilates, Mindfulness teacher, and a Certified Coach. Interviewed by her good friend, Steve Simpson.

4:14 - Entering college and shared a little confession about not wanting to be a lawyer, and went for her chosen field instead - Human Resources.

5:41 - How she managed her time as a working student

7:50 - Landing her first corporate job.

11:15 - The value of working for Human Resources while in school

"You know what it taught me?  Commitment, responsibility, and that you can accomplish anything you want. That it was POSSIBLE." 

Having work experience before finishing school was a huge advantage and allowed her to take on bigger roles.

14:14 - Herself discovery working at a bigger company and having a boss that became very influential to her.

17:52 - Her new job as the Head of the HR Department and how she made an impact on the company by implementing her knowledge and experience. She created these programs that became her legacy:

  • Tied up with a health company and set up a Fitness Day for Women every six months

  • She came up with teams where families played football and ping pong every Sunday, to encourage everyone to stay healthy, build teamwork and increase connections.

  • Christmas party and birthday celebrations for the employees to honor them.

  • She created a scholarship for the members of the company, a chance for education and to learn something new.

Make sure to subscribe to this podcast, and watch out for Episode 3!

 

Mindfully Recharged Podcast by Mariana Thomas
http://mindfullyrecharged.com/

Buzzsprout podcast link: http://mindfullyrecharged.marianathomas.com/

Apple podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/in/podcast/mindfully-recharged-with-mariana-thomas/id1540285007

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/3b1IfgnP3uCpEFOPHzlACN?si=lhViiwSbRVC7BE7CxpbPxw

Amazon music: https://www.amazon.com/Mindfully-Recharged-with-Mariana-Thomas/dp/B08JJQZ792/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=mindfully+recharged&qid=1605818730&sr=8-1

Visit my Website and subscribe to my mailing list!
https://www.marianathomas.com/

7 Days of Healthy Habits Workbook
https://www.marianathomas.com/courses

Follow me on Instagram!
https://instagram.com/the_real_mariana_thomas

Transcript:

EPISODE 2

Steve  0:22  

Hello, everyone. Thanks for joining us on the mindfully recharged podcast with Marianna Thomas. I'm your host for this episode as I was for the previous My name is Steve Simpson. This is Episode Two of Marianas podcast. And in the first episode, we got to know a little bit about Mariana and her background gro

EPISODE 2

Steve  0:22  

Hello, everyone. Thanks for joining us on the mindfully recharged podcast with Marianna Thomas. I'm your host for this episode as I was for the previous My name is Steve Simpson. This is Episode Two of Marianas podcast. And in the first episode, we got to know a little bit about Mariana and her background growing up in Colombia, how she got into fitness and, and the loss of her mom and how that shaped her life and everything. And we're gonna continue to a little background on Mariana and this episode, get to know a little bit more about her as she left high school and, and continued on this journey that's brought her here today as a leader, a fitness instructor and a life coach.

And so with that, Mariana Welcome back. Here we go. 


0

Mariana:

I am so excited to be here again. Here we go with Episode Two. And before we continue, I just want to say thank you to my friend, Steve, my very good friend who is taking the time to do this with me, for you guys. So you guys get to know who I am, my journey and a little bit about this podcast and how we get to function here. And I think that when people are talking to you, you want to know who they are. So this is my way of connecting with you from the inside out.


Steve 1:56  

Definitely. And it's always good to connect with people on a personal level and your story is the best way to connect with people. As you and I both know from our previous mentor john Maxwell…that's good stuff. Well, Mariana, like I said last time, we left off a little bit right after you'd finished high school and you were moving on to the next phase of your life. So why don't we just pick up there and tell us a little bit about what happened going forward? As you entered your 20s? 

 

Mariana:

Yeah, so I finished high school and that was awesome. I was so relieved. Oh, my God. I was like, Yes, I did it. I did this thing. I was super excited to finish high school and to see what was next? What was next in my life. And next was college, right? Next was the college. And I remember my father wanted me to be a lawyer. And so and a little confession, you guys, so I went in and applied to be a lawyer.

But I didn't really want to be a lawyer. Deep down in my heart. I knew that was not what I wanted to do, even though I can debate. So if you made me debate, I can do that. And I think that's why my dad wanted me to be a lawyer because I was always debating with him. So, this particular college is set to my application. But that's when I did my first white lie. I have to confess here with you guys, that I hid up, I just kind of hide my results. And I told my dad that I had not passed the test. And you know, confession there. I know that just did not sound good, right? 

 

Steve: Yeah. I’m sure he was disappointed too. 

