Laguna Media Group provides video and event production services, as well as web development and digital and social media strategy. Silvana Rosero, who started her career in her native Colombia, moved to the United States in 1998, and in 2003, she was asked to join the Laguna Media Group team as a producer. One year later she was offered the opportunity to become a partner in the business, and as President and CEO, led the company to become a certified Minority and Women-Owned Business. Below, Rosero discusses her career path and shares her perspective on Hispanic culture and community.
This Q&A is a part of an ongoing series of DRC interviews with representatives from our member organizations and partners.
Q: Tell us about your current role – what does your day-to-day look like, and did you always picture yourself in this kind of job, or doing something different?
A: As President and CEO of Laguna Media Group, my day-to-day is a combination of supporting my team leads and technical teams with strategic direction and working on business development, in addition to my volunteer work with organizations where I have committed as a board member or as a committee member.
I grew up in Colombia and never dreamed of having my own business. I had an excellent education preparing me to be a marketing and communications professional, but I must admit that the focus of the universities there is not to be an entrepreneur but to work for someone else. It was here in the U.S. where I was mentored to become an entrepreneur and to grow in my leadership role.
Q: Education can have a big influence on our career trajectories and choices, and Hispanic college enrollment rates continue to increase every year. What was your educational experience like, and do you think it had any effect on where you are today?
A: As a Hispanic growing up in Latin America, there was always a great emphasis on education. Our parents instilled in us the need to go as high as we could in the education ladder to be successful in life.
Following that trend, I graduated high school at 16 and finished my university studies at 21 with a bachelor’s in communications and public relations. But that was just the start of the journey. Although my initial education made me a great professional in my area, I needed to learn much more to become a leader and an entrepreneur.
Since education and constant learning were instilled in me as a tool for success, I decided to pursue an Executive MBA (at the Tuck School of Business) and specializations in digital strategy (at the Tuck School of Business and at Harvard University). Having all of that new knowledge has helped me understand better how to innovate and how to offer better solutions to our clients while keeping an eye on our growth expectations as a business.
Q: What parts of Hispanic culture are you most proud of? What pieces of your culture do you integrate into your life at work and into your approach to your career?
A: As a Hispanic, I am appreciative of many aspects of our culture that make us stand out as contributors to our society. Some of those aspects are:
- Responsibility: There are no if’s or but’s when it comes time to deliver on what has been promised. No matter the profession, our job is to create solutions. Always deliver or over-deliver, never under-deliver. In doing so, we earn the respect and confidence of our friends, colleagues, and clients alike.
- Creativity: Growing up in Latin America, sometimes there are not as many resources at your disposal as we have here in the U.S. Necessity encourages us to come up with new ideas and to think differently. That becomes a mentality. Every problem has many solutions.
- Respect: Treating others like we would want to be treated – I was taught as a little girl to give the same respect to the school janitor as I would to the school principal. Everyone deserves a “Good Morning” and a “Thank You.” It does not take long, but it goes a long way!
- Positivity: My grandmother used to say, “When asked, ‘How are you?’ always say, ‘GREAT,’ smile, and mean it. Nobody cares to hear about your problems!” That taught me to focus on the “now.” We cannot change what happened yesterday, and tomorrow has not happened yet, but we always have the ability to make a change for the better now.
Q: Are there any particular people in Hispanic culture and community who have influenced your life more generally? Who are they, and why do you look up to them?
A: There were professionals in my early career as a PR professional in Colombia who shaped my professional style. I learned from them the value of mentoring a young professional, and to do so without expecting anything in return. I was very fortunate to start my career around exceptional professionals who dedicated the time to teach me, and I try to continue that tradition.
Also, my parents definitely taught me about the value of keeping my word, and what it took to foster long term relationships.
Q: What would you want future generations of Hispanics to know, especially when it comes to building a successful career?
A: I believe that if they deliver exceptional work, apply their values consistently to their personal and professional life, and have a strategic outlook of where they want to go, there will be nothing to stop them from achieving their goals.