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Building a Career for Maximum Impact

Natasha Perez
Senior Product Owner
Remote
Pronouns: She / Her / Ella

Finding my niche

From the get-go, I knew I wanted to make a difference in other people’s lives. As a child, this desire showed up in how I would constantly play teacher with my younger brother. As I got older, I realized that if I focused on business management, I could use my analytical and leadership skills to guide other people while impacting business goals.

From a job to a career

In the beginning, Discover was “just a job.” When I started with Discover, I was about 6 months pregnant. I was hoping to get through the pregnancy and initial few years with my son, then find a different job that used more of my college studies. This “job” has now become an enjoyable career.

Becoming a product owner

From starting on the phones in our Spanish customer service department 17 years ago, to becoming a senior product owner today (and everything in-between), my time with Discover has developed me into the person I am today. Not only do I leverage my degree expertise, but I’ve felt at home.

My current role is my absolute favorite. As a senior product owner, I’m empowered to manage a product (and team) that enhances our customer care experience through intuitive design and modern technology. We develop a user interface for our customer care representatives that helps them effectively assist our customers.

My biggest lesson

Over the course of my 17-year career, I’ve learned that it’s okay to fail as long as I learn from my mistakes. As long as I gave it my all, failure is okay. This mentality is necessary in order to innovate and experiment. I’ve also learned to be vulnerable and lead authentically– always and regardless of audience. I believe that feedback is a gift. I’m grateful for the person delivering the message and am willing to be the person to deliver the message.

Continuing education after kids

Ultimately, I’m a learner (I love learning). After my kiddos are out of high school, I want to return to school to pursue my PhD or a second masters— the possibilities are endless. What’s even cooler is that Discover helps cover the cost of some, if not all of the learning. I feel so lucky to be part of a company that invests in their employees.

 

Interested in joining the Discover team? Explore careers with us.

 

 

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Changing the Parameters for Success

Angel Diaz
VP, Technology Capabilities & Innovation
Riverwoods, IL
Pronouns: He/Him

Growing up in Puerto Rico

I grew up on a rural farm in Puerto Rico. Some of my favorite memories are celebrating Christmas on the farm with my family and friends. We always ate lots of Puerto Rican food (pig roasts, beans and rice) and danced salsa late into the night.

The people who changed my life

At a young age, my grandmother instilled in me a strong worth ethic and a passion for math and science. As I got older, my interest in these fields continued to grow and evolve as I attended lectures held by visiting professors at local churches. I made it a point to ask questions and learn as much as I could from these visiting scholars. Through their teachings, my love for computer science, technology and innovation began to take shape.

A number of these visiting professors ended up supporting me throughout my academic journey and as I progressed in my career. I was truly the beneficiary of others who invested in me and inspired me to ask questions, push boundaries and continue educating myself.

Improving the way we work as a society

I’m always seeking new ways to innovate and learn, not only to stay on top of the latest industry trends and practices, but simply because I enjoy doing it. The advice, “whatever you do, do it better than you’ve done it before,” has always resonated with me. I’ve leveraged this advice in pioneering breakthrough standards and capabilities in open source communities across cloud, data, artificial intelligence, programing languages and blockchain. I spend a significant amount of time reading and educating myself because I’m extremely passionate about innovating technology to improve the way we work as a society, with a focus on collaboration and having fun.

My “fail fast” moments

In my career over the years, I’ve had my share of “fail fast” moments — moments where things didn’t quite work out. I remember when writing my PhD thesis, my advisor and I actually thought for a month that we solved the famous math problem P=NP, which would have made us the two most famous computer scientists on earth. But when you’re faced with the reality of not succeeding the way you would like, the key is to change the game. You can change the parameters for success — whether it’s more time, more resources, a different goal, and you create a positive from a negative.

 

Inspired to join the Discover team? Explore careers with us.

 

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At the Intersection of Career and Family: Lessons from My Dad and My Newborn Son

Jose Rojo Morales
Lead Financial Analyst
Riverwoods, IL
Pronouns: He/Him

A focus on helping others

Since I was a little kid I’ve always wanted to be a firefighter. Even though this career path didn’t end up materializing, I’ve kept the same passion for helping and assisting others. I consider myself a caring, humble, hardworking individual who is always looking to learn new things, live new experiences, and spend time with family and friends.

I’ve also always enjoyed working with numbers. When deciding on a career path, I felt a career in finance would be a good fit for me. Financial planning is an area where both math and service can be combined. I get to work with numbers while assisting my business partners on a daily basis.

