Lizbeth Álvarez Rivera

Do what is right, not what is easy.

Lizbeth Álvarez Rivera
Supporting talented students


Lizbeth is a senior professional with over 19 years of experience working at different industries (Banking, Healthcare, and Telecommunications) with expertise in Operations, Process Improvement, Project Management, and Systems Implementation. She is part of the Global Human Resources Team at Millicom International Services LLC, a leading provider of cable TV and mobile services dedicated to emerging markets in Latin America and Africa (Customer Brand: Tigo).

In 2016, Lizbeth relocated to New York from her native Puerto Rico to pursue a career change to the Healthcare industry. She joined CenterLight Health System as an Operations Manager and within a year she was promoted to Director of Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) managing a team of 10 people and leading an implementation of a world-class HR cloud solution. Before joining CenterLight, she worked at Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, the leading financial institution of the island. During her 12 years of service, she was able to grow professionally by assuming different roles to support several business lines ranging from Retail Banking to the Virgin Islands Region, including Corporate Banking.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Universidad de Puerto Rico - Mayagüez Campus and a Master in Business Administration from IE Business School in Madrid, Spain.

Lizbeth is a fun and energetic person with a great passion for traveling and learning about new cultures. She enjoys working in diverse teams, adapts easily to new challenges, and gets things done. Coming from male-dominated field of studies and industries, Lizbeth is an avid advocate of inclusion and diversity. She currently lives in South Florida in the United States with her husband and daughter.

Supporting talented students


Define your experience in the IMBA in one word.

What were some of the main challenges that you encountered on your way? How did your master program and IE help you through these challenges?
One of the challenges I faced during my career progression was to be considered for global positions at multinational companies. My experience at IE helped me to be exposed for the first time to an international community, broadening my perspective on diversity and inclusion. It also provided me with the tools to work on an international setting, where respect and acceptance were instrumental to foster collaboration in a very dynamic work environment.

How did your experience at IE prepare you for your professional career? In what ways do you think program has changed your life professionally and personally?
My experience at IE prepared me for my professional career both academically and personally. I’m an Industrial Engineer by training and I gained business knowledge while working at the corporate headquarters of the leading bank in Puerto Rico. However, pursuing my International MBA at IE, strengthened my business acumen plus it helped me gain global perspective thanks to the diverse community, both of faculty and students.

I’m currently working as the Global HRIS Project Manager in my team, interacting daily with colleagues from different countries and backgrounds, something that I experienced while studying at IE.

What was networking like in the program?
Networking was an integral part of the IMBA program at IE. I remember the different events in which we could get to know other fellow students, faculty members, and professionals during the 14 months of the program. Before coming to IE, I had little exposure to this kind of dynamic and I was very junior at my company, hence why I was not exposed to these kinds of experiences. I learned how to do effective networking and keep in contact with so many people. Some of them have become really good friends and others are like family.

What was your favorite memory from your time at IE?
There are so many memories that I cannot choose one! From our short exchange to Singapore, where I met my dear friend Julia Sanchez, now the Head of Global Alumni Relations at IE, to the Global Village in Pinar Building where we shared a little bit of reggaeton and Puerto Rican flavor to the mix. Road trips around Spain, my 30th Birthday Celebration… Tons of fun memories that I treasure and cherish dearly.

If someone was considering going to IE, what would you tell them?
I would tell them to go for it! It is an investment that will continue to give its return for a long, long time. Twelve years after completing the program, I still connect with new people in my network, alumni & professionals that we all shared that sense of belonging and appreciation for the education we received during our time in Madrid. Plus, living in Madrid was a formidable experience for me, being away from home for the first time. Madrid is such a magical city that I would love to go back again with my husband and daughter to live there for few years if we are lucky enough to do so.

Why did you choose to study this program at IE?
Being from Puerto Rico, a territory of the United States, it is very common to think of US graduate programs instead of pursuing an international program. The greatest advantage, and the selling point for me, was that in an international program, such as the IMBA, I was going to be an equal part of the student body and not a minority, which it would have been the case if I went to a school in the US.
That was my first experience living outside the island and being exposed to a different culture. It felt so good and safe to do so in such an enriching and respectful environment, in which it was ok if your English was not perfect, and it was ok if you were one of the only two Puerto Ricans in the program. Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion were really celebrated in the program, and I enjoyed that very much.

What is one thing you wished you knew, when you were a student? What advice would you give to students who are about to begin the program?
My advice to students who are about to begin the program is make time to enjoy everything this experience has to offer, and I mean everything! The program will be fast paced and intense, but you are living in a great city, so take advantage to explore, travel, make friends, and have a good time! Be strategic about the balance between the academic experience and the life experience. Remember: Carpe Diem…

Tell us about the IE alumni community and the impact they have had in your life and/or career. Why do you think it’s important to engage with the IE alumni community?
I strongly believe in the power of the alumni community. It is an immediate way to connect with people with common ground when you newly arrive to a different city or when you are pursuing a career change, just to give you a couple of examples. In my case, when I moved to New York by myself I only knew a couple of friends that we all did the IMBA together. Then, I started participating in the IE Alumni events and my circle of friends and acquaintances expanded quickly. I no longer felt like a stranger in the Big Apple. To continue strengthening the alumni community in the USA, I decided to join the board of the IE Alumni Club in New York City from 2017-2019. Then, I was invited to be part of the board of the IE Alumni Club in Miami from which I served from 2019-2021 when I relocated to South Florida.

From my intake, we try to meet every year and we have been very good in doing so one way or another. In 2020, we were supposed to celebrate our 10-year anniversary. However, due to the current pandemic, we were not able to go back to Madrid to celebrate all together. Hopefully we will meet soon.

As one of the contributors towards the Illuminated Bricks campaign, how does it feel?
I feel so happy and proud to be part of this incredible campaign. I’m a passionate advocate for education and I strongly believe that education is fundamental to have equal opportunities. I feel so much pride to be an alum from IE and I have a strong sense of belonging for this great institution, so naturally I was compelled to be part of this great campaign and pave the future for others.

What made you decide to give this gift? What would you tell someone who was thinking about contributing?
Education is the great equalizer to provide fair opportunities for individuals, regardless of their backgrounds. Education has opened so many doors for me and exposed me to experiences that otherwise, I would not have. And since education was a game changer in my life, I want to contribute somehow to help provide fair opportunities to others that may not have the means to get a higher education degree. It is a small gesture to make education accessible to future generations.
To those of you thinking about contributing to the Illuminated Bricks campaign, consider this: if you feel that education has provided you with the opportunities you have had in your career and that it has propelled your career progression to where you are now, wouldn’t it be nice to pay it forward?

In your opinion, why is it important to give back? Why does this cause matter to you?
For me it is important to give back since it is my way to practice gratitude and pay it forward. I come from a middle-class family and my parents made sure to provide us with the essential things, including having a degree. Unfortunately, my parents were not given that chance in their time. To put it in a simple way, going to college was not an option for them. That is why they made sure their kids got an education. Me and my siblings went to public school, I graduated with the highest honor from high school, giving me a fair shot to enroll in the best engineering school in Puerto Rico. I graduated Magna Cum Laude from my program, and I’ve had so many doors open since then. I want to make that opportunity possible to others, to contribute to opening doors, to be given a fair shot, to make accessible the possibility to have a degree.

If you had a billboard you could display to the entire world, what you would put on it?
Do what is right, not what is easy.