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Maria Jose Heshiki de las Casas

Alumni Story

Maria Jose is young and ambitious designer with a strong passion for fashion, beauty, and sustainability. Given her diverse set of skills ranging from business and user experience to visual-centered and product design, she is able to create visually appealing yet user-centered projects.

Spanish & Peruvian

Current Location

Madrid, Spain


Founder TUMBAO

Program studied

BID, 2021


Could you tell us about how you developed TUMABO and your current role?
Tumbao has been in the making since the second year of the BID program. I joined early last year as Nicholas and I found ourselves in Mexico during the pandemic with a lot of free time on our hands. Although we don’t have concrete roles, I’m in charge of the more creative and design-facing part of the company – designing the product line, managing operations with suppliers and manufactures, social media etc.

How did your experience at IEU prepare you for your professional career?
Having a University that teaches its students that aren’t studying business the basics – and having that business mindset – is incredibly helpful when it comes to your professional career.

What is the competitive advantage that studying at IEU provides or has provided you?
As I previously mentioned, being able to have that business perspective/mindset is incredibly helpful. Not only that, but having peers from all around the world gives room for you to learn about different cultures, perspectives etc.

Do you have any advice for IEU students and alumni who are looking to pursue a career in design?
Stop waiting and start! In Design, experience is a great way for you to learn new skills and find out what you like and dislike.

What skills do you consider are needed to succeed in design?
Adaptability. Being able to adapt to the users’ needs – the clients, your groups, the teachers, situations etc. – is super important. You need to be empathetic and to be able to adapt to changes that need to be made accordingly.

Why do you think it’s important to engage with the IEU alumni community?
You never know how someone can help you in the future. Constantly engaging, within the IEU alumni community or not, is an opportunity for you to meet people and network!

What skills would you recommend job seekers develop in order to make them more competitive in today’s workforce?
Learning how to “sell yourself” is more important than people think. Know your skills and what you’re worth! Don’t under value yourself.

If someone was considering going to IEU, what would you tell them?
Enjoy your time at IE! Attend events, network, talk to new people, try new things – make the most of the 4 years.

Why did you choose the BID program at IE University?
I’ve always known that I wanted to pursue a creative career while still having the ability to learn about business. However, other design programs around the world seemed to be too rigid and old fashioned – I wanted to have the ability to learn a diverse range of design skills, everything from design history to product design to UX design.

What is one thing you wished you knew, when you were a student?
Experience is super important! Experience not only looks good on your resume but it also gives you a lot of insights into what the industry is like. It also allows you to figure out what you like and/or dislike. The sooner you find out your likes and dislikes the better.