 

Mariana:

Yes, it was, you know, I have to ask for forgiveness about that one. But that's the truth guys. I'm being raw from the inside out with you because that is exactly what happened.

I went to my dad and I said I, I didn’t pass sorry. And of course, he was disappointed. But I knew that what I wanted to do was human resources. I wanted to connect with people in a different way. So I went to school, I went to school to apply to human resources. I pass it that's what I did. I went to school for human resources. 


Steve: What drew you to the field of human resources? It's not one you hear a lot of people just go into right off the bat from college. 

 

Mariana: 

Yeah. So you know, one of the things that I love is that even though I did not want to be a lawyer, there was a law class in Human Resources. So it's kind of weird I was going to make my dad happy in that way. And the other thing is that I wanted to do things for people. And Human Resources was a way of doing things for people within the company. Right? Within the corporate world. So that was so attractive to me, I was like, “Oh, I'm gonna be able to change people's lives, when I’m big I'm gonna do this, and I'm gonna do that”, because there's so much that you can do as a human resource person. And so I went to school for that. And that's what I did. I, I love human resources.

And so, before I even finish, college, I got hired by a company with a small bank, financial service. And they hired me in their accounting department, which has nothing to do with human resources. 


Steve: Was this in Bogota? I mean, I would want to ask. 

 

Mariana: 

Yes, this was in Bogota. So it had nothing to do with accounting but it was my way of getting into the corporate world. So I switch the school from daytime to nighttime. And I went to school, nighttime, and I went to work during the day. And you know, when you're young, you have all this energy, right? So you can get up at 1 am and study for your test, and that you have at nighttime, then you can go to work all day, and then go to school. Yeah, no problem. Know what to do with it. 


Steve: 

Yeah. No problem. I used to play basketball at 1 am. Couldn't do that now. 
 

Mariana: 

Yes, yes. So, um, and I played basketball and volleyball in high school and college. And when I was in college, so I got this job, this corporate job, that had nothing to do with human resources. So I got into the accounting department. But in high school, I had learned accounting. And if you remember, at that time, it would just debit and credit. This huge box that you will do, what came in and what came out. That's it. You know, debit credit. And that was so easy to do. So during this time, I wanted more, I wanted to get into my field, which is human resources.

 7:50  

Well, this company came out with the idea of a competition for someone to be the assistant of the human resources, department head, or manager, as we call it here in the States, right. I had an opportunity to apply for this job that I want to be in. So, Steve, I applied for the job. I’m competing with someone that was in my class in college. And I got the job.


Steve 8:27  

That's fantastic. 

 

Mariana: 

It was my first win in a corporate job.

 

Steve  8:33  

I think it says a lot about your maturity at that age, too. And what your work ethic was like at that time, 
 

Mariana: 

Yes, you know, one of the things that I learned from a grandmother is that you know, to work for what you wanted. She was always an entrepreneur and that's what I learned from her - to work for what you wanted. And that's what I did. So I won this role. I got into the role of an assistant for the manager of human resources. And it was just awesome. Right, what I wanted, it was amazing, because I was doing what I love to do at the time, I was going to school for it. So I was applying everything that I was learning. So it was just amazing. 

 

Steve: 

And it's great when you're able to work while you're in school learning and apply it almost in real-time. Yeah, because a lot of times, you know, you go to school for four or five years, and you get out and you don't apply any of it until you get that first job. So it's not quite as fresh as it was when you were learning it. 

 

Mariana:

Absolutely. Absolutely. And I had time sometimes to go back and talk to my professor, about real things, situations, or stuff that is happening. So one of the things that I remember, Steve, is that I got along with this HR manager, so well. So she and I became really good friends. I was working for her, I was her assistant. And I love learning from her and just do my best to make her proud. And so that was just an amazing experience during that time of human resources. Then I graduated from college, and Yay. Right? You always feel like…

 

Steve:

Yeah, major, major life accomplishment when you leave college. Absolutely. Milestone moment.

 

Mariana: 

Milestone, the moment is for sure. And I got hired by a different company, which is bigger, bigger than the one where I was. And I got the role also in human resources. 
 

Steve: 

Let me ask you this. Let me interrupt you right there. How valuable was working in HR while you were in school you and getting that job when you graduated? 

 

Mariana: 

Hmm, thank you for asking that question. You know, what it taught me? commitment, responsibility, and it taught me that you can accomplish anything you want. That it was possible, to go for what you wanted to do. Because I could have just said, I was still in school, and finishes school, right? And I didn’t have to go find a job. But I wanted to start applying what I was learning. So it taught me to, to give what you know to others. 
 

