Magnolia Bernhard-Bautista, Compliance Officer-Americas, Essity
- In what year did you start in your current position?
I started as Compliance Officer – Americas in January of 2018. I became In-House Counsel upon my admission to the Bar of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in February of 2021.
- In what year did you first work in-house?
- What law school did you attend?
Rutgers University - Camden.
- Where did you attend college and graduate school? What degrees do you hold?
I attended City College of the City University of New York where I graduated with a B.A. in History and obtained a JD/MBA from Rutgers University Camden.
- What do you consider to be your most pivotal career move?
Joining an internal audit group instead of a law firm/law department after graduating from law/business school.
- What's the best thing about your current job?
Having responsibility for independently leading and driving a compliance program in the United States, Canada, and Latin America, which truly makes my job very dynamic. No two days are the same as I have the opportunity to deal with strategic questions and hands-on practical issues throughout the intersection between law and compliance. I love working and collaborating with many fantastic, passionate, and competent people across the organization, in different functions and geographies, to understand and mitigate risks and ensure compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and industry guidance.
- What's the worst job you've ever had?
I worked at a clothing store 6 days a week for 12 hours a day, with a half hour break, before starting college. It only lasted two weeks.
- What's the most valuable life lesson you still apply today?
There is always something to learn! This is even more true in regard to “disappointments” in life: not getting a specific job or an opportunity should be seen as making room to consider a different approach, a change in direction or simply reassess strategies in one’s career journey. It’s important to look for the lessons around us.
- What do you consider to be the best thing about ACC membership?
It provides so many opportunities to learn about different topics and meet attorneys who practice in all different areas of law.
- How do you achieve work/life balance?
I am not sure I believe work/life balance is achievable and constant. Sometimes you have to put more time into work, sometimes more to life outside of work, especially when a family is involved. It is important to understand (and make peace with) the fact that life is an uncertain journey, changes are to be expected and managed, and one must always pay attention to what is really important at that point in one’s life.
- If I were not practicing law, I'd...
...probably be in the foreign service or something to do with fashion.
- My favorite vacation spot is...
...visiting new places. I’ve been to 61 countries so far.
- A place I've never been but would most like to visit is...
...Laos, Cambodia & Vietnam.
- My all-time favorite movie is...
- Even people who know me might be surprised to learn that…
I mainly learned English from reading anything I could get my hands on about the New Kids on the Block.
- If applicable, please tell us about your pet(s):
I’ve never had one…yet. I told my youngest we could get a puppy once he remembers to pick up after himself. I think we still have a few years to go!