Watson Executive-in-Residence Speaker: Marlene de la Cruz
Posted on December 7, 2015 by Delaware Valley University.
The Watson Executive-in-Residence program, which was founded by Thomas Watson ’57 in 2006, focuses on preparing students for the business world. The program brings top executives to campus to share candid advice and lessons from their careers.
This fall's Watson Executive-in-Residence speaker, Marlene de la Cruz, president of Adelphi Research, a global market research company, shared some career advice for blog readers. In addition to her presentation at DelVal, which was open to students of all levels, she also met with the University’s MBA students during her time on campus.
What do you find most interesting about your field?
I’m in pharmaceutical market research and it’s a field where you’re always learning something new. If you are intellectually curious, you are always going to be learning, growing and evolving.
What is your advice for a young professional who is starting his or her career on choosing a career path?
I think you need to sample a lot of things and talk to people about what they do every day in their jobs. Try to do as many internships as you can because that’s a place where you can see what suits your interests and skill level.
How can young professionals make themselves stand out during a job interview?
Be very, very well prepared. Do your research on the company so that you know their backgrounds and can ask them relevant questions. The best candidates are those who come in extremely well prepared and have very thoughtful questions. A lot of people come in and they haven’t looked into what the company does. The people who take the time to do that stand out and often, get hired if they have the skillset.
How are you applying your education in your career?
I use my MBA every day, probably consciously and unconsciously. I’m applying the financial skills I’ve learned in managing a company. Many of the things I learned in the marketing arena I learned in school. It was ideal to work in marketing while completing an MBA since I was often learning concepts in school that I applied at work.
What experiences do you think are most important for students to gain in higher education?
Internships are what stand out. Also, if you have a chance, interview people who are in the field you are considering entering. Look at the alumni and people who are connected to DelVal and get in touch with them. This way, you learn what fields are like from the people who are in them as well as what the future looks like in different careers.