Family first

I recently was very blessed and became a first time father, welcoming my baby boy into the world. My son Mateo has been my daily source of passion, inspiration and joy, making me want to be a better person and give my best every day. Without a doubt, he’s been the biggest accomplishment of my life.

Lessons from my dad

When I was in high school, my dad told me that all the hard work I put in today will automatically pay out dividends in the future. At the time I didn’t truly understand what he was trying to tell me. Throughout the rest of my years of my education and career, I came to realize what my dad was trying to teach me at the time. I apply his advice every day, both in my professional and personal life.

Hiking the Serrania de Cuenca

Growing up in Spain, one of the biggest components of our culture is family and friends. My family and I share a big passion for nature and the outdoors. Every year we always have a reunion in the Serrania de Cuenca mountains, located two hours east of Madrid. We always have a great time hiking trails, swimming in the lakes and enjoying big meals. We’ve continued this tradition to this day and it’s one of my favorites.

 

Inspired to join the Discover team? Explore careers with us.

 

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Leaving Peru, Revalidating My Degree and Finding My Passion

Gabriela Loayza
Executive Relationship Manager
New Albany, OH
Pronouns: She/Her

Choosing industrial engineering

Growing up in Peru, I’d wanted to be an engineer since middle school. I liked numbers and enjoyed learning how things work. Later I decided to pursue industrial engineering because it offered flexibility with the variety of industries I could work in. However, when I arrived to the US, I couldn’t work as an engineer because my degree wasn’t valid. I had to go back to school.

Validating my degree

While I validated my degree, I worked as a collections representative for Discover. I worked full time in the second shift, and despite working late hours, I woke up early to get my homework started in the morning. I also had to take care of my daughters who were 3 and 1 at the time. After my girls woke up, I had to shift my attention to them. On the weekends, my husband would take the girls out to play, and I would submerge myself in school work. I was efficient with my time because it was extremely limited.

Self-advocating

Working that job in collections taught me a lot about the US financial system. I shared my career aspirations with my director at the time and she helped me get into the rotational summer program at the Discover headquarters in Riverwoods, Illinois. That internship gave me exposure to our headquarters and helped me secure a promotion into Riverwoods.

I’m most proud of going back to school to validate my degree and obtain my MBA. It was extremely hard and I’m very proud of my effort. The day I finished, I felt a great sense of accomplishment and have been enjoying the payoff that this effort is producing up to this day.

Best of both worlds

I’m currently an executive relationship manager for the emerging teams in payment services. In my opinion, it combines the best of both worlds. I get to work with some of the newest and coolest technologies, while managing relationships with our clients.

Peruvian heritage

I like being a Latina woman and the heritage that comes with it. I like cooking our Peruvian food (it’s so delicious by the way), listening to Latino rhythms, such as salsa, bachata, merengue, and reggaeton. I also enjoy speaking Spanish with friends and family, and celebrating our holidays. I am proud of being descendant from the Incas and all the great work that they did with its empire.

Servicing others

One of my personal mantras is that each one of us has a unique set of talents that we should put to the service of others to make this world a better place. I live by that and like to volunteer and share my talent with everyone around me. For example, I became a board member for a bilingual charter school that mainly serves the Latino community. The board appreciates my ability to understand financial reports, but also my knowledge of the school system, since I am a mother of three and have always been involved with the PTA (parent teachers association).

 

Inspired to join the Discover team? Explore careers with us.

 

 

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First Generation College Grad Shares How to Make a Habit of Challenging Yourself

Karina Gallardo
Team Leader
Phoenix, AZ
Pronouns: She/Her

Veterinarian to finance

When I was younger, I wanted to be a veterinarian. And while my career interests have changed over time (don’t get me wrong, I still love animals), what’s remained the same is my desire to make a difference. I fell in love with Discover shortly after starting because it was evident I could make a difference here. I knew I could develop a career in this forward-thinking industry. This job has also allowed me to continue developing and learning, and I’ve gained so many skills over the years.

Learning brings creativity

A piece of advice I live by is to never ever stop learning and growing as a person. I always like to challenge myself to grow my current professional skill level. This advice has also helped me enhance my people skills, leadership skills, attitude, and ability to handle difficult situations. Asking questions with the intent to learn, brings out my creativity.

