In the Atrium with Nicol Pedraza
With more than three thousand students, the Marriott School of Management brings together some of BYU’s best and brightest from across the globe. I recently caught up with one of these stellar students, Nicol Pedraza, a sophomore marketing major and Portuguese minor from Mexico City. Pedraza talked about finding her path to BYU, her experience at the Marriott School, and her plans for the future.
MAM: What brought you from Mexico City to BYU?
Pedraza: My family and I moved from Mexico City to Utah about three years ago when my parents received job offers in Salt Lake City. I’m a recent convert to the LDS Church. When I heard the church had a university I started to look into it and was surprised by how highly BYU is ranked for education, standards, and other factors. It became my dream school. I really admired what BYU was doing, so I did my best to get in and then into the Marriott School.
MAM: Why did you choose a business major?
Pedraza: I’ve always been interested in business. Marketing, especially, has been something that I thought I would be good at and something I would enjoy studying.
MAM: What has your experience been like at the Marriott School?
Pedraza: Students in the Marriott School are very driven and goal oriented. They try to excel and to be better. I love that. I especially like the quote posted at the Tanner Building entrance: “Service is the rent we pay for living in this world of ours.” Professor Swenson has a quote that talks about how marketing isn’t about just sales and advertising; it’s about touching the human heart. That’s why I love marketing. Through marketing you do a lot more than just make a company profitable. You also connect the company to customers.
MAM: Tell me about your summer internship.
Pedraza: Last summer I interned with the Workers Compensation Fund. I helped with Utah Business Week, which focuses on teaching students more about business and what the business world is like. I really enjoyed the internship.
MAM: What are your future plans?
Pedraza: I would love to work in education—or anything that allows me to help people. I would like to go back and work for WCF after I graduate or maybe for an airline. I’m very interested in global business too, so I’d like to go back to Latin America, especially Mexico or Brazil. Maybe I’ll start my own business.
MAM: Who has been a mentor for you?
Pedraza: There are so many that it’s hard to pick just one. There is, however, one that stands out. Austin Craig is a BYU alumnus whom I met during my internship. He’s one of my role models and one of the reasons I’m studying marketing. He told me that BYU really helped him establish a base for being an ethical marketer. That really helped me because I think marketing can be a beautiful career, but it’s so important that you have good morals and values to really make a positive impact.