Steve: 

And I would imagine too, had you not done that job, you probably wouldn't have gotten the job you got after you graduated. I'm sure that helps set you up for that experience, right? 


Mariana: 

Yes, absolutely. I was ready to go. I was ready for the next challenge. You know, it's almost like the job that I had at the moment was not challenging enough anymore. Because I want so much throughout the years that I was there, that I was ready for something else. I was ready for more.


Steve 12:46  

And I think that's so important for people to know and to understand your journey, and really everyone has done that. I, too, worked while I was in college and I worked in the field I was studying while I was in college, actually. And I think that's so many people now, they don't realize how important that is. Because if you just go to school, the first question you get asked when you graduate is, “What have you been doing the last four years?”, if you just say in school, but you haven't worked anywhere or learned anything else? People making the hiring decisions are gonna look or may look somewhere else. That's kind of why I wanted to ask you that question. 

 

Mariana: 

Yes. And you know, for example, with my daughter, you know, when you go to school, you never worked during that time. You finish school and a lot of companies ask you, “So what's your experience?”  Um, you don't have any. You just went to school. You just finished school. So for me, I already had a resume. I had a resume before I finished school. So it was a huge advantage. You know, so the next challenge was a bigger company. It was a bigger role. Because it was a bigger company. So I went through it. So in this role, I was also an assistant, but I was an assistant for a bigger department and a bigger


Steve: You had more responsibility.

 

Mariana:

More responsibility. And I learned so much when I was there. And I had this boss that was amazing. Everyone was scared of her, everyone but me. Because I love to be pushed. I love to learn, I love to be challenged. Right? And so she was always challenging everyone. And I was just like, “Bring it on!” And I remember everyone thought I was crazy because she will come into the office in the morning, everyone was drawn to their, you know, to their cubicle and be ready, pretending that they were doing something. And I was just like, “Hey, how was your day?” I was like, I don't have to be someone that wasn't. And I was doing my job. And I knew that she loved that as long as you're doing your job, she was happy. Right? And that's what I did. And I was ready for her challenge every single day. I just want her to challenge me. I know that sounds crazy. For some people. I'm like, why do you want that? Because I believe at that time that it was a way for me to grow. That was a way for me to learn more. So I could get to the next level.


Steve 16:04  

So she was one of your first mentors. As far as your career goes, would you say that? 

 

Mariana: 

Yeah, yes. Yes. Her name was Beatrice. I still remember and she was a lawyer.

 

Steve: 

Was she aware of the influence that she had on your life at that time?

 

Mariana: 

Absolutely. I've always told her when I get to this level of job, I told her how influential she was in my life. And I took every challenge that she gave me to go to the next level. So actually, when I resigned from that particular job, she was disappointed in a way because I was leaving her and the company. But she knew that I was ready for something else. Because I challenged myself the entire time. So one of the sacred directors, what do you call it when you are at a higher level? Not the CEO, but

 

Steve 17:21  

CFO? 

 

Mariana: 

No, they're one of the board members. So one of the board members got to know me, I will go into the board and start to just come with papers or whatever I was doing for the company. 

 

Steve: Real quick what kind of company was this one? Was this was a bank also?

 

Mariana: 

It's a bigger one. And, um, and so he got to know me, and he was the president of a different company. And he offered me a job at his company, as the head department of the human resources. And that was what I was looking for. 

 

Steve: 

And so he obviously noticed your work ethic and your results heard about them, I guess, being part of the board for the bank. 

 

Mariana: 

Yes. And you know why Steve? I was so ready. I was so ready for that job. 

 

Steve: 

And how long after you started this job? Did this happen?

 

Mariana: 

Um, I believe was a couple of years. And this job when I was challenging myself with it. And when I met this director and he offered me the job. And of course, I said yes. Why wouldn't I resign from my job? I would say yes, yes. I will resign tomorrow. And so yeah, I, of course, resigned and given notice and all that and they wanted me to stay but I knew that I needed to go to the next level. And I was working hard that I was challenging myself. And I was learning all the things that I needed to learn to get to that role. It’s exactly what I did. I went to that role. 

 

Steve: 

I think that's very important to you know, always tell a lot of young people when they come I mean, whatever job you have, even if it's not the one your ideal situation, just take care of business and focus on it. You will get other opportunities. People will recognize that at some point. 
 

