Maren Quezada
Maren Quezada
Home Region

Peru

Undergrad Education

University of California, Berkeley

Previous Experience

Twentieth Century Fox, Johnson & Johnson

HBS Activities

Latino Student Organization, Entertainment & Media Club, HBS Tech Club, Volleyball Club

“It's not about you: it's about the people who came before you and the people who will come after you.”

When Maren Quezada was eighteen, her parents took a trip from their home in Peru to the United States. “We didn’t know their plans at the time,” she says. “I thought it was a vacation, but it was a life in a new home.”

Maren hadn’t completed college yet, didn’t speak English, and was undocumented. “It was a big setback. I couldn’t get financial aid, I couldn't finish school or get a job. When I went to adult school to learn English, I was looking for next steps, not big dreams.”

But night school quickly turned into coursework at a community college, then acceptance to UC Berkeley. “For me, it was a new world,” Maren says. “I learned about organizations that help minorities with coaching and mentoring.” One of these, Sponsorship for Educational Opportunity (SEO), helped place Maren in an internship with Johnson & Johnson, where she worked in finance. “Before, my dream was just to get a job – but then, in a corporate environment, my mind was blown by all the new opportunities available to me.”

Eager to be with her family, including her fiancé (now husband), Maren moved to Los Angeles where she joined Twentieth Century Fox as a financial analyst. “I was there during a major change in the business of home entertainment. Sales of DVDs and Blu-Rays were declining; I learned how to manage change during a stressful time.”

Building pipelines – and emotional connections

Six years of experience at Fox gave Maren her first exposure to the challenges of managing change. “I began to see the MBA as a way to learn how to effectively manage change, and how to build a talent pipeline for an organization that’s also representative of our communities, especially in LA.”

Maren attended the HBS Latino Student Organization (LASO) conference in 2018, uncertain whether the school was right for her. “When I walked into the auditorium, the LASO president began by quoting the mission of SEO, ‘It’s not about you: it’s about the people who came before you and the people who will come after you.’ It made me feel that I belonged here; there was a strong connection to my values.”

“I came from a background where I was expected to just listen. The case method puts me in a decision maker’s mindset. How can I articulate my mission? Being required to participate gives me the power to share my perspectives.” 

In addition to “gaining greater confidence in my voice,” Maren has found a community at HBS. “LASO is really like a family. I have friends from different sections; it’s nice to speak Spanish and relax.”

“My parents left our home country to give my brothers and I an education,” says Maren. “I hope to make them proud. I’d like to own a business one day, definitely something that represents minorities. In my career, I’ve seen that there’s not much visibility to [entertainment] content for minorities; maybe I can launch a production company that gives minorities a voice.”