June 3, 2024

Class of 2024: Sustainability — and Haskayne — run in the family

Alejandro Marino is third UCalgary graduate in Peruvian family
Haskayne School of Business graduates, all: Alejandro Marino with his father Arturo and older sister Valeria.
Haskayne School of Business graduates, all: Alejandro Marino with his father Arturo and older sister Valeria. Courtesy Marino family

Alejandro Marino was 15 when his family moved to Calgary from Lima, Peru. His dad, Arturo, had just been admitted to the University of Calgary. His parents left careers as lawyers in Peru so their two kids, Alejandro and his older sister Valeria, could have access to university in Canada. 

In the eight years since, higher education has defined the family’s life. “It's been a collective project,” Alejandro says. “We’ve all been there to support each other. I feel like we really are a team and we're all part of the achievements we've been getting in the last eight years.” 

The latest in the long line of the family’s achievements is Alejandro graduating from the Haskayne School of Business with distinction this spring. He follows in the footsteps of his father and sister, who are also UCalgary alumni — Arturo, who went on to study for three degrees, and Valeria, who graduated from Haskayne two years ago. 

Haskayne has come to feel like a second home. “As I started taking more courses from the faculty and meeting more people, I identified myself with the faculty,” Alejandro says. “Faculty advisers throughout my program were always very helpful. They seemed interested in what I was telling them.” 

He plans to use his marketing degree to “help companies understand the importance of sustainability in the long term and encourage them to incorporate sustainable practices into their strategies.” He’s long advocated for sustainability, helping tackle food insecurity as a lead volunteer for the SU Campus Food Bank and following in his sister’s footsteps working on the UCalgary Solar Car Team helping secure funding and manage logistics.

“In Peru, my mom was an environmental lawyer and my dad worked in the energy sector. So we've always been very aware of natural resources and the applications of renewable energy,” says Alejandro. “We understand that natural resources are finite. We know first-hand how the deprivation of these resources and certain activities can impact the community in general.”

Alejandro Marino

Alejandro Marino

Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

A family affair

When they arrived in Canada, his mom, Veronica, supported the family. “Because of our studies, she was the only one who was able to work full-time. So anytime we get a chance, we celebrate my mom,” says Alejandro. 

His dad, Arturo Marino Echegaray, MBA’11, PhD’22, is teaching in the Sustainable Innovation program at Medicine Hat College, after studying for an MSc in sustainable energy development, completing an MBA from Haskayne and a PhD in Environmental Design from UCalgary.

His sister Valeria, BComm’22, a business consultant in finance transformation and national manager of the Social Impact Bonds Program at Ernst and Young, has long admired her younger brother for his mindfulness, work ethic and wisdom.

“Growing up I was always the one who’d say: “Let’s do this, let’s do that!’ And my brother would bring me back to earth from where I was going with all my ideas. He’d say ‘Have you thought of this? Have you considered this?’ He's a very reliable, trustworthy and dedicated person. I know he’ll be a great asset to the Calgary business community.”

Haskayne family

Alejandro Marino with his family: mother Veronica, sister Valeria, and father Arturo. “Faculty advisors throughout my program were always very helpful,” Alejandro says.

Courtesy Marino family

Desire to help students in Canada 

Back in high school, Alejandro’s study permit prevented him from having a job, but it didn’t stop him from co-founding a Spanish club, helping tutor classmates in Spanish and math and volunteering for different organizations. “Growing up in Peru, it's certainly a lot different,” says Alejandro. “I had to learn on my own and figure it out by myself.” In Canada, he wanted to help other students find their way.

At UCalgary, he worked as an adviser at the Student Success Centre and helped with open houses and other events aimed at prospective and new students. For the last two years, Alejandro has worked part-time at the Office of the Registrar, helping students understand payments, student loans and registration. 

“Haskayne was so supportive of my own experience that I felt like I could do the same with other students at the Office of the Registrar. The faculty has been very supportive and I think they really do a good job in providing a good experience for students.” 

Alejandro, who has received multiple awards including the John Shirra Scholarship in Business and the Ricky Ramdhaney Memorial Award, is going to Peru after graduation for a couple of months, “to visit my grandma and see my aunts, my uncles, cousins, just to see how they're all doing,” he says.  After visiting Peru over the summer, Alejandro will be back in Calgary to launch his career.

“It’s like a dream,” says Arturo. “I'm so proud of both my children. Now they are working. They are well prepared and conscious of the opportunities we have here in Canada. And we are very grateful to the University of Calgary and of course the Haskayne School of Business. We received a lot of support from faculty at Haskayne. It’s a complete success for our family and we are feeling blessed.”

Read more inspiring stories about the accomplishments and journeys of the Class of 2024.

Graduates, as you prepare to transition away from student life, we'd like to also welcome you into the UCalgary alumni community. Learn about the programs, benefits and services available exclusively to UCalgary grads, and be sure to keep in touch.

Sign up for UToday

Sign up for UToday

Delivered to your inbox — a daily roundup of news and events from across the University of Calgary's 14 faculties and dozens of units

Thank you for your submission.