Welcome to the Real Life Series. In this section, GlobalMBAcareer brings you real life experiences of various MBA professionals who work across various roles from around the globe. Through this series, we intend to share with you what it means in real life to have a certain role and what it takes to be successful in it.
In our first ever series, Jaime – Regional Brand Manager of Avon shares what it takes to be a International Brand Manager through a 2 part series.
International Brand Manager – Jaime Liriano (Part 2)
This is a continuation of Part 1. If you have missed Part 1, you can access it here International Brand Manager – Jaime Liriano (Part 1). In this part, Jaime focusses on what the current MBA candidates as well as the future aspirants need to know/do to secure a career in International Branding.
What should MBA´s do to build a career in Brand Management?
I think MBA programs are a great tool to either reinforce your business and marketing capabilities or providing you with the tools to re-orient your career to this side of the business. MBA profiles are very appealing for a Brand Management/Marketing department due to the capacity of MBA´s to understand the business as whole and also because of the exposure of a wide variety of business cases, which at the end of the day becomes the day to day experience of any Brand or Business Manager.
Any MBA wanting to pursue a Marketing career should focus on Strategy and Marketing courses, on building a strong network and understand different industries and moreover take advantage of the diversity of the classroom – cultural awareness today is more important than ever.
What are the skills required to be successful?
Besides the technical and business capabilities, in my opinion the key success factors in Brand Management are mental agility, curiosity, passion for business/consumer and the ability to deal with details without losing the “big picture”.
As brand manager, you will have to deal on a daily basis with complex business situations affected by internal and external factors, which means that you have to have a great understanding of your business in terms of its capabilities, strategies and financial aspects. Additionally, external aspects such as industry trends, consumer behavior and requirements, distribution channels, governments policies, etc… Your ability to handle this complex equation will determine the success of all your projects.
What areas they need to focus on while doing the MBA?
For me, all aspects of MBA programs are necessary and important to be successful in a Marketing world. More than knowledge and techniques, during a MBA you learn a “way of thinking”, a different way of approaching business and this is a great advantage when facing Brand Building issues.
Of course, you have to focus on marketing courses – they will provide you with many practices and tools that you will use immediately in your workplace. But the ability to understand how the marketing decisions impact the business and being able to quickly understand the behavior and bias of other functions makes an MBA a great profile for a Brand Management job.
Also, during the MBA you need to focus on networking. The program is a great opportunity not only to connect with people, but to get the chance to interact and understand other industries and professional profiles or cultures. I’ve learned great things about Chemical industries, Consulting or Travel Industry that I’ve been able to apply in FMCG.
What employers look for while recruiting for an international brand manager?
It´s very common in marketing seeing successful brand managers from different educational backgrounds and also industries. I´ve seen an engineer do great brand building plans or an architect delivering great innovation launches. More than your education, companies will look for: management skills, strategic mindset, and bias for action, exceptional communication and negotiation skills, growth mindset, commercial awareness, cultural awareness and very strong analytical skills.