HITEC Making Great Strides – Pushing Up and Pulling Up

 

HITEC is the Hispanic IT Executive Council and one of the most relevant and impactful organizations in the country as they Push Up and Pull Up their members and the communities they engage in. It was founded to increase Hispanic representation in the diversity-challenged IT industry.  HITEC is also a premier global executive leadership organization of senior business and IT executives who have built outstanding careers in information technology.  Its premiere network spans the Americas and is focused on building stronger technology and executive leaders, leadership teams, corporations, and role models in a rapidly changing, flatter, and information technology centric world. These global leaders include executives leading Global 1000 corporations while others lead some of the largest Hispanic-owned IT firms across the Americas.  HITEC enables business and professional growth for its members and fills the executive pipeline with the next generation of Hispanic IT leaders.

This has all been made primarily possible through the vision and leadership of Andre Arbalaez (President) and Alberto Yepez (Chairman) as well as through the dedication and support from numerous distinguished Board of Directors many of which work for Silicon Valley High Tech companies. In addition to having excellent leadership awards and recognition events in markets like New York, DC, Miami and Silicon Valley (soon also in Dallas and Guadalajara, Mexico) they also offer their members a comprehensive emerging executive program. Most recently they’ve launched the HITEC Foundation that will provide scholarships to Latino students who are interested in pursing a STEM degree.

Silicon Valley Latino salutes the great work this organization has accomplished and continues to lead. We are also proud to note that many of our Silicon Valley Latino Cultura Ambassadors (Guillermo Diaz Jr, Ileana Rivera, Ramon Baez, Juan Carlos Gutierrez) have taken an active part in propelling HITEC to new heights while others (Pepe Gomez, Anne-Marie Olholm-Azzi, Jorge Titinger to name a few)  have been behind the scenes.

Once again, we congratulate and salute HITEC and look forward to collaborating with this great organization again in the future.

Adelante!

WiSci (Women in Science) Technology Camp for Girls

We, at Silicon Valley Latino, are excited to share the work that Intel, Google, United Nations Foundation, APEC, GirlUp and the US Department of State are leading through the WiSci Tech Camp for Girls. We are also delighted that one of our Cultura Ambassadors, Julissa Ramirez Lebron (Product Manager at Intel), participated as one of the women in tech that exposed girls to tech and served as a role model as to what they may aspire to be as professionals. Julissa keep up the great work, we’re proud of all the work you lead to inspire the next generation!

This past summer Julissa along with many other women went to Peru and presented tech to numerous girls from various countries including Mexico, Chile, USA and of course Peru. This initiative is also taking on the gender equality issue and inspiring many young girls become the innovators of tomorrow.

We invite you to view this video that features a very cool camp and what the girls had to say about the experience.

To close the gender gap in the tech industry, we will achieve greater results through collaboration. This “WiSci” public-private partnership is just one of many examples of the steps we’re taking. See what the experience meant for girls who learned new skills as they worked together to innovate technologies for positive social impact in their communities.

https://www-ssl.intel.com/content/www/us/en/corporate-responsibility/wisci-girls-in-tech-video.html

 

 

 

New Grad or Seasoned Pro? How to Get Stellar Recommendation Letters at Any Career Stage

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You’re all ready to land that great new job, or a slot in a prestigious graduate program. You’ve got your resumé polished, your new suit pressed, and your game face on. You know how to give a firm handshake and you nailed the interview. Just when you think you’ve got it all in the bag, the hiring manager (or admissions officer) asks you for at least three  professional recommendation letters professional references. So how can you make your references stand out and be memorable?

The typical way to think about references is to ask someone “superior” to you in hierarchy, someone that managed you or a professor. It is always recommended that it is someone that worked closely with you so they have something meaningful to say other than a standard letter. But is there something else we can do to make our references and recommendations stand out for the right reasons—namely, who can help you seal the deal?

