NextGen Collective recently spotlighted Viviana Mauri of WarnerMedia as a Latinx to Watch. Keep reading to find out more about her career highlights, her go-to strategies for self-care, and more.
Where are you from?
I was born in Weymouth, Massachusetts, while my dad was pursuing his doctor of optometry. When I was a few months old, my parents relocated to Miami, Florida, to be near my mother’s grandparents. I had the privilege of knowing them and spending a lot of time with them. Miami will always be home and the city that shaped me.
My mother was born in Venezuela to Cuban refugees. My father was born in Venezuela to Spanish immigrants. All three cultures have been very present and ingrained in my life.
Growing up, I spent Semana Santas in Venezuela, and entire summers with my aunt in Spain. Although I’ve never been to Cuba, South Florida is, as they say, ninety miles away! I feel incredibly close to and very proud of my Cuban heritage. My step great-grandmother, may she rest in peace, always told me, “Never forget that your grandfather was born in La Habana.”
I’ve lived in Los Angeles for almost seven years now. I am soon marrying a beautiful Mexican American man, and so it is my hope to keep our Spanish language and Latino traditions alive for the next generation.
What do you do today?
Since December 2019, I have been senior executive assistant to Christy Haubegger. Christy is the executive vice president of communications and chief inclusion officer at WarnerMedia. It has been the privilege of my career to support her. Prior to this, I was the executive assistant staff floater for Home Box Office (HBO).
What are your career goals and how are you working towards them?
I try to take things day by day and with humility. My goals were to work for a studio, to be compensated fairly, and therefore, to be able to take care of myself independently. I wanted to work in a fair and safe environment.
I have achieved this, and the bonus is that I’ve found a place within the entertainment industry/corporate landscape where I can be of the most service. In a way, I’ve been an advocate for inclusion throughout my entire career.
Which causes are you passionate about?
I am passionate about higher education and personal development. As an alumna of the Posse Foundation, I feel a responsibility to give back to the organization, which gave so much to me, and to pay it forward. I have volunteered for the Dynamic Assessment Process, which means I evaluated candidates during the first round of the Posse Scholar interview process.
Additionally, in March 2021, I was selected as a Posse National Alumni Advisory Council (PNAAC) Representative for Posse Los Angeles. I currently serve as a member of our local Posse advisory board and contribute to the development of an annual strategic plan for alumni initiatives.
Over the years, I’ve given back to my alma mater, Mount Holyoke College. As an alumnae admission volunteer, I’ve interviewed multiple candidates for the college’s admissions committee. Also, as an alumnae association volunteer, I’ve welcomed newly admitted students and families within the Southern California community.
What is your favorite form of self-care?
I would encourage folks to disconnect from social media for a long period of time. I was offline for about two years. Time off social media allowed me to calibrate relationships in my life. I do feel there is something unnatural about staying in-the-know of everyone. We really shouldn’t be. Some relationships do not make it to the next chapter of your life and that’s OK. We’re not missing out on anything by disconnecting. Your true friends and family will be in touch to genuinely celebrate your wins and encourage you during your challenges (as you’ll do for them).
I lean on my faith every day. I found a welcoming parish in Los Angeles that I’ve attended for years. Also, staying in touch with my therapist. Visiting family and planning fun moments with friends. A glass of a great pinot noir. Carving out quality time with my fiancé. We love to walk our dog, Eve.
What was the best trip you ever took and why was it so great?
My mom, who I’m very close to, recently commented on how special my trip to Japan was. She (per usual) was right.
I was a junior at Mount Holyoke when my anthropology professor approached me about taking his class at Japan Women’s University. I did not speak Japanese and was not planning to study abroad. But he encouraged me to apply anyway.
It was the first time I traveled to another country by myself. Our class explored urban space and wayfinding. For an assignment, I needed to make it to my classmate’s home without assistance (no Google Maps!). I don’t remember exactly, but she lived at least two trains away. You could see Mount Fuji from her town. The experience taught me how to manage on my own and step out of my comfort zone.
What are you into these days?
If I’m not working, I am into inspirational and uplifting content. A few years ago, I realized that if I listen to sad songs all day, I’m going to be sad. Ha! I enjoy self-help, faith-based podcasts. I buy all the self-help books; my fiancé laughs that I don’t finish the one I started and just order another one to help with the same set of issues. I wear my heart on my sleeve. 📖
I am so excited for And Just Like That… on HBO Max. On HBO Max, I also watch Succession and Love Life. I recently enjoyed Luis Miguel on Netflix. I’m watching The Morning Show on Apple+. I am looking forward to the season finale of This Is Us on NBC. For me, it is the perfect show and it’s given me so much comfort throughout the years. I love the Pearsons and will miss them.
What is the best career advice you ever received?
An executive I used to work with told me that it’s not about the title, it’s about being somewhere where meaningful things are happening. It’s OK to be junior at a very prolific place (in fact, that’s often a lucky position to be in!). As DeVon Franklin said in his book, “You have to carry a crown before you can wear one.”