Taking every opportunity to build an inclusive community, Mariano Andres Gigena-Kazimierczak has set himself up for a rewarding career in HR; and it’s only the beginning.

3 min read

Born and raised in Edmonton, Canada, and of Polish-Latino descent, Mariano Andres Gigena-Kazimierczak is truly a global citizen. Curious about the world and cultures around him, he completed his undergraduate degree in psychology and Spanish language and literature, followed by a master’s degree in education. He’s now at IE Business School, advocating for the LGBTQ+ community and bringing together all his unique experiences to inform his Master in Talent Development & Human Resources.

Mariano is an active contributor to the IE Community, creates organizational impact for the LGBTQ+ community, and when he’s not busy bringing people together, he enjoys going to the theater and using music as a creative outlet. He’s passionate about DEI consultancy and business strategy, along with data and people analytics.

Currently enjoying every opportunity to make the most of what his program offers, Mariano knows he made the right choice coming to IE Business School. He was drawn to the school thanks to its strong reputation and global ranking as a business school, along with the opportunity to live in Madrid and build a life for himself in the city. Additionally, the Master in Talent Development & Human Resources stood out to him as it aligns well with his professional goals; developing business strategy regarding people analytics and DEI. He was also looking to pivot from education to business and HR was the perfect bridge between the two.

In his professional life, Mariano is currently a project manager intern at HelloChange, an HR tech startup. Every day presents a new opportunity for Mariano to immerse himself in the multiphase delivery of their mentorship program. Keeping him motivated and consistently challenged, his day-to-day consists of managing teams and building client relations. The internship allows Mariano to hone his problem-solving, consulting and communication skills so that he and the team can implement the best tech use cases to automate their services.

Engaging with the LGBTQ+ community

Outside of work, Mariano is big on giving back to the community. Balancing study, work and extracurricular commitments, he’s currently President of IE Out & Allies Club. This role demands strong leadership skills, giving him the chance to implement knowledge from his program when recruiting officers and interviewing candidates. He also puts his organizational skills to work when planning events, liaising with stakeholders and collaborating with other student clubs. One of the most enjoyable parts of his role was “conducting a survey regarding LGBTQ+ student experiences at IE Business School, which led to the creation of an IE Out & Allies Club WhatsApp community.” As President, Mariano is involved in a lot of exciting initiatives and continues to help his community prepare for the real world after their studies.

But that’s not all. Mariano is also an event manager for LGBT+@Work. In this role, he has the opportunity to engage with a diverse community of LGBTQ+ students, allies, professionals and organizations where they discuss diversity, allyship and the LGBTQ+ community, and have the chance to gain insights from trailblazers in their fields.

The key to success when taking every opportunity that arises

With so many things on his plate, it’s impressive how well Mariano balances his time. He says the secret is his agenda—it keeps him afloat. “I book time in my calendar for self-care. I also have a ‘challenge accepted’ mindset, where I recognize the hard parts of learning and growth,” he explains. Mariano has learned how to manage stress and uses his mental health tool kit to process and move through it. Coming out the other side, he’s noticed how much more resilient he is when managing multiple projects. “I came into this program with one intention and that was to make the most out of my experience,” he adds.

As a member of IE Business School’s international community, Mariano has worked with people from all four corners of the globe, both in and outside the classroom. This has taught him how best to approach cross-cultural dynamics. It’s been a challenge that Mariano has embraced with both hands and one that will serve him well in the future.

But the standout moment for Mariano regarding his IE Experience so far is the extracurriculars. Having the opportunity to collaborate with different organizations and get experience in the real world has been an invaluable opportunity. “The key takeaway is to stay persistent, stay committed and don’t back out, even during the hard times,” he explains.

What’s next for Mariano?

Looking to the future, Mariano hopes to combine his career and advocacy work in the LGBTQ+ community through his new role as a Customer Success Manager at myGwork. This role allows him to create organizational impact for his community through relationship building and educating people on DEI. His program at IE Business School has equipped him with the necessary skill set—complemented by his rich experience—to thrive.

To other students considering pursuing a program at IE Business School, he tells them to “Get involved! You never know when the right person will show up in the right place and time to change your career forever. Have an open mind and be brave, too!”