Mariana: Absolutely. And so is Steve at this particular job, or a particular company was smaller than the one I just left. Okay, I just saw it, I moved to a bigger one, right? A bigger company. But this one was smaller, but my role was bigger. The company was smaller, but my role was bigger than what I had. And so what I felt was I can make a bigger impact in this small company because I have all the knowledge, the experience from working in a bigger role, bigger company, a bigger task in itself, right? So I came to this smaller company with a bunch of ideas and things that I wanted to do and improve, and that is exactly what I did. 

And one of the things that I implement though, was health and wellness.


Steve  20:59  

Again, going back to your fitness and your passion for fitness. That's a great thing. 

 

Mariana: 

So that was my opportunity to make a bigger impact I had

 

Steve:

And you may have even been a little ahead of your time, at that point, implementing something like that, I would assume. 


Mariana: 

Right. And the president of this company was the one that brought me in. He said to me, “Do whatever you want to do, you have open cards”. That was like, being in a candy store, right? Like a kid in a candy store. 
 

Steve: 

You were in your mid-20s. At this point, I would launch to do whatever you wanted. Right? 

 

Mariana:

And I was like, “What? Are you telling me that I can do anything I want, and I can change anything I want?” He's like, “Yep, we need change. We need something new.” And the person that I replaced, she was probably twice my age. Okay, the person that I came to take her job. And so yes, they were ready for something new. She was doing an awesome job. And she was very respected in the company. But they were ready for something new and innovative and a change. Right. And I was super excited about doing this for this particular company. 

 

Steve: 

What type of company was this? 

 

Mariana: It was again, financial Canada financial. I just kind of do a lot of financial. I was in the financial sector. 

 

Steve: And just making sure everybody tracks with what kind of companies you were working with. 

 

Mariana: Yes, yes. Money. Right. And so I had I was full of ideas full of energy, and in full open cards, because he said, “Do whatever you want to do.” So one of the first things, what I just told you guys, I implemented Health and Fitness, Health and Wellness. And so I remember calling a health company to have a health day or like a festival day. I don't know how I called that. I can’t remember. 
 

Steve: FItness Day

 

Mariana  23:28  

Yes. And we have every woman in that company. Take your women in sick that day. Yeah, as you know, in Colombia, you know, healthcare is not as fundamental and everything, but it's not as comprehensive as it is here in this day. So what I did was, we were going to make sure that everyone is taken care of. So we did that. And in the course, they got the results in a private manner that was sent to them. And then I did that for the guys too so we did a women's day and a men's day. And we did that every six months. So it was something I set up with the health company

 

Steve  24:24  

So they were able to track their progress if you did it every six months., they could see how they improved in certain areas. 
 

Mariana: 

Yes, yes. And this company was able to keep their files. So it’s used to see if it's something was wrong. Yeah, so you're absolutely right. And then on the weekends, you know, this girl was full of energy. Remember?

 

Steve  24:54  

Young, vivacious woman in her mid-20s, right? 
 

Mariana: 

I know it's almost like full energy. And I was like, so what are we gonna do on the weekends? So I had this great idea that we were going to create some teams, and we will play soccer which is here in America is football. And so we will play that and some racquetball, which is ping-pong. So we do tournaments. So on the weekends, you'll get to bring your family so you know, so you can come. So you bring your wife and your husband and your kids, and we will go into a field. We will play all morning on Sundays. And that was the way of keeping everybody healthy.

 

Steve 26:03  

It also builds the morale of the team. They get to know each other in a different way.

 

Mariana  26:12  

It created a lot of teamwork. You know, and I need to know, Steve, that I was doing that. I really didn't know I was doing that. In my mind. I was like, I just get these people moving to move. But I was also creating teamwork, and that was unintentional. But also, it worked. 

 

Steve: You know, you created a connecting point for them outside of work. So they got to see each other in a different way. And experience each other in a different way. 
 

Mariana: Yes. And also they got to know each other's families. Right. They got to know their kids, and they got to know their wives and their husbands. And so it was just amazing. It was an amazing experience. And the third program that I incorporated, was a Christmas party. And inside of that, for every employee's birthday, I will send a gift to them. Every time they will get a gift from the company sent to their home. And the Christmas party was outside and this huge, beautiful place with music and food. And it was just amazing. So that was the three programs that I brought into the company were Health, birthdays, and the Christmas party. Yeah, celebrations. But the most important thing that I did was education.

 28:02  

So I created something, the members of the company - depending on how many years they had with a company - they will allow for the scholarship. So if they wanted to go back to school, I said they want to go and learn something. And so we created scholarships for them, depending on their years with the company, and also their ethics. Do you know how well they work with a company? 


