Growing up in Colombia, Patricia knew that she wanted to be the CEO of a company, and after graduating high school at 16, left home to move to Bogota to take her degree in Economics. Finding it hard to live in a big city, after 18 months she moved home back to Barranquilla to finish her studies.
During that time, she had an internship with the Chamber of Commerce where she would work with contractors who were providing support to small business owners and start-ups. The seed was planted.
Clearly not someone scared to move, she next went to England to obtain her Masters degree in economic development and after a year back in Colombia, ended up coming back to the UK to work for Cummins Inc, in charge of project management and marketing.
After meeting her Canadian husband, she moved to Canada where she continued to work for Cummins. “I travelled for two years non-stop, reporting to the UK, but responsible for marketing for North America.”
Tired of the travelling and the contract world with corporations, Patricia knew it was time for a change and she went back to school – George Brown College – to study interior decorating. This led her to working with Kimberly Seldon and running her own design company. She focused on renovations and construction projects.
However when her son was born, he had health issues which meant her priorities changed. It was a marketing contract from Weavers Art that kick-started her business again. “It was a great way to get resurrect my business as it was a combination of design and marketing. “
Realizing that digital marketing was the new future, she also took a diploma course in digital marketing at the University of Toronto and more recently went back to Rotman to take her MBA.
With great enthusiasm, Patricia described her recent experience as the Entrepreneur in Residence at the Toronto Public Library. It was a tender process and she had to submit a proposal before she was awarded the position.
Through this contract she had to deliver six seminars, organize a panel discussion and work one-on-one with would-be and established entrepreneurs. And she loved it.
When asked what she’d learned from the experience, she shared that it made her do more public speaking, which she enjoyed more than she thought she would. “It was a lot of work preparing for the seminars, which each drew a crowd of 80+ people.”
She also realized that as a perfectionist, she was demanding more of herself than was expected. But it was the one-on-one consultations that she enjoyed the most. “I felt I was really helping the people with their business ideas and helping them move forward.”
It was also that sense of giving back that was rewarding. “I am so fortunate and have expertise to share. “ shares Patricia. “We are so lucky.” she adds.
And she doesn’t want that consultation experience to end, and will welcome opportunities to continue sharing all she knows with others.