A diploma is a gift

I’m most proud of earning my bachelor’s degree in psychology.  I was the first in my family to graduate from college— and I earned it. The late nights, homework sessions, and early mornings were all worth it. Getting my degree taught me how to truly prioritize my time. Because I was also working full-time, I had to build great habits and stay focused on my goals. Everything I learned in my studies has given me a big advantage in my career now. I won’t ever forget gifting my diploma to my family.

Family holiday traditions

One of my favorite traditions with my family comes the day after Christmas. Every year we wake up really early (even though we’ve stayed up really late the night before) to open presents and make the drive to Flagstaff, Arizona. We love to play in the snow, eat next to a fire, and play games all day long. It’s so nice to spend time will all of my family and unplug from everything.

Just go for it

Over the course of my career, I’ve learned to put myself first and prioritize my career. While I love taking care of people, I often have to take a step back and consider the costs. I can’t provide for others if it comes at the expense of taking care of myself. Another big learning moment for me was learning how to “just go for it.” Careers, friendships, relationships, and new experiences. I like to live my life curious and ready for new things.

 

Inspired to join the Discover team? Explore careers with us.

 

 

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I Left Guatemala for Rural Nevada: Lessons in Confronting Overwhelming Change and Taking Control of Your Destiny

Maria Melgar
Consumer Banking Business Strategy Manager
Riverwoods, IL
Pronouns: She / Her

Being an outsider

I’m originally from Guatemala and moved to a very small town in Nevada when I was 10 years old. I joined 4th grade halfway through the year and didn’t know a single person at my new school. I also didn’t speak any English. When my parents dropped me off, my teacher greeted me in a language I couldn’t understand, and I cried. This was the first time in my life that I was truly an outsider having to confront an overwhelming level of change.

Meeting my translator, tour guide and recess friend

Shortly after, and to my great relief, I was introduced to another Latina student in my class, who also spoke Spanish. She took it upon herself to be my translator, school tour guide, and recess friend. In that moment, I learned the value of representation and how impactful it is to see and encounter people who look like you, who speak your language, and who understand your culture, especially when you’re in the minority. Because of that experience, I became passionate about joining organizations that could create those welcoming, diverse, and inclusive environments for people, from student council to employee resource groups (ERGs) like HOLA (Helping Organize Latino Achievement) at Discover.

Creating a place for my passions

When I was younger, I wanted to be a diplomat. I’ve always been very curious about different cultures, traditions, and ways of life. My favorite TV shows growing up were (and still are) food and travel shows. So I wanted a job that would allow me to live abroad, travel extensively, and build relationships with people from all over the world.

Eventually my career interests shifted, but my appetite for new experiences, coupled with an incessant need to push myself out of my comfort zone, have remained. I made traveling my passion rather than my job, and instead took all the lessons I’d gained from my travels, and applied them to my day-to-day career.

Goals vs. dreams

One of my favorite sayings is that “goals are dreams with deadlines.” I love setting an ambitious goal, making a plan, giving 110% to achieve it, and tackling challenges along the way. Be it checking items off my to-do list, or accomplishing life-long goals, I have an innate desire to achieve constantly.

While this trait has served me well, it also means I forget to pause and enjoy those wins. I’m currently working on evolving my sense of mindfulness to be more present, and enjoy the process. Last year really forced me to slow down and spend more time sitting with those feelings. I hope to continue exploring creating a more balanced pace.

Self-advocating can go a long way

My best career advice is to be your own best advocate. To do so successfully, you have to take time to self-reflect and understand who you are, what you want, what your strengths and shortcomings are. This will give you your starting point. After that, it’s about telling your story, articulating the value you bring to the table, and finding the opportunities to communicate what your goals and aspirations are to those around you. You never know who might be listening and has the ability to open those doors.

I received this advice early on in my career and put it to practice a few years into my first role out of college. Having not fully detached from my diplomatic childhood dream, I was working for a multi-national company and I knew that I really wanted to work on an international project. I debated whether I should share this aspiration with my manager, fearing I would get shut down because I was the most junior consultant in the team.

Ultimately, I decided to bring it up during our mid-year review. A few days later, I received a call from our VP of Strategy who said, “Maria, ask and you shall receive.” He was staffing me in a really exciting London-based project with EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) senior leaders. The project led to extensive travel (just liked I’d dreamed!), but most importantly, it was the catalyst for my two future roles in that company. It completely transformed my career, and all because I advocated for myself.