Steve: Yeah. What their value to the company? Yes, exactly. 

 

Mariana: Yeah. And so that would just well-received, obviously, especially for young people, you know, who wanted to go and pursue education. 

 

Steve: 

And how many of those programs remained at the company when you left? 

 

Mariana: 

Oh, they stayed. 

 

Steve: 

That's fantastic. So you left a legacy there.

 

Mariana: 

Yes, they stayed. Yeah, they did. Definitely stayed. Yeah, it was something that I just felt like they needed. You know, that was my way of contributing to the company. 

 

Steve: 

That's fantastic that you left that type of legacy there. And how many years did you work there? 

 

Mariana: 

I was there for only four years. Right after that I that's when I moved to the United States. Well, four or five years. 

 

Steve: 

That that may be a good place to end the second episode then. And then we can pick up on your move to the US and, and everything in and then bring us up to speed to where you're at today. 
 

Mariana: Well, guys, this is the end of episode number two. And I hope that you enjoyed this. Getting to know who I am, getting to know my journey. Who is Marianna, and who is Steve also because he is interviewing me today, and I'm hoping that Steve will say yes to an interview later in the podcast? But for today, this is Episode Two. Have a great day. And we'll see you in episode three. 

 

Steve: Thanks for joining us, everyone.
 

Mariana:

Bye

wing up in Colombia, how she got into fitness and, and the loss of her mom and how that shaped her life and everything. And we're gonna continue to a little background on Mariana and this episode, get to know a little bit more about her as she left high school and, and continued on this journey that's brought her here today as a leader, a fitness instructor and a life coach.

And so with that, Mariana Welcome back. Here we go. 


 

Mariana:

I am so excited to be here again. Here we go with Episode Two. And before we continue, I just want to say thank you to my friend, Steve, my very good friend who is taking the time to do this with me, for you guys. So you guys get to know who I am, my journey and a little bit about this podcast and how we get to function here. And I think that when people are talking to you, you want to know who they are. So this is my way of connecting with you from the inside out.


Steve 1:56  

Definitely. And it's always good to connect with people on a personal level and your story is the best way to connect with people. As you and I both know from our previous mentor john Maxwell…that's good stuff. Well, Mariana, like I said last time, we left off a little bit right after you'd finished high school and you were moving on to the next phase of your life. So why don't we just pick up there and tell us a little bit about what happened going forward? As you entered your 20s? 

 

Mariana:

Yeah, so I finished high school and that was awesome. I was so relieved. Oh, my God. I was like, Yes, I did it. I did this thing. I was super excited to finish high school and to see what was next? What was next in my life. And next was college, right? Next was the college. And I remember my father wanted me to be a lawyer. And so and a little confession, you guys, so I went in and applied to be a lawyer.

But I didn't really want to be a lawyer. Deep down in my heart. I knew that was not what I wanted to do, even though I can debate. So if you made me debate, I can do that. And I think that's why my dad wanted me to be a lawyer because I was always debating with him. So, this particular college is set to my application. But that's when I did my first white lie. I have to confess here with you guys, that I hid up, I just kind of hide my results. And I told my dad that I had not passed the test. And you know, confession there. I know that just did not sound good, right? 

 

Steve: Yeah. I’m sure he was disappointed too. 

 

Mariana:

Yes, it was, you know, I have to ask for forgiveness about that one. But that's the truth guys. I'm being raw from the inside out with you because that is exactly what happened.

I went to my dad and I said I, I didn’t pass sorry. And of course, he was disappointed. But I knew that what I wanted to do was human resources. I wanted to connect with people in a different way. So I went to school, I went to school to apply to human resources. I pass it that's what I did. I went to school for human resources. 


Steve: What drew you to the field of human resources? It's not one you hear a lot of people just go into right off the bat from college. 

 

Mariana: 

Yeah. So you know, one of the things that I love is that even though I did not want to be a lawyer, there was a law class in Human Resources. So it's kind of weird I was going to make my dad happy in that way. And the other thing is that I wanted to do things for people. And Human Resources was a way of doing things for people within the company. Right? Within the corporate world. So that was so attractive to me, I was like, “Oh, I'm gonna be able to change people's lives, when I’m big I'm gonna do this, and I'm gonna do that”, because there's so much that you can do as a human resource person. And so I went to school for that. And that's what I did. I, I love human resources.

And so, before I even finish, college, I got hired by a company with a small bank, financial service. And they hired me in their accounting department, which has nothing to do with human resources. 


Steve: Was this in Bogota? I mean, I would want to ask. 

