#WFH Diaries: Maria Alejandra Peñalosa of Sancho BBDO

Even as parts of the world begin to open up amid the pandemic, most folks are still working from home. We're checking in with creative people to see how they're faring. Here's an update from Maria Alejandra Peñalosa, Head of Business at Sancho BBDO in Bogotá, Colombia.

Give us a one-sentence bio of yourself.

I am a passionate leader currently working as head of business at Sancho BBDO in Colombia, South America. 

Where are you living right now, and who's with you?

I'm living in Bogotá with my two crazy and lovely cats (Chanel and Felix), and a beautiful plant (Pepe Grillo) ... and my Google Home Mini!

What's your work situation like at the moment?

The client I manage is the biggest bank in Colombia, and the Covid-19 effect gave us a huge amount of work, as well as the possibility to contribute to the economy of our country and the society. Work has been crazy … long hours, non-stop weekends, a sense of a constant adrenaline rush. We are learning every day about humanity, flexibility and adaptability, working at the same time in a super agile way and evolving as a powerful high-performance team. 

Describe your socializing strategy.

I love drinking my coffee while video chatting with my family. Friday nights or weekends are perfect for Zoom meetings with friends. I also connect with random people from the world through live events like tantra yoga, Zumba classes, DJ parties. I also love social media—TikTok is my latest discovery—to interact with people. Finally, I am proud to contribute to the community as a masters professor, which is always a great moment to meet different interesting people.

What are you reading?

I love Flipboard for reading and exploring different topics. I usually read two or three articles in the morning with my coffee. I subscribed to the Stoic Daily Community and read a lot of articles from powerful leaders. As for books, I'm reading Winning with Data and Creativity, Inc.

What are you watching?

I watch different series on Netflix and HBO Go. Right now I am into You, Suits and Girls. I also follow YouTube channels about nutrition, meditation, tantra yoga and fitness, and a lot of live concerts and music. Facebook Watch is perfect to catch up on morning news. I have Apple TV, so for me it is a way to access the world throughout my TV. 

What are you listening to?

I love Spotify; for me, music is life. Every morning I play cheerful songs to start my day with positive energy. I listen Los Caligaris, Los Auténticos Decadentes, Carlos Vives, Shakira, Juan Luis Guerra. I also like to learn with Ted Talks and podcasts. Today I watched the Fareed Zakaria Ted Talk about how coronavirus is changing the world.

How are you staying fit?

I exercize three times a week. I take different virtual classes and love to try new techniques with live classes on Instagram, YouTube and Zoom. I love Saturday Rumba marathons.

Have you taken up a hobby?

My hobby is helping the community by sharing my knowledge. I love to teach at universities—now in virtual mode—and give conferences in livestreams. I also lead a group for women empowerment; we get together once a month and invite powerful women to share their experiences with us. I am also a member of two boards of directors, helping enterprises transform and currently how to respond to this "Covid-19 economy" and keep businesses going. 

Any tips for getting necessities?

A tip that works for me is scheduling grocery shopping using apps like Rappi and Mercado Libre (local to Latin America).

An awkward moment since all this started.

Not knowing what day of the week it is and losing track of time. 

Best work email you got since all this started.

A video that my team made for me with a beautiful message, "We are with you, Mariale," because they know I live alone and far away from my family. 

An aha! moment since all this started.

I realize that all the challenges I have been through have given me the tools I need in this moment of crisis. It is my mission to help companies, clients, my team and the community.

What's your theory on how this is going to play out?

All the traditional models as we know them will change. Starting from a new sustainable economy, maybe money as we know it will disappear. 

See the full #WFH Diaries series here.

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Angela Natividad
Angela Natividad is a founding contributor to Muse. She is also the co-founder of esports agency Hurrah.gg, and co-author of Generation Creation.

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