Rising Star Awards: What happened next for Maria Rosa Torres Sejin

Maria Rosa Torres Sejin

WeAreTheCity’s Rising Star Awards are now in their tenth year.

The Rising Star Awards are the first to focus on the achievements of women below Senior Management or Director level – representing the female talent pipeline and the next generation of future leaders.

In this ongoing series, we speak to our winners about life after winning a Rising Star award.

We spoke to Maria Rosa Torres Sejin, who won a Rising Star Award in Banking & Capital Markets, in 2023.

Maria Torres Sejin, an award-winning Latina immigrant and global strategist with a decade of expertise in “People” Programme and Change Management. Certified as a PMP, Maria excels in transforming organizations through strategic programs, bridging the gap between business strategy, culture, and technology. With a focus on cultural transformation and data-driven decision-making, she has left her mark globally. Maria holds a board role championing Latin American women’s right in the UK, showcasing her commitment to community impact. Born in Colombia, Maria’s professional journey spans continents, balancing a thriving career with motherhood, and actively contributing to the Latin community in the UK.

How did winning a Rising Star award influence your perception of your own achievements and potential?

Winning this award has been a truly humbling experience, and it has significantly influenced my perception of my own achievements and potential. The recognition as a Rising Star has served as a powerful affirmation of the hard work, dedication, and passion I invest in my work within the dynamic field of Banking and Markets. It has instilled a profound sense of pride in my accomplishments and the impact they have on the industry.

This award has become a motivating force, inspiring me to set even higher standards for myself and to continuously strive for excellence. It serves as a reminder that the innovative approaches and strategies I bring to the table are not only recognized but celebrated within the broader professional community.

Moreover, winning the Rising Star Award has expanded my vision of what is possible in my career trajectory. It has reinforced my belief in the value of pushing boundaries, taking on challenges, and embracing opportunities for growth. The acknowledgment from industry experts has fueled my confidence and strengthened my resolve to pursue ambitious goals. This recognition has not only affirmed the impact of my current contributions but has also heightened my awareness of the potential I hold to shape the future.

Have there been specific opportunities or doors that opened for you as a result of receiving the award?

Receiving the award has undeniably been a transformative experience, opening numerous doors and presenting exciting opportunities for professional growth. Following the award, I was honored to be named a finalist for Emerging Leader of the Year by Forward Ladies. This recognition, coupled with my passion for advocating for Latin American women’s rights in the UK, led to my appointment to my first board role for a cause I deeply care about.

In addition to these achievements, I was recognized as the Top Project Management Voice on LinkedIn, a testament to the impact of my contributions in the field. Professionally, I transitioned from a part-time role to a full-time, permanent position at work, signifying a substantial step forward in my career trajectory. Moreover, I seized the opportunity to enhance my leadership skills by completing a prestigious leadership course at Oxford.

These accomplishments not only reflect my dedication and hard work but also serve as a validation of my skills and contributions within the professional landscape.

How has winning the award affected your professional network and relationships within your industry?

Winning the award has had a significant impact on expanding my professional network and strengthening relationships within my industry. I have been proactive in cultivating connections across various sectors, with a particular focus on banking, data, and technology. Additionally, I have actively engaged with the Latin American tech community in London, fostering valuable relationships within this niche.

Since the award, I’ve intentionally reached out and established purposeful connections in different industries, broadening my network’s diversity. On LinkedIn, I’ve experienced substantial growth, increasing my connections from 1000 to 1600. This expansion has allowed me to reach different audiences, evidenced by nearly 50,000 impressions on the platform. It’s been an exciting journey of networking and collaboration, and I look forward to continuing to build meaningful connections that contribute to the growth of my professional endeavors.

Have you had the chance to mentor or inspire others based on your experience?

Yes, absolutely. I have had the privilege of serving as a mentor in the Latinas in Tech community, where I currently mentor two individuals—one based in Canada and another in the UK. It has been incredibly fulfilling to support them on their career journeys, offering guidance on career transitions and assisting them in navigating their professional paths. Witnessing their growth and success has been a rewarding experience.

In my professional capacity, I have also taken on a mentoring role at work. I’ve actively supported the promotion of a colleague, providing guidance on her career development, and enhancing her skill set. Being able to contribute to the professional advancement of others is something I am deeply passionate about, and I look forward to continuing to inspire and support individuals in their career pursuits.

What advice would you give to someone else thinking of nominating themselves or others for the awards?

I would encourage anyone considering nominating themselves or others for awards to embrace courage and recognize that identity is a superpower. As the Latin actress America Ferrera aptly said, “Who we see thriving in the world teaches us how to see ourselves, how to think about our own value, how to dream about our futures.”

Having the courage to step forward and acknowledge your achievements, or those of someone else, is a powerful act. It’s about recognizing the unique strengths that come from one’s identity and using them as a superpower in the professional realm. By showcasing diverse perspectives and experiences, we contribute to a richer and more inclusive narrative of success.

So, my advice would be to embrace your journey, celebrate your achievements, and understand that your identity is a unique strength that adds tremendous value. By sharing your story or recognizing the accomplishments of others, you not only contribute to a more diverse representation of success but also inspire others to believe in the power of their own identities.

What advice do you have for individuals aspiring to achieve success in their careers?

My advice for individuals aspiring to achieve success in their careers is threefold:

  • Be Authentic: Authenticity is a powerful tool in the professional world. Embrace your unique qualities, experiences, and perspectives. When you bring your authentic self to the table, you not only build genuine connections but also contribute to a diverse and inclusive workplace. People resonate with authenticity, and it can be a catalyst for personal and professional growth.
  • Be Kind: Success is not solely about individual achievements; it’s also about how you collaborate and uplift others. Kindness goes a long way in building strong relationships, fostering a positive work environment, and creating a network of support. By being kind and supportive, you not only enhance your own well-being but also contribute to the success of those around you.
  • Cultivate a Desire for Learning: The professional landscape is ever evolving, and success often hinges on adaptability and continuous learning. Cultivate a thirst for knowledge, stay curious, and embrace opportunities for growth. Whether it’s acquiring new skills, staying updated on industry trends, or seeking mentorship, a commitment to learning will not only keep you relevant but also open doors to new and exciting possibilities in your career.

What is next for you?

I have a dynamic roadmap ahead, both professionally and personally. At work, I am honored that my boss has recommended me for a promotion next year. I am committed to continuous learning, staying at the forefront of industry trends, and expanding my skill set to contribute meaningfully to my team and organization.

Beyond the workplace, I am enthusiastic about further developing my skills in my board role, championing the cause of Latin American women’s rights in the UK. Additionally, I am dedicated to contributing to and supporting the Latin community, fostering connections, and driving positive change.

Balancing these endeavors, I will continue to prioritize and nurture my family. Striking a harmonious balance between my professional and personal life is essential, and I look forward to navigating the journey ahead with enthusiasm and dedication.

Where can others follow you?

You can follow me on my LinkedIn page, where I share insights and engage with topics that align with my interests, including people analytics, business strategy, inclusive leadership, program management, and the Latin community. Connect with me here: Maria Rosa Torres Sejin | LinkedIn.

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