 

Mariana: 

Yes, this was in Bogota. So it had nothing to do with accounting but it was my way of getting into the corporate world. So I switch the school from daytime to nighttime. And I went to school, nighttime, and I went to work during the day. And you know, when you're young, you have all this energy, right? So you can get up at 1 am and study for your test, and that you have at nighttime, then you can go to work all day, and then go to school. Yeah, no problem. Know what to do with it. 


Steve: 

Yeah. No problem. I used to play basketball at 1 am. Couldn't do that now. 
 

Mariana: 

Yes, yes. So, um, and I played basketball and volleyball in high school and college. And when I was in college, so I got this job, this corporate job, that had nothing to do with human resources. So I got into the accounting department. But in high school, I had learned accounting. And if you remember, at that time, it would just debit and credit. This huge box that you will do, what came in and what came out. That's it. You know, debit credit. And that was so easy to do. So during this time, I wanted more, I wanted to get into my field, which is human resources.

 7:50  

Well, this company came out with the idea of a competition for someone to be the assistant of the human resources, department head, or manager, as we call it here in the States, right. I had an opportunity to apply for this job that I want to be in. So, Steve, I applied for the job. I’m competing with someone that was in my class in college. And I got the job.


Steve 8:27  

That's fantastic. 

 

Mariana: 

It was my first win in a corporate job.

 

Steve  8:33  

I think it says a lot about your maturity at that age, too. And what your work ethic was like at that time, 
 

Mariana: 

Yes, you know, one of the things that I learned from a grandmother is that you know, to work for what you wanted. She was always an entrepreneur and that's what I learned from her - to work for what you wanted. And that's what I did. So I won this role. I got into the role of an assistant for the manager of human resources. And it was just awesome. Right, what I wanted, it was amazing, because I was doing what I love to do at the time, I was going to school for it. So I was applying everything that I was learning. So it was just amazing. 

 

Steve: 

And it's great when you're able to work while you're in school learning and apply it almost in real-time. Yeah, because a lot of times, you know, you go to school for four or five years, and you get out and you don't apply any of it until you get that first job. So it's not quite as fresh as it was when you were learning it. 

 

Mariana:

Absolutely. Absolutely. And I had time sometimes to go back and talk to my professor, about real things, situations, or stuff that is happening. So one of the things that I remember, Steve, is that I got along with this HR manager, so well. So she and I became really good friends. I was working for her, I was her assistant. And I love learning from her and just do my best to make her proud. And so that was just an amazing experience during that time of human resources. Then I graduated from college, and Yay. Right? You always feel like…

 

Steve:

Yeah, major, major life accomplishment when you leave college. Absolutely. Milestone moment.

 

Mariana: 

Milestone, the moment is for sure. And I got hired by a different company, which is bigger, bigger than the one where I was. And I got the role also in human resources. 
 

Steve: 

Let me ask you this. Let me interrupt you right there. How valuable was working in HR while you were in school you and getting that job when you graduated? 

 

Mariana: 

Hmm, thank you for asking that question. You know, what it taught me? commitment, responsibility, and it taught me that you can accomplish anything you want. That it was possible, to go for what you wanted to do. Because I could have just said, I was still in school, and finishes school, right? And I didn’t have to go find a job. But I wanted to start applying what I was learning. So it taught me to, to give what you know to others. 
 

Steve: 

And I would imagine too, had you not done that job, you probably wouldn't have gotten the job you got after you graduated. I'm sure that helps set you up for that experience, right? 


Mariana: 

Yes, absolutely. I was ready to go. I was ready for the next challenge. You know, it's almost like the job that I had at the moment was not challenging enough anymore. Because I want so much throughout the years that I was there, that I was ready for something else. I was ready for more.


Steve 12:46  

And I think that's so important for people to know and to understand your journey, and really everyone has done that. I, too, worked while I was in college and I worked in the field I was studying while I was in college, actually. And I think that's so many people now, they don't realize how important that is. Because if you just go to school, the first question you get asked when you graduate is, “What have you been doing the last four years?”, if you just say in school, but you haven't worked anywhere or learned anything else? People making the hiring decisions are gonna look or may look somewhere else. That's kind of why I wanted to ask you that question. 

 

Mariana: 

Yes. And you know, for example, with my daughter, you know, when you go to school, you never worked during that time. You finish school and a lot of companies ask you, “So what's your experience?”  Um, you don't have any. You just went to school. You just finished school. So for me, I already had a resume. I had a resume before I finished school. So it was a huge advantage. You know, so the next challenge was a bigger company. It was a bigger role. Because it was a bigger company. So I went through it. So in this role, I was also an assistant, but I was an assistant for a bigger department and a bigger


Steve: You had more responsibility.

