Meet PACO: Alejandra Chavez, Account Manager
In high school, Alejandra Chavez thought she wanted to be a civil engineer because her father is one. Then, she thought she wanted to be a teacher, because she enjoyed teaching ESL students, and it reminded her of her struggles as a child.
“The only thing that I knew was that I wanted to work for the Hispanic community,” Alejandra explained. “I wanted to be involved in some way with the Hispanic community in the U.S.”
With a business career in mind, Alejandra enrolled in a marketing class, and loved it. She graduated in three years with a dual degree in marketing and international business. Now, her favorite part of doing a project is seeing the finished product come to life.
“Once you drive down the street and see a billboard that you did, or hear your spot on the radio, it’s a great feeling, all the strategy and planning finally coming to life.” she said.
Through her work at PACO, Alejandra fulfills her desire to be involved with the Hispanic community in Chicago.
“Even though this portion of the market is growing tremendously, I think that a lot of companies and brands are still in denial of what’s going on and the fact that they need to target the Hispanic and multicultural market,” Alejandra said. “Multicultural is now becoming the general market. Many companies are now focusing on multicultural, not only Latinos, but people of other ethnicities as well. They live in the U.S., have lived in the U.S. for a long time, and have acculturated to the U.S. culture in one form or another.”
At the age of 10, Alejandra moved to the United States from Guadalajara, Mexico, not knowing a word of English. For her, this was the scariest experience in her childhood. But it was also her motivation to not settle, to do the best she can and achieve what she wants, no matter what. This motivation has helped Alejandra grow professionally and personally.
“Outside of my job, I do workshops with Hispanics students in high school and college,” Alejandra said. “One of the workshops that I attend to is the Latino summit, in November where approximately twelve high schools in the northwest suburbs attend. I talk to Hispanic students about going to school, graduating from college and not becoming a stereotype. I think there is a trend that when you graduate high school, or are in high school, that you have to go right into the workforce to help support your family financially, something very common in Hispanic families. Consequently, not a lot of students go to college. I talk to them about my own personal experience, applying for scholarships and possibly being the first person to graduate from college in their families.”
Alejandra compares her personal experiences to PACO, saying that it is a part of her life.
“I can definitely relate to PACO because I feel like I’m very close to my roots; to my family and knowing where I came from and the values that I have,” Alejandra concluded. “But, at the same time, I am aware that I live in another country and that it is now my home. I do celebrate the Fourth of July, etc. It’s just great. I have the best of both worlds.”