Don’t panic. You probably already know several people who can serve as your professional references—even if you’ve never held down a “real” job before. Or anyjob, for that matter. But you’ll need to choose carefully. Landing your first job or getting into a coveted college or grad-school program is a high-stakes game, so you don’t want to blow it by giving bad references.(So if your hard-partying fraternity brother who barely graduated offers to be a reference, you should probably pass. Ditto for the two-faced drama queen who gossiped about you behind your back at your last summer job—her motives are probably not honorable.)

When seeking references, people always ask someone professionally “superior” to them—i.e., someone that managed you at a job. It could be your boss at a summer job—the director of the summer camp where you served as youth counselor, for example. Or the owner of the restaurant where you waited tables for three summers, or perhaps the residence-hall director where you worked part-time at the front desk. If you didn’t have a part-time job while you were in school, a trusted professor could also serve as a professional reference. (Going to college full-time is a career of sorts, too—and professors take on the role of your boss at that gig). This is what people usually do, but how can we make our references truly serve as a differentiator for us?

Whomever you choose, your references should always be someone that worked closely with you, so they have something meaningful to say about your personality, work ethic, skills, and talents. Try to find people whom you really “wowed” with your skills and abilities and who will talk enthusiastically—and sincerely— about how great you are, whether it’s a former boss you helped get out of a jam by working extra hours, or an instructor you impressed with your quick thinking when she put you on the spot in class.

References: The Next Phase

The above advice is great for people just entering the professional workforce or higher-level academia for the first time. If you’re a little further on in your career, though, it can sometimes be harder to get professional references than it was before. You might have lost touch with your professors or college-job bosses, for one thing. Meanwhile, your current boss probably doesn’t want you to quit, let alone give you a glowing reference for your next job! It’s why many young professionals find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place that prevents them from moving ahead in their careers.

If you find yourself in this all-too-common predicament, don’t freak out. If you’ve just spent two years at your first entry-level job after college and you’re in search of a stepping stone to the next big thing, consider obtaining a counterpart reference instead of going to your current boss or immediate co-workers.

What’s a counterpart reference? Basically, it’s finding someone at another organization – likely someone you do business with on a regular basis. Whatever your current job, chances are good you’ve built some relationships with professionals at other client companies with which your employer does business. (Or if you work for a very large company, government agency, or nonprofit, you probably work with people in other departments or divisions.)  These are people who have come to know you, your work style, your reliability, and your professionalism. Even though these colleagues are not necessarily your “superiors,” as professional colleagues they are often your best source for references as you move along your career path—and since they aren’t your direct boss or co-workers, they likely won’t have a personal agenda against you moving up the career ladder! (Your counterpart colleagues are often the most supportive of seeing people they like working with get ahead, because it often benefits them as much as it does you.)

How to Get a Counterpart Reference

Here’s an example from my own career. When I was applying to get into business school, I was working for Deloitte as a management consultant. In addition to getting the typical recommendation letters from my managers and professors (all of whom I had good relationships with), I also got recommendation letters from some of my client counterparts I’d worked with during my time at Deloitte. It was easy for me to ask these people directly for references because I believed that if someone I worked closely with was happy with the consulting work I’d provided them as a change agent and value-enhancer, they would also be happy to write  a professional recommendation letter for me. Not only was I right in that assumption, the recommendation letters I received from my client counterparts were head and shoulders above the other ones I received when it came to enthusiasm, details and quality.

Long story short, when you make a positive, measurable, “dollars-and-sense” impact on the professional work of your clients, they will be more than willing to return the favor.

You can also apply this same strategy when requesting LinkedIn recommendations for display on your profile. The more recommendations you have, the more your profile will stand out—and with many of today’s job recruiters doing “stealth” searches for their next hire on LinkedIn, you’ll want yours to look as attractive as possible.

Wherever you are in your career, always be on the lookout for your next professional reference. The more value you bring to the table in your career, the easier they will be for you to obtain. The most in-demand professionals are the ones that people at all levels enjoy working with.