Empowered by my choices

The hardest truth, but also the most empowering one I’ve learned, is that my life is all about the choices I make. In the end, I am the only one who can decide the kind of life I want and make the necessary decisions that will lead me to it. It’s a hard truth because if I let other people choose for me, then I have someone to blame if things don’t work out. But as scary as it is to be fully in control of my life and my choices, it is freeing to know that with a clear vision of what I want in the future, a solid strategy, and the right decisions along the way, my vision is within reach. And sometimes, I have and will face situations that are truly outside of my control, but how I react and respond to them, is still very much my choice.

 

Inspired to join the Discover team? Explore careers with us.

 

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My Leadership Path as a Second Generation Latino

Luis Benitez
Senior Operations Manager
Salt Lake City, UT
Pronouns: He/Him

Venezuelan and Colombian traditions

My favorite traditions from growing up in Venezuela and Colombia were our Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. Every Christmas and New Year’s we’d get two new outfits (one for each holiday). In Venezuela it wasn’t very common to get new clothes or have the ability to buy the latest trends. That meant Christmas and New Year’s were extra special because we got to celebrate in our best attire.

Further, to celebrate New Year’s, we had a tradition where we would wish on grapes. Every person got 12 grapes, one for each month of the year. Then we’d go under the dinner table to make a wish and eat one of the grapes. We always had a big line of people waiting with their grapes, ready to go under the table. Once you came out the other end of the table, you got back in line to do it all over again until all your grapes were gone. We’d do this 12 times to represent a wish for every month of the year. It was fun seeing everyone dancing and having a great time to complete their 12 wishes.

Finding my way

Growing up, my dad was a doctor and my mom was an accountant who also owned her own real estate business. I initially took after my dad and started school to become a physical therapist. At the same time, I started my first job at Discover as a product account manager. As I continued with Discover, I wanted to learn more about business and explore various leadership roles. Those choices led me to my role today. I believe what really inspired me to go after my current job, were the many mentors and impactful leaders I’ve met. Regardless of their experience levels, they’ve all had the passion to support, lead and do the right thing. From them, I’ve received the drive and focus to pay it forward and inspire others by leading with humility.

What it means to be a Latino leader

I’m passionate about development, inspiring future diverse leaders and creating positive, focused energy. As a Latino leader, I’ve found a strong love for my heritage. I joined our HOLA (Helping Organize Latino Achievement) employee resource group (ERG) at Discover as a committee member, co-chair, chair, and executive sponsor. Being part of the ERG has truly given me the opportunity to not only share many great things about the Latinx community, but also meet many individuals that share my same passion.

It’s also provided me a platform to share my own personal experience of being a second generation Latino. During one of our coffee events, I remember the pride I felt when one of the speakers shared that having an accent doesn’t mean you’re not smart or lack confidence. Having an accent shows your sense of bravery. I think there’s plenty more work for us to do to continue to help us create and maintain the amazing culture we have at Discover by sharing our true selves. Discover is providing many great channels and avenues for all its employees to do just that.

 

Inspired to join the Discover team? Explore careers with us.

 

 

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Launching a Successful Career without a Degree, Direction, or Experience

Troy Martinez
Marketing Strategy Lead
Phoenix, AZ
Pronouns: He/Him

Pillow forts and the digital world

Growing up, I loved to build things— blocks, plastic bricks, pillow forts. I’d spend hours building and imagining new things to play with. While I still love building things, as I got older I realized my love for technology and the digital world. For that reason, I sought a position on the digital servicing team at Discover, where I’ve been for 4 years.

Without a direction, degree or experience

I originally joined Discover in 2013, not thinking I’d stay very long. At the time, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life. I worked in many customer care positions before working on a complaints team. Through hard work and high performance, I was eventually fortunate enough to get a position on the digital servicing team.

I’ve done all of this without really having a direction, without a 4-year degree, and in many cases, without any experience in the jobs I was transitioning into. I’m a very introverted person, and it’s hard for me to talk about my accomplishments or feel confident in the things I do, but the career I’ve created is undeniable proof. I’m doing the right thing, and I’m worthy of what I have today.

Shaping social media and messaging

I’ve stayed because I get to work on new technology that enhances our customer experience. Every day I get to influence and shape how we respond on our messaging and social media channels. I also get to work on automation by shaping and creating how our Discover virtual assistant helps, and responds to, our customers. One of my proudest accomplishments in my life (other than building a wonderful family with my wife) is my career.

