Welcome to “3 Questions with …”, a recurring feature on the Career Center blog. We’re asking alumni of all graduation years and career interests to share a few of their experiences and a bit of advice.
Filipe Ossa, E’09 Civil Engineering: Chief Operating Officer of Merqueo
1. In just a few sentences, please tell us about your current job/graduate program/vocational endeavor.
I am currently the Chief Operating Officer of Merqueo – the leading online supermarket in Latin America. We disintermediate the food value chain, buying directly from food producers and delivering to consumers´ homes, thus being able to offer a wide variety of products, low prices, and a great shopping experience. We currently operate in Colombia (where we were founded), Mexico, and are getting ready to launch in Brazil.
Prior to Merqueo, I was CEO of Domicilios.com, one of the leading food delivery companies in Colombia (and part of the Delivery Hero group). Before that, I worked at Boston Consulting Group.
2. How did your time at Tufts influence your career journey?
My time at Tufts was crucial to my career journey in multiple ways:
- Tufts gave me the opportunity to witness firsthand that there is no one single way to get somewhere. Meeting and sharing with friends that had such diverse backgrounds undoubtedly primed me to see the world as a flexible, interconnected place, where you can carve your own path.
- Career preparation was stellar – the foundations of how to present myself to the professional world (everything from crafting a CV, to efficient networking, to preparing for an interview, and everything in between) have accompanied me ever since. Overall support of the Tufts network was also important.
- My engineering education, even if not present in my day to day since graduation, was also important in developing how I structure my thinking, how I derive actionable insights from quantifiable analysis, and how I communicate them in an effective way.
3. What advice would you offer to a student who wants to pursue a career path like yours?
- Have an idea of where you want to go and a basic game plan on how to get there. However (and above all), be flexible and allow life to play its role. Careers are seldomly clear straight paths and oftentimes a job that might not be what you were looking for in the near term, might be exactly what will help you land your dream job in the future. New industries that don’t exist today will be created in the future. Don’t stress or obsess too much about getting any one single job.
- Put in the effort – don’t count on your career being driven on simple luck or personal connections. (Very) few people meet their professional goals without having more discipline, putting in more work, and believing more in themselves, than their peers. Having a good attitude and a big smile won’t hurt either.
- Behind the numbers there is always a human being. Regardless of what you do, remember that your decisions will always have a direct or indirect impact on someone – live up to that responsibility.