Meta representative shares future of Metaverse at CEO GaelTalk


Photocredit CEO Club and the Hynes Institute

Meta Client Partner Grazia Ochoa meets with Iona students to discuss the her work in developing the Metaverse.

Joseph Ferrer, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Facebook/Meta client partner Grazia Ochoa visited Iona University to discuss her work in the Metaverse with students as part of CEO’s GaelTalk series in the Hynes Institute on Oct. 13.  

Ochoa spoke as a special guest in a presentation as part of the Technology and Innovation entrepreneurship class as well as on a CEO student panel that followed afterward. Both presentations were open to the Iona community and allowed students to ask questions about Ochoa’s work in the newly developing virtual platform.  

With over 20 years of experience as a digital marketer in the travel industry, Ochoa works with organizations such as Disney Parks and Royal Caribbean in her role at Meta to help prepare them and integrate their services with the Metaverse. Ochoa shared the growing developments in the online space that aims to bridge the gap between the virtual and real world through digital interconnected experiences that can be accessed with any device. Ochoa discussed the variety of ways that this could take shape from travelers being able to view information in different tourist locations through augmented reality glasses or even virtual assistants for hotels and cruises.  

During a Q&A session, Ochoa gave students the opportunity to ask questions about the Metaverse and her role in helping develop the platform. Students asked a variety of questions from how far out the Metaverse is to being a tangible experience as well as potential fears and worries about the impact that the digital space could have in relation to culture and mental health. Ochoa openly shared how she and her team have acknowledged and shared the many sentiments that users have in regard to the potential impact of the Metaverse. Ochoa recognized that there will most likely be new issues that the platform brings with it but also spoke on how she and her teams within Meta are focusing on potential methods to help combat frequent obsessive use of the technology, especially among teens and younger users.  

Within a student interview panel that followed the initial presentation, members of the CEO e-board were able to speak with Ochoa about her personal entrepreneurial journey within the travel industry. Ochoa spoke of how she co-founded eGulliver which was one of the first travel agencies that utilized search engine technology. She also touched base on how she endured and worked through the turmoil of working in the travel industry during the downturns that the industry faced after 9/11 and the 2008 recession. At the end of the presentation, Ochoa spoke about how she appreciated the opportunity to speak with students within the Iona community. 

“Education is a passion point of mine, so being able to share my professional journey and how I and my team I are thinking about the Metaverse was a thrilling opportunity, and I love what the Hynes Institute is doing here at Iona,” Ochoa said.