IE University has helped guide countless students from the classroom to the boardroom. With expert professors and innovative ways of learning, budding entrepreneurs develop the skills necessary for a successful career. Find out how one alum is chasing her dreams and redefining success in New York.
Here at IE University, we love nothing more than seeing alumni flourish in their careers. Tess de Gregorio is one such alum, swapping classes at IE University for meetings in New York. She’s now chasing the American dream, working as an account manager for top clients at Google.
An entrepreneur at heart, Tess is a driven individual with a flair for innovation. She loves to be creative and is constantly dreaming up new ideas—something she was encouraged to do at IE University. As well as gaining the necessary soft skills (like making presentations and working as part of a team, for example), IE University has also helped her develop an entrepreneurial mindset. This led her to pursue her current passion project, which she works on when she clocks off for the day at Google.
Life in New York has given Tess the opportunity to tap into her creative side and entrepreneurial spirit. She’s shared her experience with us, telling us about thinking big, setting goals and how studying at IE University prepared her for a fast-paced life at one of the world’s biggest companies.
Tell us a little about your job.
I work as an account manager at Google. My clients are some of the biggest companies in the US—one is similar to Movistar, for example. I help them with their branding, mainly working on YouTube and display advertising.
My job title is account manager, but I also see myself as an entrepreneur. I really enjoy being creative and I love dreaming up new innovative ideas. In fact, I’m currently developing an idea for Google with a friend of mine from Google Ann Arbor—my side hustle, as they call it here! I usually get the chance to work on it when I finish work.
Google is fantastic because it fosters creative thinking and gives us the opportunity to think outside the box.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
I usually start the day with some form of exercise. I live in the Financial District in downtown Manhattan, right by the water. It’s the perfect place to go for a morning run and set myself up for the day. If I don’t feel like going for a run in the morning, I might practice some yoga at home instead. I love to meditate—I’m not great at it, but I’m trying to get better!
Then I catch the subway to work. It only takes about 20 minutes to get to the office, and I have breakfast there. One brilliant aspect of working at Google is the free food—it’s healthy and delicious. My workday generally finishes at around 5 p.m.
One of the best things about living in New York is that there is always an event or conference to go to. They organize a lot here at Google, so I try to attend as many of those as I can.
How did your experience at IE University help you in your career?
My experience at IE University has helped me in so many ways. When I chose to study at IE University, one of my main goals was to develop soft skills that I knew would help me in my career—from learning how to work as part of a team to give a presentation in front of a group of people.
However, the thing I valued the most about studying at IE University was the chance to develop my entrepreneurial mindset. I always knew that I was a creative person, but IE University really fostered my ambitious nature. I learned how to shift my perspective and open my eyes to new possibilities. My biggest takeaway from studying at IE University is that you have to think big—once you do that, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.
Which aspect of IE University did you enjoy the most?
They’re not only professors, but also industry experts with plenty of professional experience. My professors were experienced, knowledgeable and had so much industry insight. It’s incredible how much more we can learn as students when they bring that professional experience to the classroom.
What keeps you motivated?
Something that I’ve noticed since moving to New York is that people here seem to invest in themselves a lot. There seems to be a huge culture of self-improvement, and I really enjoy incorporating this into my daily habits. One way I do this is by reading as much as possible.
I also find goal setting to be beneficial, and I think it’s something that everyone should do. I personally believe that it’s difficult to find success if you don’t have clear goals in place. Each September, I write down what I want to achieve that year, in the next five years, and in the next 10 years.
For me, it’s all about checking those boxes at the end of each year. It feels so good to have new objectives to work toward and to see how far I’ve come. That’s my definition of success.