Why I’m paying it forward
- Posted on July 13, 2021
- Estimated reading time 2 minutes
When you’re born to Mexican immigrant parents in a small town where agriculture is the primary industry, establishing a career at an organization like Avanade can sometimes feel unimaginable. Despite that notion, it’s been over 24 years since I joined the Avanade and Accenture team, and of that tenure, 21 of those years have been with Avanade. During my time here, I’ve led large complex deliveries and assumed several key North America and regional leadership roles, but this year things looked a little different for me – I was presented with the opportunity to be Avanade’s Latinx Employee Network Executive Sponsor. I immediately knew Adelante was the space I could take all the experience I’ve gathered throughout the years to develop Avanade’s community of Latinx employees that were looking to grow.
To understand why I’m paying it forward, you have to understand how I got here. For over 50 years, my father was a farmhand and worked with the same family for three generations. His work ethic and commitment were unmatched. Even after laborious days, he was always willing to help other farmers and never expected anything in return aside from a humble “thank you.” His selflessness left a lasting impression on me. So, I pay it forward because my father would be proud to see me furthering his legacy.
When I joined the military, I took a similar approach by helping fellow infantry soldiers. When a soldier would fall behind during combat training missions, our platoon would return, carry their extra equipment, and offer words of encouragement. So, I pay it forward because encouragement will instill the confidence in our future leaders to reach the next level.
Fast forward a few years through college, I joined Accenture and landed my first technical leadership opportunity leading a team in Dallas, TX and in Dublin, Ireland. Not only was it my first leadership opportunity in a corporate setting, but it was also one of my first mentee opportunities. During this time, I was mentored and coached by two impactful female leaders who pushed me to succeed. I didn’t realize it at the time, but their leadership instilled an unbiased leadership quality early in my professional career. During my time at Avanade, I’ve worked with a diverse bunch of project and organization leaders and Career Advisers that have inspired, coached, and given me opportunities to continue to grow and believe in myself. So, I pay it forward to share what so many have shared with me throughout the years.
I wanted others to know that the Latino who worked on West Texas cotton fields for 12-hour days in the Texas summer heat with his Mexican parents and later went to serve as an Army Infantry soldier could indeed become a leader. So, I pay it forward to the young leaders of Adelante who have shown courage in the face of adversity because leadership is only unimaginable when you don’t have the right mentors advocating for what you might not see in yourself.