Meet Leticia Mendonça Costa, account executive Enterprise at LinkedIn and part of the IMBA alumni.  After seven years, working and studying abroad, Leticia returned to Brazil and is currently working at LinkedIn. Her main role is to support large companies to implement modern sales techniques and use Social Selling to achieve higher productivity levels and effective customer engagement.

Her professional journey took her to work in sales and business development in Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. Those experiences made her passionate about the potential and dynamism of emerging markets and the role of technology in transforming businesses. Along her career trajectory, she also had the opportunity to lead commercial consulting projects with a number of clients, including a retailer in Dubai and a tourism start-up in Pakistan.

How was your time as an IE student?

My time at IE was both amazing and challenging. The MBA exposed me to experiences out of my comfort zone, such as dealing with fellow students that were very different from me and learning subjects that I had never studied before. At the same time, it was great fun! Living in Madrid was an incredible experience, as well as traveling with friends, a crucial part of this intense and amazing year.

How you landed this opportunity after working as a consultant?

I leveraged on my existing network to enlarge my outreach circle and access dream companies. The IE Career Services can be a great source of contacts and help, but you need to lead the job search process in a proactive way. I spent seven years abroad and during the MBA I decided to go back to my country, so putting efforts into re-creating my network was important. For example, I would use LinkedIn to see who could connect and refer me in the companies I wanted to work, ask for introductions from colleagues, and invest at least 3 hours per week in chatting with contacts that could help in terms of introductions and advice.

What motivated you to apply for a position in LinkedIn?

When I decided to move to tech sales, LinkedIn was naturally top of my list. The company has an amazing product, culture, and vision. In addition, I had two formed colleagues working at the LATAM office and when they shared their experiences, I realized the company was indeed a great fit for me. In addition, during the recruiting process, I reached out to different business lines´managers at LinkedIn and one of them offered to speak with me. That conversation was very inspiring; not only it helped me internally with the hiring process, but also showed me the profile of the leadership at the company. Learning more about LinkedIn, I also felt very connected with the fact the company has its regional HQ in Brazil and you get great exposure across markets in Latin America.

What’s your role? What is the next step in your professional career?
As Account Executive Enterprise for LinkedIn Sales Solutions division, my role is to support Latin-American companies to develop and implement modern sales strategies and use social selling to achieve higher productivity levels as well as effective customer engagement.

Our presence in Latin America will continue to grow significantly and I want to contribute to this ambition by taking on a leadership role as a next step.

What would you like to transmit to potential candidates that look up to you?
Be open to the changes that this year can bring, it may take you to a path you didn´t think was possible, but also reflect and hold on to what is truly important to you as you explore new experiences.

Which challenges have you faced?
At times, it was challenging to open my mind to subjects I hadn´studied before and as fascinating as it was to work with the great diversity that IE has, culturally and intellectually, sometimes it caused conflict. The inner development it brought, was actually one of the greatest assets of studying at IE.

Another challenge was deciding on the next steps of my career and personal life. During this year, I realized what I thought I wanted, was not what I really wanted. Letting go of pre-made plans and deciding on next steps was exciting in a way, but challenging in many others.

How did your experience at IE during the IMBA help you to be part of LinkedIn?

The experience at IE led me to understand the role that technology will continue to play in business. Since that was far from my background, it helped to use my strengths and experience in sales to transition to a new industry.

In addition, one important skill required in my new position is business acumen. Perhaps I will not have to use accounting concepts I struggled so much to absorb, but now I can understand the structure and challenges of different industries and how to engage with them.