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International career drives Diageos Sara to great heights

International career drives Diageo's Sara to great heights

Have you always wanted a career where you could put your networking and people skills to good use? A place where problem solving and strategic decision making were part of your everyday? Ever considered a role in sales?

Sara De Pablos did and is now enjoying a rewarding and challenging leadership role with the world’s leading premium drinks business, Diageo.

With a 50/50 gender split on its Leadership team, Diageo is an inspirational employer with a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Here Sara discusses her role as Customer Marketing Director at Diageo Iberia and offers insight into her unique career path with this prime employer for women.

Moving out of your comfort zone

Before working with Diageo as a Customer Marketing Director in the Iberian region, Sara de Pablos studied for a degree in Advertising and PR with a Master in Media Planning. After excelling on her course, Sara began to work agency side for a number for FMCG blue chip clients including P&G, Unilever and Universal Studios. Seeking out the best female talent to join its sales team, a headhunter found Sara and was quick to get her on board as the Media Director for Diageo Spain.

“I’d never heard about Diageo when I was approached but I knew a lot about the brands. Once I started researching the company, I quickly learnt that Diageo was a great place to work and I was really excited about the opportunity to work with such a fantastic portfolio of brands,” explains Sara.

Moving to an in-house role with such a brilliant worldwide reputation was a no-brainer for Sara as the career development offered was impressive. “I realised there’s a world of possibilities at Diageo if you’re willing to move out of your comfort zone. I’ve worked at Diageo for well over a decade in a variety of departments and roles including Marketing, Procurement, Sales and Customer Marketing - and these have been both regional and local roles across Diageo.”

Sara, as well as many of the other employees in leadership roles at Diageo Iberia have developed a cross functional career like this.

People are at the heart of a commercial career

Working within the commercial team at Diageo offers Sara the opportunity to interact with a wide network of people. She has found that this has enriched her view of the business and encouraged her to progress in her role. Her communication skills are now deemed one of her most valuable assets. “I’d say on top of the functional and basic commercial acumen functional expertise, it’s key to possess influencing skills so you can represent the customer voice within Diageo,” suggests Sara.

Proud achievements at Diageo

Sara has enjoyed many memorable moments and proud achievements as a long standing team member at Diageo, some of which she certainly should be shouting from the rooftop. “I was recognised as an Inspirational leader within the Latin America supply and procurement organisation. This was due to me moving my family to another continent, starting working in a completely different cultural environment and functional agenda, and after two years being recognised for my efforts. And relationships have been key along the way. It’s truly fulfilling to realise you’ve left a footprint in people’s lives, inspiring them to be the best version of themselves.”

An industry that keeps you on your toes

Sara has some valuable advice for those considering a commercial career within Diageo and she’s passionate about talented women joining her on the journey with this global drinks company. “The constant changes, uncertainty and ambiguity, both external and internal are one of the main challenges every leader needs to face in today’s environment and I’m no different. The ability to ensure teams stay focused and engaged despite barriers is what really excites me. No one told me my career was going to be easy. We should enjoy the journey, embrace challenges and overcome barriers together,” remarks Sara.

Sara attributes Diageo’s CEO Ivan Menezes as a true inspiration of leadership. “Ivan Menezes says he values ATTITUDE more than APTITUDE and I can’t agree more. If you manage to create a super engaged and committed team, then the sky’s the limit.”

Career options at Diageo

If you have enthusiasm and drive like Sara, why not research exciting vacancies with commercial teams at Diageo today.

Find out more

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