A Social Entrepreneur in the Making



Mariana is a second year, international student focusing on Entrepreneurship and Sustainability at UBC. She is passionate about disruptive thinking and the creation of innovative, ethical, and sustainable business models with the goal of making the world a better place. Originally from Mexico, she discovered her passion for women empowerment and education when she lived in South Africa for 6 years. Mariana’s been engaged in changemaker communities at UBC (where we were lucky enough to meet her!) and hopes to continue driving positive change in the world!

What do you love about working with LOI? Meeting some pretty amazing people has been the best part so far! I’m grateful to be surrounded by such vibrant and humble individuals that have the common goal of giving back to their community in a unique way. I’ve seen a consistent trait amongst everyone in this team of wanting to help one another and figuring out how to add value to each other’s lives. Our world is in need of more solidarity and compassion and I love that everyone in the LOI community is contributing towards making a positive impact in the world.   

Got any passions? What is your life goal and how will you reach it? Communication is empowering. Finding my own voice as a woman has inspired me to bring other individual’s voices and perspectives into conversations. I find other people’s experiences extremely valuable and I truly believe there’s something to be learned from every interaction. Through every conversation, I hope to spark interest in other people to share their own story.

Have you ever had a side hustle and what was it? It depends how you define a side hustle. Growing up in Mexico and South Africa, I was always drawn to volunteering opportunities where I could work closely with local communities to empower youth. Throughout high school and university most of my time has been dedicated to volunteering and it has been a great experience!

What's your superpower? People tell me I was born happy. I’ve always believed a smile and a positive attitude can go a long way and it is always good if it helps improve other people’s mood and day!

The best advice you could give to a young entrepreneur is to…Take your time and rely on your support network. We are at a point where the world is moving incredibly fast and sometimes we lose sight of what’s really important to us. As young professionals we absolutely need to hustle and work hard to accomplish our professional and personal goals. But we need to remind ourselves that we aren’t alone in this journey and that it is okay to slow down and evaluate whether the path we’re on is the right one for us. If you find yourself struggling with an important life or career decision I encourage you to talk to your friends, family, and mentors to understand how they’ve dealt with similar situations. No one will be able to make that decision for you, but you can certainly gain new perspectives on your situation.

What are you reading/watching/listening to right now? I’m currently going back and forth between two books. One is called It’s Only Blood: Shattering the Taboo of Menstruation by Anna Dahlqvist and Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. If you’re looking for some interesting summer reads, I recommend both of them!

I grew up listening to a lot of 70’s and 80’s music, so with the new Mamma Mia movie premiering last week, I’ve been a bit obsessed with ABBA recently!

The biggest influencer in your life? My parents are my biggest influencers. They are the definition of teamwork, resilience and strength. I’ve no words to describe how fortunate I feel for having their guidance and unconditional support all these years.