The daughter of a civil engineer who specialized in earthquake-resistant structures, Soledad Tanner, MIB ’02, and a thriving global financial consultant, developed an unshakable approach to situational tremors. Her natural style is to steady herself and keep going.
Overcoming Her Biggest Upheaval
In her homeland of Ecuador, Tanner overcame her greatest-magnitude tremor—the unexpected death of her father. Abruptly, the family’s financial situation started to crumble.
Her mother had been a homemaker and quickly began searching for a job. Though the matriarch was only 45, she was turned away by every possible employer as “too old.” As a result, the Tanners had to liquidate their belongings to keep a roof over their heads.
Tanner, then 22 years of age and the middle child of three (her older brother was living in Switzerland, and the younger one was only 17), was already working one job at a bank and in the third year of pursuing her dream of earning a business degree. But instinctively, the intelligent, future business leader took action.
“I became the breadwinner,” she said. “First, I found a second job to increase our income while everyone else kept looking for work. With that and going to school full time, I only managed to sleep two or three hours per night for the next several years.”
Rising to Mentor Her Mother in Business
Under those harsh circumstances, the resourceful young woman also mentored her mother. Tanner explained, “I couldn’t comprehend how society could abandon a mother like that. So, I used my business knowledge to coach my mom on how to open and run her own coffee house and manage the finances. It was a successful shop and sustained her until she retired.”
Remarkably, Tanner became the first female in her family to finish college. She moved to the U.S.A. and landed a job with the giant Deutsche Post DHL Group. There, she continually impressed the leadership and eventually became the global director of strategy performance and metrics, answering directly to a global board member.
“The higher I went, the more complex and competitive it became, and I wanted to be a subject matter expert in finance.”
Managing Other Magnitudes
She pursued her Master’s in International Business and dealt with one situational tremor after another to make it happen. First, she moved from Ecuador to Houston, selecting UST’s Cameron School of Business for its excellent reputation, smaller size, international approach and ethical leadership principles.
“CSB’s Master of International Business provided a global perspective of the world, and having three passports (Ecuador, U.S. and Switzerland), I was a global citizen. The University’s smaller size increased my probability of meeting people and developing friendships in a new cultural environment. I have the deepest gratitude to Cameron School of Business for the rest of my life. It was the gateway to my dreams, the place where they catapulted my knowledge to a higher level.”
But first, she had to, once again, steady herself for shakeups. The American education system baffled her with its lengthy application processes and application tests. Still, she did not give up and passed after multiple tries.
Next was the language challenge. Though she spoke English, learning higher concepts in a foreign language was daunting. It was a period, once again, when the highly motivated professional got very little sleep.
“It was exhausting, but what kept me going was the assurance that getting a higher education from CSB was a key to thriving and remaining relevant.”
Sharing How to Respond to Shocks and Upheavals
In fact, it became a key to establishing Tanner’s own global financial consulting firm, STC Consulting. Sparked by the experience of her once financially challenged and frightened mother, Tanner lights up describing her company’s mission.
“Back then, my mom was frozen by the bills and the credit cards—the debt—and I said, ‘I promise I will be right next to you.’ Well, after spending 20 years dealing with global solutions for Deutsche, I intend to spend the next 20 helping thousands of women to demystify and feel confident about their business finances.”
Tanner gets deep satisfaction from unlocking for her clients the “multiplying effect of financial wellness.” It’s the best response, she says, to life’s shocks and upheavals.