Guillermo Diaz Jr. “G” video interview

 

Silicon Valley Latino is delighted to share Connected Futures Magazine’s interview of Cultura Ambassador and Cisco CIO, Guillermo Diaz. Guillermo or “G” as his friends refer to him, has been a tech leader that we at Silicon Valley Latino have been following for the past few years and it gives us great pleasure to share this interview where he talks about his first year as Cisco’s CIO.  In signature G fashion he talks about engaging others and creating a culture that inspires innovation. He further discusses some of the challenges in this first year, his approach towards solving problems, some of the accomplishments, opportunities and what lies ahead. We are also proud to note that Guillermo isn’t just a tech leader at a Silicon Valley company, he’s also a champion in the community as he makes time to inspire the next generation of innovators on a regular basis. We encourage you to take a moment and learn about how this successful Fortune 500 executive drives a successful approach to innovation, engagement and building a thriving culture at Cisco and beyond.

 

Cultura Ambassador Laura Gomez takes aim at Diversity Issue

 

Silicon Valley Latino Cultura Ambassador and Advisory Board Member Laura I. Gómez is part of an amazing team of women who are tackling the Diversity Issue in Tech. Here is yet another article highlighting who they are and what they are shooting for.

How are you taking part in battling this issue?  Share your actions and thoughts here.

Congrats Laura and keep up the great work!
‪#‎Latina‬ ‪#‎LatinaMentor‬ ‪#‎LatinaLeader‬

Jesse Martinez to speak at CGI 2016!

 

Cultura Ambassador & Silicon Valley Latino Advisory Board Member, Jesse Martinez, has been invited to present at this year’s CGI 2016 in Atlanta along with several dignitaries, Corporate & Non Profit Executives and past Presidents of the United States.  We congratulate him and all of the work he leads!

See article here ==> https://www.clintonfoundation.org/clinton-global-initiative/meetings/cgi-america/2016/speakers

Cisco’s 2015 Hispanic Heritage Month

 

Silicon Valley Latino had the pleasure of covering Cisco’s 2015 Hispanic Heritage Month .

Impacto Latino! That was the theme of Cisco’s first annual Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration  held on October 21, 2015 at its San Jose campus. Hosted by Conexión, Cisco’s Latino ERO, the event showcased the contributions made by Latinos, both at Cisco and across the globe, and also celebrated the unique Latino culture with food, music, art and dancing. The event coincides with the U.S. observation of HHM which is recognized from September 15 – October 15, the anniversary of independence for several Latin American countries.

Cisco Hispanic Heritage Month 2015Over 200 attendees joined locally and from remotes sites in Mexico City, Brussels, Raleigh, NC, Austin, TX, and Boxborough, MA to hear from the great line up of speakers, network with their peers and celebrate. The agenda featured several Cisco leaders including Guillermo Diaz, Jr., SVP & CIO and Executive Sponsor of Conexion, Shari Slate, VP, Chief Inclusion & Collaboration, and Maria Dincel, Director, Sponsor Marketing and Head of Olympic Games.  In addition, a professional development component was offered and Gina Rudan, leadership coach and author of Practical Genius, delivered a keynote.

Event speakers:

Guillermo shared the impact Conexión has made over the past 17 years and highlighted the continued efforts to develop the next generation of Latino leaders at Cisco. He also shared the impact that Conexion had on his career and encouraged the audience to disrupt themselves and inspire exponentially.

Maria shared Cisco’s sponsorship plans for the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics and the efforts Cisco is making in Brazil around country transformation.

Gina Rudan shared her 5 steps to leveraging your practical geniusand the importance of marrying the heart and the mind to create your genius.

Shari highlighted the power of partnerships to help unleash the power of our talent. She also shared the progress made by the Office of Inclusion and Collaboration to transform the company.

