MBA transformers: Natalia Perez

Once: Economist, US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Now: Category Development Analyst, Starbucks

Natalia PerezNatalia Perez’s (MBA 2012) first job after college was conducting market research and analysis focused on the trucking industry for a transportation consulting firm.“ I didn’t even know how my car worked,” admits the Chilean expat.

But she did know how to analyze complex economies. And she soon found employment as an industry analyst at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, helping produce the monthly jobs report and the Producer Price Index.

But she didn’t see herself in government long term, and decided an MBA was the most versatile degree to get.

Her coursework at Foster helped her self-identify with market analytics. Even before graduation she began working at Starbucks, first as a workforce strategist and now as a category development analyst for emerging Starbucks brands including Evolution Fresh and the Verismo home brewing system.

Her time at Starbucks has revealed an under-heralded value of the program. “Every piece is important,” she says. “And it may sound like a small thing, but learning to work in teams has been critical. At Starbucks, I don’t do anything on my own. Everything is accomplished in teams. It’s such a vital element of the Foster MBA.”

Update: Drawing on her belief in the power of teams, Perez has moved from analysis to management. She still works at Starbucks but is now a Bakery product manager.

Find out about the other alumni who transformed their careers via the MBA Program.