Marco Balbuena ’12, ’16MBA

Partnership Marketing, Major League Soccer

Marco Balbuena

What did Iona College’s SEM Business program and/or faculty mean to you?
Iona College’s SEM Business program and their faculty represented a promising opportunity in my career and personal life to continue to grow as a person and have a successful career. Growing up in a Mexican household, education was the number one priority for myself and my family. To be a part of the graduating MBA class of 2017, it’s a huge milestone for myself and for other aspiring minorities whose families come from nothing and make sacrifices to pursue their own version of the American dream to progress, achieve their goals, and make a difference in their life. Education is very valuable and it is very important to me. To be a Mexican-American student/working professional and represent Hispanics in the United States of America in a positive perspective is very exciting and refreshing. Not all Hispanics are criminals, we are hardworking people just like everyone else who are working toward achieving their dreams. I want to inspire other minorities to continue their professional growth, make education their priority, and represent the much needed change our society needs.

What was the most beneficial aspect of the program that potential students should know about?
The most beneficial aspect of Iona College’s MBA program is all of the faculty. All of the professors at Iona College are very well-educated with years of business experience who provide lifelong lessons, career advice, and share their professional/personal experience to help you have a successful career.

How did the program help your career?
After graduating Iona College in 2012, I always dreamed of returning and earning my MBA. After returning in the spring of 2015, I knew I made the best decision of my career. During the winter 2015-2016 trimester, while working at Univision, I met Professor Jennifer Cramer who, at the time, was teaching a digital sports marketing class. I was always very interested in sports, especially soccer. I have a huge passion for soccer and continuing to grow the beautiful game and its fan base here in the United States. After working on various projects for Prof. Cramer and completing her class, Prof. Cramer turned into Jen Cramer, VP of Partnership Marketing, and my new boss at Major League Soccer! Because of Iona College and attending her winter trimester class, I met my future boss and I am happily employed at Major League Soccer on the Partnership Marketing Team working with various MLS, Men's Mexican National Soccer Team, and the U.S. Men's & Women's National Soccer Team sponsors.

What was the most memorable experience in being part of the program?
The most memorable experience in being part of the MBA program was my first day returning back to Iona College after three years and just walking around campus. It felt very unreal. I was very happy I made the decision to go back to school and I was looking forward to all of the classes and meeting my professors. It was the best decision I have ever made to pursue my education and inspire others to do the same.

What are you doing now? Please include your current title and a brief description of your role.
Currently I am working at Major League Soccer on the Partnership Marketing team working with MLS, Men’s Mexican National Soccer Team, and U.S. Men’s & Women’s National Soccer Team sponsors managing different accounts and activations at major soccer events. As a passionate and die hard soccer fanatic, I am truly living my dream.