“I’m doing exactly what I want,” Marciales says. “I came here to learn business in the United States and Dominican has been the base, a reinforcement of the theory, and the door that got me to the symphony: a place where I have found amazing people doing amazing and fun things transcendental to the Marin community. They have opened the doors of learning in the field that I like greatly and I’m deeply grateful for this opportunity.”
At the Marin Symphony, Executive Director Jeff vom Saal was immediately impressed by Maria’s enthusiasm, willingness to listen and learn, and intellectual spark.
“Maria’s focus and disciplined approach to solving problems has made her an indispensable part of the symphony operation,” vom Saal says. “Maria has an immensely bright future, and I feel privileged to have the opportunity help her learn and hone her skills.”
At Dominican, Marciales has applied her global business sense and her tremendous life experience to her pursuit of a dream that started with her dad, Marcial Alfredo Marciales Gonzalez.
“Maria is a highly committed and exhibits a high level of integrity. She took advantage of every opportunity at Dominican including internship, research and international experience,” said Dr. Jayati Ghosh, Associate Dean of Dominican’s School of Business and Leadership, and whom Maria deeply appreciates. “Maria has a zest for learning and absorbing new facts. She is a fascinating and compassionate person.”
Marciales also is a model for young businesswomen. In Venezuela, she earned her business degree in Caracas before rejoining the extended family business, which stretches from car dealerships to gas stations to real estate. She assisted her father in his farming business for six years.
After losing her father in a kidnapping incident - commonly seen in Venezuela - Marciales retreated to Spain, devastated, with her older sister. She eventually returned to Venezuela to run the family business and be with her mother, Lilliam, while trying to put the loss of her father behind her.
For six years, Marciales devoted her life to her work, putting her family first. But it had been her wish and that of her father that she someday earn her MBA degree.
“After so much work and a lot of responsibility on my shoulders, I decided I needed to do something for myself and my life and the MBA was exactly the door that I opened up,” she says. “I needed to move on.”
After learning English at Mount Ida College outside Boston, Marciales knew she wanted next to go to California, especially San Francisco. Though she applied to MBA schools in Australia and Southern California, she chose Dominican in 2010.
“I decided for Dominican by heart and I’m glad I did it because I just felt in love,” Marciales says. “The first two people I met here (Director for International Student, Staff and Faculty Experience Global Education Office Radica Ostojic-Portello and Associate Director of Graduate and Adult Admissions Robbie Hayes) were incredibly amazing warm and talented people. Everything went so smoothly. It was meant to be.”
By 2012, Marciales was ready to spread her wings. She went to South Africa with six other Dominican students and was placed in a high school in one of the townships in Port Elizabeth. She awoke at 6 a.m. every day to work with faculty members of the school to help them improve their financial processes. She developed a budget template that is now being used by the district office there.
“I saw the world differently in the sense that there are so many people genuinely seeking help to be better and I saw how I could use my knowledge and skills to motivate them,” Marciale s says. “I ended up learning more from them than they would ever know. South Africa inspired me and opened my eyes about my own self and others.”
“She prepared a well organized manual for the high school administration and went out of her way to help connect them with the local university, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, so they (school administration) could have continuous training,” Dr. Ghosh says. “She did this because she realized that the school had limited resources, but they needed the training.”
Marciales applies the same giving manner to business. She presented a pilot field research study on North Bay biotech firms with Dr. Sooreea, a professor in Dominican’s School of Business and Leadership, to the Academy of International Business in Japan. She wants to educate other countries – in South America and South Korea, for example – about emerging business opportunities.
“I’m learning about the potential of emerging markets; how these economies are rapidly growing and how we need to be aware of this since we are all connected,” Marciales says. “It’s crucial to know what countries are doing and what the future might be. How to bring and connect new ideas to develop safe and durable businesses to bring jobs, which is what we need.”
Marciales found the right job for her. Serving, as a financial analyst with the Marin Symphony is a dream job in the sense that her mother introduced her to classical music from the time she was a child. Marciales, who had planned to graduate in August, is now extending her internship at the same time she is taking a Behavior and Team Collaboration class at Dominican and finishing her Capstone research project on biotech firms. She intends to graduate in May of 2014 and prolong her Dominican experience.
“It’s just perfect, and the campus is so beautiful. It feels so comfortable,” Marciales says. “And the best, the program is totally connected to who I am and what I want, which is global management. I love that it’s connected to the world and its management activities.”