Following the main event, attendees in San Jose had the opportunity to network with their peers, learn Zumba, and connect with local Latino owned businesses – PONDL Winery, Vino Latino, Voces Wine, Tico Coffee Roasters, Teatro Vision, Ventana de Flores and Latino Art Expressions.  Conexión

Silicon Valley Latino looks forward to covering Cisco’s 2016 Hispanic Heritage Month event.

If you were a part of this event share your experience with the Silicon Valley Latino community.

Five Cisco executives extend a hand to Cristo Rey San José students

 

Article originally posted on Hispanic Executive

Cisco partners with Silicon Valley high school to build the pipeline for Latino STEM leaders

Five Cisco executives extend a hand to Cristo Rey San José students

By Olivia N. Castañeda

 

Cristo Rey San José High School, founded in the fall of 2014 and located in the Silicon Valley area, is on a mission to end the cycle of poverty. The school’s founders believe the key to prosperity is education. It is affiliated with 28 other urban Cristo Rey Network education institutions that span the country, and unlike the average high school, an admissions prerequisite is that the student comes from a low-income family. Each school’s curriculum includes an adjunct to their academic studies called the Corporate Work Study Program (CWSP), in which four students team up to alternate daily at an assigned nine-to-five job, Monday through Friday.

In its first year of operation, 129 freshman-level pupils make up the entire student body at Cristo Rey High School in San José; 92 percent are Hispanic and eight percent are Asian and black. Currently, there are 28 different corporate sponsors in collaboration with the high school for CWSP.

Cisco Executive VP Randy Pond

Randypond

 

These corporate sponsors hire one team of students for the school year: September through June. Cisco, one of the school’s corporate sponsors, has exemplified what the program hopes to achieve. “Cisco has been very different from the typical experience. Their level of engagement and support of our students has been truly remarkable,” says Matt Bell, the school’s director of the Work Study Program.

The global IT company with 70,000-plus employees has the following vision statement: “changing the way we work, live, play, and learn.”

 

Anne-Marie Azzi, marketing manager at Cisco, says that the company’s interest in participating in CWSP is to share a passion for revolutionizing the world through technology with younger generations. CWSP is a STEM initiative with a goal of building the pipeline for Latino leadership in STEM. By sparking interest at an early age, companies will more likely to be able to recruit from this talented and passionate pool. Photo: Mauricio PalomarAnnemarie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cisco Senior VP of IT Guillermo Diaz, Jr.

Practicing what they preach, Cisco’s executive vice president Randy Pond sponsors two teams, contributing $30,000 per student. Pond has also smartly linked the program to Cisco’s Latino employee resource group,

Guillermo
Conexión.

“[The corporate sponsorship] is not a charitable contribution. This is a business expense for our corporate sponsors,” says the Rev. Peter Pabst, Society of Jesus, who is the president of the high school. The business pays 50 percent of each student’s tuition, the school contributes another 40 percent through grants and fundraising, and the families pay the remaining 10 percent of the total $15,000 balance.

Cisco Senior Manager of Latin America IT Katty Coulson

KattyAnother huge supporter of the collaboration is Cisco’s Guillermo Diaz Jr., senior vice president of IT. “Guillermo has just been the champion of this program,” Pabst says.

Diaz helps the students make connections with other Cisco employees; building their confidence in the process and creating mentor-mentee situations.

“Inspire exponentially” was Diaz’s phrase of the year for his students in 2014-2015 school year. “That means waking up everyday and inspiring ourselves and others through the use of technology,” he says.

The student IT team at Cisco is lead by Katty Coulson, who is the senior manager of Latin America information technology. Working in a high-energy environment amongst recently hired college graduates, the high school students assist in web-page development, blogging, and creating presentations.

