After starting her professional journey as an attorney before switching to HR, Mariana Urreiztieta’s natural curiosity and readiness to explore new paths were further reinforced through Criteo’s internal mobility and career progression initiatives. Her top tip for aspiring career travelers: Go for it!
What did you do before coming to Criteo?
I practiced employment law in my home country of Venezuela but wanted to understand how my clients’ HR departments were actually implementing the counsel I was providing to them. I moved to Barcelona to do a master’s degree in HR Management and started working for a start-up, which was a huge cultural adaptation, then switched to a large U.S. company before meeting Criteos at a job fair.
What attracted you?
The company was growing fast but had -- and still has -- a start-up spirit. I had a feeling of becoming part of a family of passionate, high-energy people with a culture and values that connected with my own, especially being Open, and the opportunities to learn, expand, grow and share.
How has that worked out in practice?
I’m a living example of Criteo’s internal mobility commitment in action! I started in an HR Operations role, then migrated to the People Experience Manager role (known as HRBP). After one year, I wanted to learn more about the business and signed on to the company’s Voyager Program, which offers short-, medium- and long-term opportunities to experience another job field. Criteo also gives preference to internal mobility and encourages people to apply. When I became a Change Management partner in 2020, it was my third job since joining Criteo in 2017!
How much adaptation is involved on such a varied path?
A lot! And it’s not just about learning new responsibilities, it can also be adjusting to a new culture. I remember showing up for my first day at this tiny start-up (my first job in Barcelona), conservatively dressed as a corporate lawyer. They looked at me like I was an alien! It was funny, but also very scary. I was completely out of my comfort zone. Overnight, I went from a highly structured, formal workplace to a fast-moving, do-whatever-it-takes-to-get-it-done Tech company environment, where I learned new tools each day and found all my beliefs challenged. Today, it’s an environment in which I thrive – but it’s taken a lot of learning along the way!
What do you like best about Barcelona?
It’s an amazingly multi-cultural city, it seems like everyone is from somewhere else. I think this contributes to making the team particularly close-knit. Everyone is in the same boat, learning their way around, sharing tips and being there for each other. It’s a group that is pretty young, eager to learn and very international.
Any career tips you’d like to share?
Just GO for it! Take the leap of faith and don’t be afraid of failing -- because in the end it’s not really a failure, is it?. It’s really all about stretching yourself and leave your “paradise” zone (yes, that one beyond your comfort zone). And always, always trust your gut. Also, don’t forget to be kind to yourself and to ask for help and advice when you feel you need it. We’ve all been there before you!