Alex Masui MAOL'11

Alex Masui '11

From: Los Angeles, California.

MAOL Concentration: Leadership

Career: Global Business Development manager for Cisco Systems' Enterprise Translation Services Group

Why the MAOL is right for her:
At 47, I had felt stalled in my career. I wanted larger account responsibility or a global partner to work with. When I went back to school, I didn't think an MBA was the answer. The MAOL has everything to do with being innovative, creative and changing the game through leadership, which fit what I wanted to do.

A career-changing program:
I never would have been considered for my recent promotion if I had not taken the St. Kate's global studies program in Budapest. The fact that I understand the need to be sensitive to diverse customers and styles of communication is essential.

A new role:
I work on a global team selling translation services, which means localizing a product or a service to a market. I work with worldwide channels in worldwide sales.

On cultural competency:
In Tokyo, the same word is used to say "the table is round" as "roundtable," but they have different meanings. So at Cisco, we need to make sure the translation is always "the table is round," for example. Because I am working with emerging markets and teams in Japan and China, there is a lot of sensitivity around how you address someone and how you manage a meeting. Cisco found my awareness of cultural differences very appealing when considering me for my current position.

Leadership lesson:
The language of leadership is really core to whatever you're going to be doing. You don't have to be loud or vocal to win your argument. If you are, you're looked at as bullying or excluding people, and you're not going to get the accolades you're looking for.