How a Daniels MBA alumnus connected with students on a trip to Madrid

Over the course of his academic and professional career, Ariel Giusti has become a global traveler and developed a deep understanding for unique business environments.

Born in Argentina, Giusti relocated to Denver in 1999 where he would complete an MBA from the Daniels College of Business a year later. Giusti would stick around Denver for a few more years working for NBC and helping to establish the network’s Spanish-language counterpart Telemundo.

From there, he left for Europe and has since split time in London and Madrid, where he is the CEO of branded content company Krealandia. Although he’s spent his career hopping across the globe, Giusti still holds his MBA experience in high regard.

“I always have great memories from my time in Denver,” he said in a recent interview. “I think the University and Daniels College of Business was a great experience for me.”

So, when he heard that a group of Daniels MBA students was traveling to Madrid, he didn’t hesitate to lend a hand. Giusti connected with Megan Reilly, director of MBA global and experiential learning at Daniels, ahead of the trip and was quickly booked to speak with the traveling cohort.

Unlike years past, where programs were booked nearly a year in advance, Reilly said COVID-19 caused the MBA planning team to practice the business tenets it preaches to its students, namely agility. For this trip, students voted to visit Spain in November and were boarding an airplane in March.

“I think we’ve really tried to integrate the additional learning opportunities of that [timeline],” Reilly said. “Sometimes in business you have to pivot.”

What began as a chance reconnection for the University and Giusti, turned into a key learning opportunity for the students in Madrid, Reilly said. The cohort met Giusti at their hotel, where they spent an afternoon talking about the current business landscape.

Giusti offered tips on career development, consulting, how he sells his services and how he acquires clients, among a variety of other things. He also spoke about the different business climate in Europe and how things work compared to the U.S. He felt the connection with students and hoped they were able to use his career as a guide for their own.

“I think they felt that they were talking with someone who did what they are going to do now,” he said. “I felt that I was talking from a more advanced phase of this journey, and they were more in the beginning.”

Reilly said the informal conversation served as an ideal real-world example of what can be achieved after leaving Daniels.

“I think it really painted a picture where they could see themselves going,” she said. “It shrinks that network a little bit.”

For Giusti, the conversation was an opportunity to be an open book and share the highs and lows of his global business career.

“You need to meet people, people who have been there and have done what you are about to do,” he said. “That journey of graduating from DU and finding your career, job, startup or what you want to do in life. It was a great experience to share.”

It wasn’t just the students that benefitted from the trip, Giusti said. The experience pushed him to connect with a few other Daniels alumni in Spain to expand his personal network. The students are also in touch with Giusti on LinkedIn and he’s hopeful they’ll reach out if they are ever looking to do business in Spain.

As he reflected on the trip, Giusti said he hopes the students are left with a little inspiration.

“Life is short, but life is long as well,” he said. “You have time to find what you want to do.”