Teacher with students in the classroom

Maria Palla Valiente '08

Business Adventurer & Strategist
London, England

When tasked with introducing herself, Maria often likes to reply with “Spanish born, American raised, French educated”.  A bite-size answer to a packed question, she says “it doesn’t tell you much about what I do, but it tells you that I treasure my multicultural background.” Unmistakably so! Maria has resided in major cities all her life, growing up in different metropoles like Madrid, Washington D.C, Paris, and currently London. She’s grasped her cosmopolitan life and the opportunities with it too! Mindful of her international education and entrepreneurial spirit, Maria strongly believes “it’s important to diversify...although life keeps us all quite busy as is, there is always time for a little more!

Graduating in 2008 from Rochambeau, Maria returned to Spain to pursue a double undergrad in Journalism and Advertising & PR before moving to London to pursue an MSc in Strategic Marketing. During her studies, Maria combined her love of languages and her business skills to co-create with her sister Inés (a translator and a Rochambeau alumna) a small and fuss-free translation agency called Veritrad. The company, based in London and Madrid and is on its 3RD YEAR RUN! An excellent feat and accomplishment worthy of recognition. Regardful of the steps it takes to sustain a business, Maria reflects... “We are quite proud for having survived 3 years and for having managed to gather incredibly loyal clients and a great network of translators that work with us.” When asked about her motives and future plans for Veritrad she explains, “the main reason for this shared venture is not financial, but rather about the satisfaction of seeing something go from daydream to reality – and for it managing to stay afloat! It’s a hobby-turned-small-company that keeps us on our bilingual toes!”

Besides steering this super sister-sustained agency, you’ll find Maria delving into strategy in a major marketing role at Sky, the UK’s fifth most valuable brand and largest advertiser. As a brand strategist with agency experience, she is quite excited to be analyzing what the client-side buzz is all about! Looking back at her own alumni journey and where she finds herself today, Maria encourages anyone wanting to venture into entrepreneurship to go for it ! "It is a great way to flex your creative muscles, learn about business, finance, law, and HR in a real-life crash course, and develop a sense of accountability and responsibility that few other experiences can provide.” 

A FEW WORDS FOR ROCHAMBEAU 

No place has impacted my outlook on life quite the way Rochambeau did. It is the place I first met my best friends for life, the first time I was thrown into a truly multicultural environment, and the reason I developed an eagerness for academic excellence and personal ambition. I found Rochambeau to be a school that allowed me to be myself and really explore what that meant, which is probably the ultimate Humanist way to approach education.

One of the things I love most about Rochambeau, and something I have only come to truly value now as an alumna, has been its ability to produce cohorts that have gone to work in a variety of roles, in all sorts of industries, and across the world. I love having Rochambeau family in practically every country I visit and being part of such a diverse and fascinating network!