Cisco Senior VP of Project Operations Ana Corrales

anacorralesThe second team leader is Ana Corrales, who is Cisco’s senior vice president of product operations. Managed by her team she calls “product operations central,” the students assist with events or product showcases that are targeted to the company. “It has been quite delightful,” Corrales says. “It’s a very rewarding experience to see [the students] grow.” She is recruiting the same students to return next year to continue building their skill sets and give them direct product experience the second time around.

In addition to students gaining work experience, there is an “unexpected by-product,” as Pabst calls it, resulting from CWSP. The students feel excitement as they look forward to working in a professional setting and stand proud as their fellow adult colleagues treat them as professionals.

They also enjoy having real-world responsibilities and having others rely on them in the office. From the beginning of the program to today, the students have developed into mature, confident, and courageous future Latino leaders.

 

Jessica Ruvalcaba – Cultura Ambassador

 

We are excited to announce that Cultura Ambassador, Jessica Ruvalcaba, will be joining Samsung SDS America as their new senior marketing manager.

Jessica has been with Cisco since 2010 where she started as an MBA intern. Shortly, there after Jessica was promoted as a marketing manager for the Americas in 2011 and has serve on Cisco’s Employee Resource Organization (Conexion) as the Director of Talent Pipeline.

JessicaJessica is an enthusiastic marketer who strives to inspire her team and has been passionate about delivering great results for Cisco’s partners, the field, and community. She contributed to Cisco’s mid-market growth by implementing marketing strategies that align to Cisco’s mid-market goals.

Under Jessica’s leadership as the Director of Talent Pipeline for Conexion she has produced excellent results by delivering strategic events and strengthening relationships with key internal and external stakeholders. Her efforts are focused on closing the STEM skills gap and engaging top prospects to contribute to Cisco’s growth, innovation, and competitiveness. Jessica has been instrumental in engaging Silicon Valley Latino as a partner to Conexion with several activities such as the Conexion High School Career Fairs.

Please join us in congratulating Jessica on her achievements, as well as in wishing her all the best and continued success with her new endeavor. Adelante Jessica!

Breaking News! Guillermo Diaz Jr. named CIO at Cisco

 

Silicon Valley Latino is delighted to report that earlier today Guillermo Diaz Jr. was announced as Cisco’s CIO!

Guillermo Diaz Cover PhotoThis is big news for the Latino community and especially for all of our Latino youth who aspire to be Latinos in Tech!  Over the past few years Silicon Valley Latino has developed a close relationship with Guillermo and we have learned that he is the real deal as it relates to being an inspiring leader. We have had the opportunity to meet with many of those on his teams at Cisco as well as with members of Conexion (Cisco’s Latino employee resource organization – Guillermo serves as their executive sponsor). The respect, enthusiasm and collaboration that he inspires are clearly evident. The same can be said for those he touches and works with in the community, just ask the folks at HITEC, Sacred Heart Nativity Schools, Cristo Rey High School and so many others.  As for us at Silicon Valley Latino, the connection was instant and we were inspired by his actions immediately. He was actually the person that inspired the name for our “Inspire Higher Tour” initiative. Guillermo’s phrase for 2014 was “Inspire Higher” and our CEO, Alex Ontiveros, was so moved by how Guillermo evangelized this phrase that we asked him if we could use it for a special initiative that we had in mind, of course the answer was yes. His phrase for 2015 has been “Inspire Exponentially” and it has clearly taken affect with many including us at Silicon Valley Latino.

 

Guillermo is deeply committed to his work as a technology expert, to being an inspiring and effective leader to his teams. However the element that we appreciate the most about him is his commitment to the Latino community especially our youth. Guillermo we congratulate you on today’s promotion to CIO at Cisco! It’s a very well earned accomplishment. We thank you for being an inspiring leader to many of us and for your commitment to inspiring the next generation of Latino heroes!

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We believe this is truly a well-earned promotion based on his numerous professional accomplishments and trajectory as well as the various awards and honors that he has earned over his career. We are also excited to see how he will help take Cisco to the next level by inspiring others exponentially. Adelante!