Too often, emerging professionals cannot realize their full potential, but not for a lack of talent or dedication.
Rather, it’s simply a matter of not being aware of the various career development and advancement opportunities that are out there.
This is why it has always been so important for me to do whatever I can to help rising Hispanics in tech from my home country, Argentina, and in my (virtual) community here in the USA, to get access to the insights and support that they need to pave their path to success.
Out of sight, out of reach
It all started when I was studying computer science at the Universidad Nacional del Sur in my hometown Bahía Blanca. At the time, my peers and I didn’t have a lot of international exposure.
We didn’t know in which direction we would take our careers. Many of us thought about local opportunities like teaching or research. We couldn’t even fathom the possibility of going outside our city, or abroad and eventually attaining leadership positions in large global companies. All of these options were simply out of sight, and therefore – out of mind and out of reach.
It would have been great having a mentor around to open the window for us, so we could see and envision all that we could be.
This is why I am committed to helping Hispanic students and emerging professionals in technology become aware of all that lies before them, and to mentor them on the path to realizing their dreams.
So, a few years ago I reached out to my alma mater to offer a series of virtual mentorship sessions for undergraduates, to connect with them, help them understand that they can dream big, and provide practical strategies on how they can meet their career goals.
The University agreed that this could bring great value and provided me with a platform for engaging with its students so I can share insights and lessons learned from my own personal experience.
In fact, being a mentor to these students has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career journey. I can’t count the times a student has shared with me that they were about to give up. They felt that the outlook wasn’t great for them. They weren’t sure to where all this time and investment would lead.
But after being exposed to the opportunities that I shared with them – they realized that there was so much in this world that was ready and waiting for them.
"We all have something to give to those who are up and coming."
It’s never too soon
If I have just one regret, it’s that I didn’t start sooner. We all have something to give to those who are up and coming. I want to encourage anyone reading this that you too can be just the mentor someone younger than you is waiting for. There are many talented individuals within our communities who can gain from our experiences.
It doesn’t have to be time consuming or involve complex programs and ideas. It can be as simple as inspiring someone to be who they are. Sounds cliché, maybe. But it isn’t.
I remember one young man who was seeking advice about how to be ‘more American,’ as a means to opening more doors. He didn’t feel comfortable with his Spanish accent, and wanted to sound like everyone else.
I told him that the best version of himself is his authentic self. I really believe that we should never be anything less than proud of who we are, and that our ‘differentness’ – our uniqueness – our diversity – is our secret weapon.
Choosing a meaningful path
I hadn’t initially realized how integral mentorship is to my sense of accomplishment. This realization came to light when a colleague submitted my name for inclusion among the HITEC 100 most influential global Hispanic executives in the technology industry. Having been included in this list for five years in a row has been profoundly meaningful for me, reflecting how valuable this path is that I have chosen and have much I can give back
And none of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for the freedom that Amdocs has consistently provided me throughout the years to devote time to mentoring.
In conclusion, mentoring – just like all good things in life – is a win-win. When we give, not only does the recipient gain a whole world of value, but we also get so much back in return.
It doesn't get better than that.