Stephen Pendergast ’18
Manager of Corporate Talent Development at Nestlé, Perla Terrero ’07, returned to her alma mater as part of the fall Siena College School of Business lecture series.
During her time as a Saint, Terrero studied Marketing and Management, an experience she looks back fondly on as a time of great personal growth. It was during her term as the president of the Students for Free Enterprise club, that she received proper exposure to the workforce and learned how to present herself in a professional setting.
“It was the Siena faculty, notably Professor Deb Kelly, that have inspired and challenged me to be a better professional and find my drive in the professional world.”
This individual attention she received from the faculty formed her competitive edge, something she has continued to hone throughout her budding professional life.
Part of the drive Terrero found was through global connections. Harboring a total of 420 global connections within 22 different countries, she explained how her study abroad experience in Costa Rica and semester working in the ecotourism industry drove her passion for international experience.
After her time at Siena, she worked in Greece studying the international business and cultures and, most recently, Nestlé offered her the opportunity to work in Vevey, Switzerland with their international branch.
Terrero advised those in the audience to be sure to take advantage of the international opportunities provided to them because, especially when leaving Siena, it was those global experiences that helped her grow and learn to manage people.
It was her interest in management that drove her back to the classroom to get a Master’s Degree in industrial organizational (IO) psychology. IO Psychologists focus on questions such as: how do we manipulate the workforce to work more efficiently? How does one manipulate the workplace itself to help manipulate the workforce to work most efficiently? Dealing with talent, individual and communal incitements, and team organization, it was her master’s degree that provided her the opportunity to take her current role as Manager of Corporate Talent.
As a manager of corporate talent, she focuses primarily on teams of people. Simply, she works on creating the best possible teams for completing goals. She understands how people work, who works well together, and where each individual works best.
Terrero’s lecture also stressed the importance of the changes that Millennials are making in the workforce today. While previous generations viewed jobs in a career mindset, Terrero explained that millennials continue to move around, jumping from job opportunity to job opportunity. Rather than viewing a job as a career, they are focused more on building a resume of accomplishments, and when a millennial worker believes their accomplishment at a job is completed, they are much more apt to move on than previous generations.
Likewise, millennials are focused on learning cultures within a business and professional setting. Rather than learning one job and completing that job, millennials are more concerned with what they are learning on the site – if a millennial worker feels they are not constantly learning new skills, they are much more apt to leave the position compared to previous generations.
Terrero noted that all of these changes she not only studies, but utilizes to inform and change Nestlé as a company to incite millennials to come work for them. The business world is slow to change, but ever so slowly millennials are changing the very way businesses think as more and more millennials graduate college with the mindsets that Terrero is keen on studying.
Terrero advised that, no matter the career path one chooses, one must continue to learn and master emotional intelligence. Learning not only keeps the mind sharp, but also makes for a more competitive in the workforce.