Self-advocating as a Latino professional

One of the biggest learning moments I’ve had is that just being good at your job doesn’t mean you’ll be recognized for it. Being Latino, one of the core things I was taught growing up was that if you work hard and do great work, you’ll be rewarded. I was taught to be modest and that I shouldn’t brag or tell people how good I am. To do a good job, in silence. I had to learn, for the first time, how to self-advocate. Not in an arrogant way, but in a confident way. For me, it’s still uncomfortable sometimes, but I’ve learned that my accomplishments are worth being proud of and its okay to confidently talk about the work I do.

Why authenticity actually matters

The one piece of advice I live by, is just be authentically myself in every situation. Bringing my personality, experiences, and opinions to the table in my job, with family and friends, and in every aspect of my personal life has allowed me to make strong connections with people. My ability to be real and human, is why I’ve had success here. One of my core strengths is building great relationships. When working on new initiatives, my relationships makes those tasks easier to accomplish. My partners know how I operate, and I’ve taken the time to understand what’s important to them.

Evolving family traditions

One of my favorite traditions growing up was having family dinner on the weekends and for special events during holidays. Specifically, my family used to make tamales about a week or so before Christmas. My birthday is December 22nd, so it felt nice to have my family around during that time. We’d make great food, laugh, and catch up on everyone’s lives. While things have changed as I’ve grown older, I’ve adapted those occasions to include friends as well. My friends and I partake in at least 1-2 game nights a month where we play our favorite board games or card games and make or get the food we all love. It makes me feel the same feelings I did when I was younger and it makes me appreciate the times we have now even more.

 

Inspired to join the Discover team? Explore careers with us.

 

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When Opportunity Knocks

Dan Capozzi
EVP, President of US Cards
Riverwoods, IL
Pronouns: He/Him/His

But first, coffee

One of my favorite ways to engage with new hires and interns is by hosting coffee chats. Inevitably, participants ask how I made career decisions and are seeking advice. These questions make me pause and reflect on my own journey and, candidly, I am extremely grateful for those who invested in me. Especially since I never could have imagined when I joined Discover 14 years ago I would end up here – an executive committee member.

My career journey

As I reflect on my career journey and what I would have done differently, it reinforces how trying to predict your career path is a futile exercise. Rather, I always encourage being open-minded to new or different opportunities to learn and grow.

For me, it all started in Boston in college. I initially pursued architecture, but during my first internship I witnessed the reality of a recession on seasoned architects and opted for more stability. I switched to the business school and concentrated in accounting. After I graduated, I quickly learned accounting was not a great fit and quickly pivoted to financial planning & analysis (FP&A).

I found my passion. FP&A allowed me to learn the business, get close to the customer, and engage with partners to creatively solve problems – and I loved how everyday had something new to offer. This passion fueled me through a lot of my experiences prior to joining Discover. Starting out, I was a finance professional at various banks, where I was exposed to commercial and consumer lending, centralized and decentralized business models, and operations domestically and internationally. To that end, my learning journey really accelerated when I relocated to Tokyo. I gained new business insights, but my time managing in a different culture really helped me grow as a leader. It is why today I place a great deal of emphasis on listening to gain insight, and I have a relentless focus on building strong and trusted relationships.

As I thought about new opportunities, I always took the path that allowed me to learn something different, and I always considered the leadership. So when Discover came calling, what was the compelling difference? First, my interactions with leadership and hearing their vision for the company really resonated. Second, I had not yet been exposed to a card business of Discover’s scale. Third, the opportunity to draw on my experience and contribute to building a robust corporate planning function for a new publicly traded company. And finally, I loved the hyper focus on the customer and felt the Discover values coming to life through every conversation. It checked all of the boxes!

Discover: a brighter future

I joined Discover’s finance organization in 2007 and for the next eight years I progressed, taking on more scope along the way. I was having a lot of fun and enjoying the unique makeup of my role. Although, I was unsure about what was next for me in finance. So in 2015, when I was asked to consider the general manager role for the deposits business, I went through my thought process. It was definitely outside my comfort zone, presented an opportunity to learn new skills, and had a nice tie back to finance.

As I reflect, the biggest lesson was gaining perspective. In finance, it was easy to sit back and strongly encourage better performance for the sake of the profits and losses. As an operator, I had to balance all of the moving pieces and simply execute, which can be challenging. As a result, I feel I emerged as a well-rounded leader, and I would highly recommend rotations between the business and corporate functions.

In 2017, I was promoted to the executive committee. At that time, the role was managing credit risk and decision management and, later, expanded to include enterprise-wide responsibility for strategy and operations across fraud, collections, and recovery. I had the unique opportunity to closely partner with the US Card President and co-lead Card360. Over the course of three years, this allowed me to deepen my understanding of the card business, which ultimately led to my current role.

