Hewlett-Packard | Manager, Latin America/Canada e-commerce
With an undergraduate degree in Marketing, Adrian Gorena had not planned on working in the tech industry; however, a new program offered at the business school quickly changed his mind.
“I remember seeing fliers around Hankamer for the new MSIS program reading, ‘No experience needed.’ I thought maybe I should look into that,” he laughed. “But on a serious note, at that time the information technology (IT) field was growing rapidly and so was its job market.”
With the IT industry expanding, before the imminent dot-com bust, Gorena took advantage of the opportunity and became a member of one of the first Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) classes at Baylor. The MSIS program was approved in May 1997 and offered that following fall semester.
“The School saw a trend and was reacting to demands of the business world,” he said. “It was a smart and important move for Baylor to begin offering the program.”
After earning his MSIS degree, Gorena was hired by Compaq, which then merged with Hewlett-Packard (HP). He has been with HP, headed by CEO and Baylor alumnus Mark Hurd, ever since and serves as manager of the company’s e-commerce operations in Latin America and Canada.
“My team consists of people in Brazil, Mexico, Canada and the U.S., and we oversee day-to-day operations of HP’s e-commerce transactions,” he said. “We make sure all web content, pricing, product information and promotions are correct, which also means collaborating with the sales teams.”
Gorena said his time at Baylor provided a platform for working in that team environment.
“At Baylor, I learned the importance of working in groups,” he said. “I may not have known it at the time, but in the real world you are never working alone. My success in corporate America depends on my ability to work efficiently with others.”
Gorena is a believer in the career diversity and the many opportunities that the IT industry offers.
“You don’t have to be passionate about being technical, but you do have to be passionate about the industry,” he said. “This industry provides so many different career paths, whether it’s programming, marketing or sales. It is all about being adaptable.”
Gorena said companies expect a “higher quality of employee” when that employee holds a master’s degree. He also emphasized the importance for students to have a focus when pursuing that degree.
“When you pursue a master’s degree, you definitely have to be dedicated,” he said. “You commit time, funds, and then you later commit to a career with that degree training. For me, that career has been through my work at HP.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of computer and information systems managers is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2016.
“Corporate America is really competitive,” Gorena said. “Companies need individuals who are highly educated, well-versed and trained. This is a great industry to be in as we prepare for the next wave of technological advances-IT isn’t going away anytime soon.”