For professionals interested in switching careers or advancing in their current field, George Mason University’s classrooms are open. Already an accomplished marketing executive, Patricia Mejia, returned to Mason to attain the master of science in technology management, graduating in 2012. She had previously acquired her master’s in public administration from Mason in 1996. Mejia is now the chief marketing officer at GoTab Inc., which provides food and beverage establishments with e-commerce solutions, a service increasingly in demand. “This position here is what I have always wanted in bridging together my passions for marketing and technology,” she says.
The route to where Mejia is today was strategically mapped in terms of both the companies where she chose to work and the higher education courses she enrolled in. “I wanted to be more effective as a marketer by increasing my knowledge of what I was promoting,” says Mejia. “The technology management program gave me the framework of understanding the technology life cycle and how GoTab fits in the landscape of competition.” Returning to school to study technology management helped eliminate blind spots and improved her ability to communicate with colleagues, partners, and clients. “The CEO of the company where I worked at during the time of my program was about to establish GoTab and he was looking for a team,” she says. Mejia was in an ideal position to later join him to lead the marketing efforts.
Lacking a strong technical background, Mejia benefited immensely from being surrounded by classmates who had that expertise, and, in turn, they learned from her own perspective as a marketing expert. One of Mejia’s fondest memories and proudest achievements was winning the program’s Capstone competition. The topic was technology approaches in the restaurant space, which would prove useful in her transition to GoTab.
Experiencing the rapid evolution of technology and the marketing that needs to keep pace, Patricia Mejia is a great example of why continuous learning in critical to anyone’s career. She advises students and aspiring marketing executives to focus on understanding the data, analytics, and buzzwords of their fields. “At the top of the list, I think they should understand artificial intelligence, what it is and how it can be applied,” she says. Mejia’s work ethic of upskilling, pride in helping colleagues develop personally and professionally, and being a well-rounded leader enables her to help establish the company’s brand in a new and exciting world. For her, another challenge is another opportunity.