 

Mariana:

More responsibility. And I learned so much when I was there. And I had this boss that was amazing. Everyone was scared of her, everyone but me. Because I love to be pushed. I love to learn, I love to be challenged. Right? And so she was always challenging everyone. And I was just like, “Bring it on!” And I remember everyone thought I was crazy because she will come into the office in the morning, everyone was drawn to their, you know, to their cubicle and be ready, pretending that they were doing something. And I was just like, “Hey, how was your day?” I was like, I don't have to be someone that wasn't. And I was doing my job. And I knew that she loved that as long as you're doing your job, she was happy. Right? And that's what I did. And I was ready for her challenge every single day. I just want her to challenge me. I know that sounds crazy. For some people. I'm like, why do you want that? Because I believe at that time that it was a way for me to grow. That was a way for me to learn more. So I could get to the next level.


Steve 16:04  

So she was one of your first mentors. As far as your career goes, would you say that? 

 

Mariana: 

Yeah, yes. Yes. Her name was Beatrice. I still remember and she was a lawyer.

 

Steve: 

Was she aware of the influence that she had on your life at that time?

 

Mariana: 

Absolutely. I've always told her when I get to this level of job, I told her how influential she was in my life. And I took every challenge that she gave me to go to the next level. So actually, when I resigned from that particular job, she was disappointed in a way because I was leaving her and the company. But she knew that I was ready for something else. Because I challenged myself the entire time. So one of the sacred directors, what do you call it when you are at a higher level? Not the CEO, but

 

Steve 17:21  

CFO? 

 

Mariana: 

No, they're one of the board members. So one of the board members got to know me, I will go into the board and start to just come with papers or whatever I was doing for the company. 

 

Steve: Real quick what kind of company was this one? Was this was a bank also?

 

Mariana: 

It's a bigger one. And, um, and so he got to know me, and he was the president of a different company. And he offered me a job at his company, as the head department of the human resources. And that was what I was looking for. 

 

Steve: 

And so he obviously noticed your work ethic and your results heard about them, I guess, being part of the board for the bank. 

 

Mariana: 

Yes. And you know why Steve? I was so ready. I was so ready for that job. 

 

Steve: 

And how long after you started this job? Did this happen?

 

Mariana: 

Um, I believe was a couple of years. And this job when I was challenging myself with it. And when I met this director and he offered me the job. And of course, I said yes. Why wouldn't I resign from my job? I would say yes, yes. I will resign tomorrow. And so yeah, I, of course, resigned and given notice and all that and they wanted me to stay but I knew that I needed to go to the next level. And I was working hard that I was challenging myself. And I was learning all the things that I needed to learn to get to that role. It’s exactly what I did. I went to that role. 

 

Steve: 

I think that's very important to you know, always tell a lot of young people when they come I mean, whatever job you have, even if it's not the one your ideal situation, just take care of business and focus on it. You will get other opportunities. People will recognize that at some point. 
 

Mariana: Absolutely. And so is Steve at this particular job, or a particular company was smaller than the one I just left. Okay, I just saw it, I moved to a bigger one, right? A bigger company. But this one was smaller, but my role was bigger. The company was smaller, but my role was bigger than what I had. And so what I felt was I can make a bigger impact in this small company because I have all the knowledge, the experience from working in a bigger role, bigger company, a bigger task in itself, right? So I came to this smaller company with a bunch of ideas and things that I wanted to do and improve, and that is exactly what I did. 

And one of the things that I implement though, was health and wellness.


Steve  20:59  

Again, going back to your fitness and your passion for fitness. That's a great thing. 

 

Mariana: 

So that was my opportunity to make a bigger impact I had

 

Steve:

And you may have even been a little ahead of your time, at that point, implementing something like that, I would assume. 


Mariana: 

Right. And the president of this company was the one that brought me in. He said to me, “Do whatever you want to do, you have open cards”. That was like, being in a candy store, right? Like a kid in a candy store. 
 

Steve: 

You were in your mid-20s. At this point, I would launch to do whatever you wanted. Right? 

 

Mariana:

And I was like, “What? Are you telling me that I can do anything I want, and I can change anything I want?” He's like, “Yep, we need change. We need something new.” And the person that I replaced, she was probably twice my age. Okay, the person that I came to take her job. And so yes, they were ready for something new. She was doing an awesome job. And she was very respected in the company. But they were ready for something new and innovative and a change. Right. And I was super excited about doing this for this particular company. 

