Miriam Ballesteros writes about personal finance for career-driven women. Her blog is devoted to sharing ideas, tools and resources that encourage women to make better money, career, and lifestyle choices.
 

Hey, I'm Miriam

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A former teacher turned journalist turned Marketing and Communications expert dedicated to helping you make better career and money choices.

One of the things I’m often asked is
"How on earth did you find what you really care about?"

That’s why I’m thrilled to share my story with you.

Let’s get started!

 
 

My beginnings as a language teacher

I always thought I wanted to be a teacher.

My parents would tell you that  "teaching" was what I answered at all times when asked: What do you want to do when you grow up?

 
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I loved telling stories and motivating others. I had one of my favorite teachers tell me that dealing with people was “my thing”.

And it really was. 

When I was 16, I fell into social sciences and all things communications.

So, when it was time to pick a university degree, I had it clear: language teaching. 

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I went to the University of Barcelona and studied abroad for a year at King’s College London (God bless the Erasmus program!).

Side note: I didn’t have to take out students loans for college. I was fortunate enough to study in a country where the best universities are public —meaning that I only had to pay an annual 1,200€ fee. 

But after graduating, the good stuff started to take place…
 

 

From the classroom to the newsroom

I started out as teacher to kids from 5 to 11 years old in a private school in Barcelona. 

They say teaching is one of the most beautiful and personally fulfilling professions —but for me it wasn’t.

Yes, I had a lot of fun. And yes, I had a lot of rewarding moments with the kids.  

But salary wasn’t that rewarding and the job didn’t turn out exaaactly how I'd envisioned it.

So, while my passion for communication never diminished, I came to accept that the classroom wasn’t the arena I wanted. 

That’s when I made my first big career shift. 

I enrolled at the Pompeu Fabra University and in 2012 I got my Bachelor's degree in Journalism. Huzzah!

During those years, I had the time of my life.

Miriam Ballesteros - Journalism

I loved every single thing I learned: from content creation, to style design for all types of media, to composition techniques for photography, to video recording processes… 

It was amazing. And I did good.

I was rewarded with a Collaboration Scholarship by the Government of Spain that allowed me to work with the Department of Communication of the University during one semester. 

My career as a journalist began in El Periódico, creating and managing all kind of content and overseeing new interns. 

I also started to pay attention to social media for professional purposes, and was very active on Twitter and LinkedIn.

So much that I got a job offer in corporate communication through Twitter.

 

It was the kick-off of my journey in Marketing

My new employer, a marketing communications agency, was looking for people with a newspaper background and online content management experience.

It’s funny. The rise in content marketing was giving me a new career path. It felt natural to use my journalism skills to transition into a marketing communications position.

So, that’s what I did. 

I went back to school and got a Marketing and Social Media certificate from the UNED foundation.

I became a “brand journalist” in Pauta Media and spent my days practicing journalism-style storytelling on behalf of different company clients.

It was fun. I still got to write for major publications in Spain, but my main responsibility was the coordination of the multimedia projects for ESADE Business School, La Caixa, and others.

 
Miriam Ballesteros - First publications in Spanish Media Outlets
 

During the next couple of years, I went back and forth between wanting to work for different clients or work “in-house” in just one company.

Ultimately, I decided to join the communications department at Dexeus Women’s Health.

 

Things started to click

For the first time in my life, I felt I was ALL IN in my career.

I was the communications manager at the leading women’s health centre in Spain. I was a woman working in a clinic for women.

Sounds like the perfect fit, right?

Eventually, I found myself learning a ton about women’s health, feminine communications, marketing to women, you name it. 

I realized I was not only good at it, I enjoyed a heck of a lot more than journalism or teaching!

Dexeus - Miriam Ballesteros

I experimented with event planning, influencers outreach, and agency management. In the process, I learned to manage opinion leaders, high-performance providers, and handled big budgets like a boss.

I was making money doing something I really liked.

All in all, I couldn’t asked for more.

Except for one thing: I was not in a good financial health.

I was not in debt, but I was pissed at how little savings I had.

I felt like I did everything right and was really confused at how this could happen.

At the same time, I heard about a company in Barcelona dedicated to raising awareness about financial technologies that make managing money a lot easier so people can get more out of life. 

They also focused in financial services for women, and they were hiring a marketing position.

Marketing. Women. Finances. Put it all together, and I found my sweet spot!

 

Where I am today

Taking everything I learned from each step along the way, I now work at Strands —a FinTech that helps bank users gain control of their finances.

It wasn’t easy to learn about the technology behind the business, but it’s been worth it. 

In April 2017, I moved to Columbus, Ohio, with my boyfriend Pablo. He’s an engineer at the same company. He builds software, I market it. A pretty good team after all! 

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During that summer, I met Natalie Bacon, a CFP® and a one-of-a-kind blogger from Columbus who was so committed that inspired me to launch my own blog.

And so I did.

I created MiriamBallesteros.com and started blogging about the very best of what I’m living and learning —keeping it real and honest as I go.

Turns out, I just found my most personal mission.

To share ideas, tools and resources that encourage women like me to make better money and career choices, and ultimately get more out of life.

Women In FinTech Powerlist - Miriam Ballesteros

Later that year, I was named in the #WomenInFinTech Powerlist. 

 

I also started to get invitations to speak about personal finance, banking, and career around the States. 

I was thrilled. (!!!)
 

What’s next!

I’m so grateful for my journey so far —including the seemingly unconnected paths that I’ve taken, because each of them has helped me be where I am today. 

And I wouldn’t change a thing.

At the end of the summer, I’m moving back to Barcelona, Spain.

If I’m totally honest with you, I’m happy and sad at the same time because I’ve been calling Columbus “home” for a year and a half now, and it won’t be easy to leave this city behind.

But it’s going to be a new chapter in my life that I’m excited for.

I’ll still be working at Strands, and I plan to continue grow my blog so that I can encourage more people live better by making the most of their careers and financial lives.

And that’s my story… for now.

Thank you so much for reading. 🙂

I’d love to stay in touch with you. You can email me here, or find me on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

Cheers!

Miriam