When Mariana D’Andrea first started working in media and technology, it was the early 2000s, and the internet was just beginning to take shape in Argentina, her home country. A recent law school graduate, she joined one of the country’s largest media conglomerates as in-house counsel. “In retrospect, I think that I serendipitously gravitated towards the industry,” D’Andrea says.
Nevertheless, she loved it.
A dynamic and rapidly evolving legal landscape helped her grow significantly and acquire new professional knowledge. It wasn’t until many years later that she even considered exploring other avenues. She joined a Brazilian private holding company to handle its legal matters across South America, an enriching experience. “My time there significantly contributed to my proficiency in Portuguese, which proved immensely valuable in future roles,” D’Andrea says.
She made the choice to come back to the media industry when Paramount Global (formerly known as ViacomCBS) recruited her for its Latin American division. D’Andrea would spend over a decade there, her return to media synchronizing with another industry evolution: TV streaming. In addition, she had to face a big move herself: relocating to the US and taking on a bigger international role.
The TV streaming revolution led her first to Tubi, a video-on-demand service owned by Fox Corp., where she oversaw original content for over a year, then to her current role at Roku. D’Andrea currently oversees international legal efforts for Roku and works to expand the Roku Channel by bringing new content to the service. She also helps develop the catalog of applications available on the Roku platform as it expands into other parts of the world.
Beyond work and the daily grind, her involvement with the Latino employee resource group (ERG), SOMOS ROKU, instills her with the deepest sense of pride. “I’m deeply committed to supporting and advancing the Latino culture and its people, even if it’s just taking small steps,” she says.
D’Andrea eagerly embraced opportunities to assume greater leadership responsibilities on this front, including by serving as the ERG’s chair. This year, in observance of Hispanic Heritage Month, D’Andrea spearheaded engaging events, including a company-wide conversation with Jaime Camil, live celebrations, and other gatherings that brought together Latino ERGs across the industry.
“Each Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity to paint the world with the colors of our culture, to remember that our Latinidad, our identity, is our superpower, and embracing our heritage keeps us grounded as we follow our dreams,” she says. “While the presence of Latinos in the tech industry may not be overwhelmingly large, we are an integral part of its fabric. It remains imperative that we actively participate, make ourselves known, and proudly affirm, ‘We are here, and this is our identity.’”
Through it all, D’Andrea still makes time for pro bono work as the chair of Roku’s pro bono working group. In fact, her enthusiasm led the company to revamp its pro bono program earlier this year. “Pro bono holds a significant place within the legal profession, and having it coordinated internally is proving to be highly advantageous,” she elaborates.
Roku’s pro bono working group offers opportunities for company lawyers to collaborate in different ways with one another, expand their skill sets and experience, and share their expertise with those in need.
While actively participating in leadership positions both within and outside the workplace, D’Andrea has consistently pursued a number of academic degrees and certifications over the course of her career. “This approach allows me to harmonize practical experience within various domains with the theoretical foundation gained through academia,” she says.
In her advice to young lawyers, she underscores the importance of not rushing their professional development. “I would encourage young professionals to set clear career goals and work systematically toward achieving them at their own unique pace, regardless of the career path of others and even their own expectations,” she says. “While legal work often can be demanding, I suggest focusing on a strong work ethic, diligence, and the ability to persevere in the face of challenges.”