The important note, as it relates to one’s career, is that you always need to focus on impact and not scope. Along my journey, my scope has both expanded and reduced. At times, I even recommended to leadership that I was not the best leader of an area. As you progress in your career, beware of the pitfalls of only measuring success through the size of your organization and always try to be self-aware of your own blind spots.

Living into the Discover behaviors

Another question I hear in coffee chats is what it takes to be a great leader. Discover values leaders who can succeed in a wide variety of roles, those who can attract and develop strong teams, and individuals who can solve problems. The company also places a great deal of emphasis on the way a leader executes – essentially living into the Discover behaviors is mission critical to your long-term success. Decisions regarding leadership positions are balanced, taking into consideration what skills and experiences would the candidate bring to the role and how would the role benefit the individuals’ professional growth.

Also, keep in mind that rising above “what’s in it for me” in favor of “what’s best for the company” will always pay dividends. That perspective worked out well for me. You also do not need to be a life-long expert to lead an organization, but you do need to commit to a continuous learning journey – and be comfortable with not having all the answers. Leading a team of experts does not scare me, because I focus on learning the fundamentals and adding value in other ways.

Shine bright

In my role today, I have the opportunity to “pay it forward” with creating learning and development opportunities for others. The US cards’ talent strategy is focused on diversity. We are bringing people together from different backgrounds because we know that diverse perspectives will improve our ability to be successful long term.

To do that, I encourage you to take control of your own development and diversify your experience. Start by sharing your career objectives – and what fulfills you – with your manager. Explore training and development opportunities. Consider furthering your education to help you obtain additional skills to further your career. And don’t forget to network with colleagues and expose yourself to new experiences and cultures. Be courageous on your path – it is your life, no one is going to live it for you.

Inspired to join the Discover team? Explore careers with us.

 

 

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How to Stop Holding Yourself Back in Corporate Spaces

Janice Glavtcheff
Principal, Diversity Equity Inclusion
Riverwoods, IL
Pronouns: She/Her

Holy Week Alfombras

As a child, I visited my mom’s home country, Guatemala, every year. My favorite tradition was celebrating Semana Santa, or Holy Week. Holy Week is a big celebration in Guatemala and many other Latin American countries. My cousins and I would grab bags of colorful sand and go out to create “alfombras” (carpets made from the sand) on the neighborhood streets. I loved that it was such a community-driven event. The neighbors and kids would come together and work on creating these beautiful colorful sand rugs in the streets in preparation for the week’s processions.

Growing Up with Immigrant Parents

Over time, I came to value my multicultural upbringing (while my mom is Guatemalan, my dad is Bulgarian-Brazilian). Growing up with immigrant parents became a big part of my identity and instilled in me a love of learning about other cultures. As a child I loved dancing and imagined I’d grow up to be a flamenco dancer. When I studied abroad in China and Europe in college, I pictured myself working at a multinational company or in international relations– something that would allow me to embrace my love of travel, different cultures and people. Eventually, I fell into HR and Diversity and Inclusion, and I haven’t turned back in 10 years— it’s my proudest achievement.

Breaking Learned Habits

Being first generation in a corporate environment has granted me many learning moments. My parents raised me to be a hard worker, to keep my head down, not to make waves, speak out of turn or share too much. As a result, I grappled with imposter syndrome, held back my authentic self and silenced my ideas. Over time, I realized I was holding myself back from being able to fully contribute in a corporate setting. Once I started to speak up during meetings and share more about myself, I found it easier to connect with others and build meaningful relationships. I had to learn to embrace and honor my upbringing while also breaking away from what didn’t serve me.

Embracing a Multi-Dimensional Identity

Advice I live by is don’t be one-dimensional. Every day I commit to keep learning and growing. I’m a first gen, Latina, globetrotter (28+ countries and counting!), still a dancer (salsa and the periodic all-out kitchen performance). I always try to say yes to new opportunities and experiences. When deciding where to go to college, I had the choice to go to a smaller, private college near my family or to a bigger university a few hours away. I decided to move far away. I gained so much more from the network I created there, and the international travel I had the opportunity to do.

Recreating Myself

A hard truth I’ve learned is that you must create and re-create yourself. It’s so important to be able to adapt. I’ve had moments where I thought I’d had mastered something – whether it was work, technology, or that macaron recipe I’ve made several times – just to realize that I still had more to learn.

 

Inspired to join the Discover team? Explore careers with us.