Extraordinary international experience prepares alumna for today’s global business environment

The Institute for International Business (IIB) semester certificate in business is a unique program at SUNY New Paltz that provides international students from all over the world with a blended curriculum of study and work, including a capstone internship in New York City’s fast-paced business environment.

For alumna Estefania Padilla ’10 (International Business) of Guadalajara, Mexico, the IIB helped her launch an impressive career at the heart of athletic competition in her home nation: Estadio Azteca, the most important stadium in Mexico and home of the national fútbol team, where she serves as head of marketing, public relations and events.

Here, she talks with the College about her time at New Paltz, how the NYC internship opened doors at Sony, and how combined professional success with her love of sports.

Tell me about your experience as part of the IIB program at SUNY New Paltz.

To be honest, what stood out most was the fact that I was going to be able to have an internship in NYC, which for me was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

You don’t get to live those experiences easily and I was lucky enough to land the internship of my dreams, doing what I love most: sports and music at Sony Music on Madison Avenue. I had the opportunity to work in the Global Marketing Department, specifically in the South Africa FIFA World Cup project, the main goal was to launch the World Cup anthem, Shakira’s “Waka Waka” song, which became a world hit as soon as it came out.

From working on presentations for FIFA, handling the shipment of the official mascot for a video, to working on press junkets for Herbie Hancock, it was my first job ever.

How did the IIB prepare you for your current professional role?

I currently work in the sports industry. It took me a while to get there, but I’ve been in the industry for almost five years now. At the moment I work at the Estadio Azteca, the most important stadium in Mexico, home of the National team, two soccer clubs and the NFL. I’m the head of marketing, PR and events.

I get to do what I always wanted, from operating games and concerts to planning NFL games.

My previous experience in NYC and my relationships have really helped out when dealing with the NFL game planning. Having an idea of what it is to work in an American environment, I can deal just fine with my NFL peers, we understand each other greatly.

How do you remember your time at New Paltz, and what do you think the future holds for you?

All of the above wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t gone to SUNY New Paltz. Getting in to the IIB program has been one of the best decisions I made in my life. From going to school in New Paltz to living in NYC, it really prepared me to face the real world and to have a real grasp of what the professional world is about.

As for my future, I’m not sure where I’ll be going… all I know is that 2026 will be bring the FIFA World Cup back to Mexico again, we will be the first stadium to host three world cups ever. And I would love to be part of that. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

The Institute for International Business (IIB) program invites international students from around the world to participate. The first half of the semester is spent on campus at New Paltz, where students take School of Business courses alongside undergraduate and graduate students. The second half of the semester is spent interning for an organization in New York City.

Learn more about the Institute for International Business (IIB) online.