 

Steve: 

What type of company was this? 

 

Mariana: It was again, financial Canada financial. I just kind of do a lot of financial. I was in the financial sector. 

 

Steve: And just making sure everybody tracks with what kind of companies you were working with. 

 

Mariana: Yes, yes. Money. Right. And so I had I was full of ideas full of energy, and in full open cards, because he said, “Do whatever you want to do.” So one of the first things, what I just told you guys, I implemented Health and Fitness, Health and Wellness. And so I remember calling a health company to have a health day or like a festival day. I don't know how I called that. I can’t remember. 
 

Steve: FItness Day

 

Mariana  23:28  

Yes. And we have every woman in that company. Take your women in sick that day. Yeah, as you know, in Colombia, you know, healthcare is not as fundamental and everything, but it's not as comprehensive as it is here in this day. So what I did was, we were going to make sure that everyone is taken care of. So we did that. And in the course, they got the results in a private manner that was sent to them. And then I did that for the guys too so we did a women's day and a men's day. And we did that every six months. So it was something I set up with the health company

 

Steve  24:24  

So they were able to track their progress if you did it every six months., they could see how they improved in certain areas. 
 

Mariana: 

Yes, yes. And this company was able to keep their files. So it’s used to see if it's something was wrong. Yeah, so you're absolutely right. And then on the weekends, you know, this girl was full of energy. Remember?

 

Steve  24:54  

Young, vivacious woman in her mid-20s, right? 
 

Mariana: 

I know it's almost like full energy. And I was like, so what are we gonna do on the weekends? So I had this great idea that we were going to create some teams, and we will play soccer which is here in America is football. And so we will play that and some racquetball, which is ping-pong. So we do tournaments. So on the weekends, you'll get to bring your family so you know, so you can come. So you bring your wife and your husband and your kids, and we will go into a field. We will play all morning on Sundays. And that was the way of keeping everybody healthy.

 

Steve 26:03  

It also builds the morale of the team. They get to know each other in a different way.

 

Mariana  26:12  

It created a lot of teamwork. You know, and I need to know, Steve, that I was doing that. I really didn't know I was doing that. In my mind. I was like, I just get these people moving to move. But I was also creating teamwork, and that was unintentional. But also, it worked. 

 

Steve: You know, you created a connecting point for them outside of work. So they got to see each other in a different way. And experience each other in a different way. 
 

Mariana: Yes. And also they got to know each other's families. Right. They got to know their kids, and they got to know their wives and their husbands. And so it was just amazing. It was an amazing experience. And the third program that I incorporated, was a Christmas party. And inside of that, for every employee's birthday, I will send a gift to them. Every time they will get a gift from the company sent to their home. And the Christmas party was outside and this huge, beautiful place with music and food. And it was just amazing. So that was the three programs that I brought into the company were Health, birthdays, and the Christmas party. Yeah, celebrations. But the most important thing that I did was education.

 28:02  

So I created something, the members of the company - depending on how many years they had with a company - they will allow for the scholarship. So if they wanted to go back to school, I said they want to go and learn something. And so we created scholarships for them, depending on their years with the company, and also their ethics. Do you know how well they work with a company? 


Steve: Yeah. What their value to the company? Yes, exactly. 

 

Mariana: Yeah. And so that would just well-received, obviously, especially for young people, you know, who wanted to go and pursue education. 

 

Steve: 

And how many of those programs remained at the company when you left? 

 

Mariana: 

Oh, they stayed. 

 

Steve: 

That's fantastic. So you left a legacy there.

 

Mariana: 

Yes, they stayed. Yeah, they did. Definitely stayed. Yeah, it was something that I just felt like they needed. You know, that was my way of contributing to the company. 

 

Steve: 

That's fantastic that you left that type of legacy there. And how many years did you work there? 

 

Mariana: 

I was there for only four years. Right after that I that's when I moved to the United States. Well, four or five years. 

 

Steve: 

That that may be a good place to end the second episode then. And then we can pick up on your move to the US and, and everything in and then bring us up to speed to where you're at today. 
 

Mariana: Well, guys, this is the end of episode number two. And I hope that you enjoyed this. Getting to know who I am, getting to know my journey. Who is Marianna, and who is Steve also because he is interviewing me today, and I'm hoping that Steve will say yes to an interview later in the podcast? But for today, this is Episode Two. Have a great day. And we'll see you in episode three. 

 

Steve: Thanks for joining us, everyone.
 

Mariana:

Bye