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Friday, December 2, 2022

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Nicole Solorzano (’12) Nicole Solorzano (’12)

Feeling Empowered

Nicole Solorzano (’12), a marketing senior manager for Disney Parks, says her time at SDSU played a crucial role in her career path as a brand marketer.
By SDSU News Team

“As women, it’s so important for us to champion one another, support each other and above all, lift each other up.”

As a senior manager in the experiences and products division of Disney Parks, Nicole Solorzano’s focus is on franchise management for Disney’s most popular characters, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. 

“I am tasked with building strategic brand marketing campaigns and launching product collaborations across a range of categories globally,” she said. “I’ve developed and launched breakthrough programs like Mickey’s 90th anniversary and have brought to market hundreds of product collaborations with brands like Coach, Levi’s, Vans, Beats by Dre, Sephora and more.” 

Solorzano (’12), who is one of three SDSU alumni participating in the Mar. 10-11 Women in Leadership conference at the Fowler College of Business, said when it came time to apply to universities “there was no question in my mind, I had my heart set on SDSU.”

Solorzano said many of the skills she learned with majoring in hospitality and tourism management have played a crucial role in her career path as a brand marketer. “Little did I know, the major would open up my eyes to a whole new world of opportunity,” she said.

RELATED: Register for the Women in Leadership Conference

Solorzano is looking forward to hearing “from other women in their respective industries, and meeting students,” during this year’s Women in Leadership conference. “This event is such a privilege to be a part of, and I’m hopeful that the students will leave feeling not only inspired, but empowered to pursue their dreams.”

The SDSU News Team spoke with Solorzano to discuss the skills and experience she learned at SDSU, her advice for current students and how she stays current in her industry.

Are there specific skills you learned at SDSU, in class or otherwise, that helped you with the role’s qualifications? 

SDSU taught me how to prioritize (between juggling schoolwork, social life, and all of the in-between), and the power of building strong relationships, among many other skills. But those two, in particular, I’ve found to be game-changers in navigating career life. 

How can women support other women in their organizations?

By raising each other up. The workforce and especially corporate cultures can be competitive in nature. As women, it’s so important for us to champion one another, support each other and above all, lift each other up. 

As a female leader, what has been the most significant barrier in your career, and what have you done to overcome that?

Learning to find my voice. It can be intimidating to speak up at times, especially within large corporate organizations, but I’ve grown to really own my individuality and my point of view as my edge. I’ve aligned myself with other female leaders who I’m encouraged by and who serve as great mentors and role models, which has been a game-changer in both my personal and professional growth.

What advice do you have for SDSU students looking to jumpstart their career and land their first job post-graduation?

Start trying things! Your first job, or your first internship, will certainly not be your last one. So, my biggest tip is to start jumping in, gaining experience, and trying things to get a more direct sense of where your passions lie. 

How do you stay connected in your industry? What are some resources you use to help your career development?

I stay connected through meaningful, regular dialogue with my network. I love catching up with someone over coffee or lunch has always been something that I value. Now, with our world state, I’ve continued to find time for these connections…virtually. Some resources I’d recommend for career development are LinkedIn, podcasts, and being willing to ask people to catch up over coffee or lunch and see what happens!

What are ways outside of the classroom that students can help launch their career paths?

Start working! It can be part-time, or internship-based but getting hands-on experience within industries that you are interested in while in school ultimately gives you a competitive edge upon graduation and a chance to start really understanding where your passions lie firsthand.