When asked to name something that surprised her about Atlanta after moving here from her hometown of Bogota, Colombia, Diana Orrego-Moore, MBA 2009, replied, "I thought I could ride a bicycle everywhere!" Although she did a good deal of recreational cycling in Atlanta and even competed in a triathlon, her new commute experience differed slightly from the traffic mitigating bike lanes popular in the Colombian capital.
Orrego-Moore works as global director for craft/specialties logistics at Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), a conglomerate of brewers that together produce more than 200 brands and maintains its corporate offices in Belgium.
"I am responsible for the expansion of craft/specialties beer in new markets," she said. "This entails understanding the supply chain and logistics infrastructures in various countries as well as the characteristics of different markets so we can grow our presence in those markets."
She has worked at AB InBev's global functional headquarters in New York City since joining the company in 2010, but spent the previous 11 years in Atlanta.
Orrego-Moore's interest in logistics began during her undergraduate years at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, where she graduated in 1999 with a degree in industrial engineering. After attending a seminar in Bogota conducted by a logistics expert who happened to be a Georgia Tech alumnus, she came to the U.S. with the idea of launching a career in logistics.
"I thought, 'Maybe I need to go to Georgia Tech too,'" she recalled. "I spent the next six months improving my English and then applied to grad school."
While studying for her master's in industrial engineering with a concentration in operations management, which she received in 2001, she met Jonathan Moore, MBA 2001. Before long, another match made at Tech was created.
After her Georgia Tech graduation, Orrego-Moore started her career with TSi Logistics as an industrial engineer. The Home Depot then hired her as a logistics engineer, where she would spend the next six years rising through the ranks to become a supply chain negotiations manager.
In 2007, with strong encouragement from her husband, director and senior council for ABN AMRO, she decided to pursue an MBA.
"Pretty much everybody above me — the senior leaders — had an MBA, and I decided that it was important to be able to communicate with them, to understand what matters in business from the company's point of view."
She was determined to find a program that would allow her to keep her job at The Home Depot while going to school. As luck would have it, Tech began offering a part-time MBA program in 2007, and she enrolled as one of the first students to take advantage of it.
Orrego-Moore enriched her academic experience at Tech while developing leadership skills by participating in professional organizations. During her three years in the program, she served as president of the Atlanta chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, president of the Georgia Tech Hispanic Alumni Network, and also as an officer of the National Society of Hispanic MBAs.
Six months before graduating, she received a call from AB InBev, which was setting up its global functional headquarters at the time and looking for logistics experts. Orrego-Moore was drawn to the job's global aspect — her MBA concentration was Global Operations — but she wasn't completely sold on the idea of moving to New York. A few months passed, and she was contacted again. The day before graduation Orrego-Moore met with the company CEO in their Manhattan office, and decided to accept a position as global transport manager. Later she was promoted to global logistics planning and performance manager, responsible for the global supply chain budget with operations in Asia, Europe, Latin America, and North America. She was named to her current position in May 2015 under Zx Ventures, AB InBev’s Global Disruptive Growth Incubator and Venture Capital Group.
"AB InBev is very serious about recruiting and hiring MBAs from top schools," she said. "I don't think I would have gotten a job with the company if I didn't have an MBA. Many people at headquarters have a master's degree; most have an MBA."
For anyone considering enrolling in the MBA program at Scheller College, Orrego-Moore offers a bit of advice:
"Take advantage of the tracks and specialized concentrations available within the MBA program curriculum," she said. "Georgia Tech has a well-known reputation in these areas — finance, operations, entrepreneurship, business analytics and more — that will be a big advantage to you later on."