Throughout my 11 years in Uverse technical support, I learned the value of customer service and the importance of getting buy-in in order to troubleshoot over the phone. What helped me gain a level of understanding was back in 2013 when I took a free AT&T online course about Emotional intelligence. The key factors that I took from the course were monitoring my professional attitude, not getting personal, and learning how to speak so that others will listen. This is what helped send my career into a different direction.
With AT&T moving towards the Workforce 2020 initiative, I began training in 2015 and completed >300 hours in various courses such as: Agile, Cloud, IP Networking, and eventually became very interested in Cybersecurity. In 2017, I decided to start my Master’s Program at Devry/Keller Graduate School with a major in Information Security.
During this time, I was promoted to team lead where I resolved several manager escalations and 200+ supervisor takeovers from angry customers. We essentially were the highest level escalation team so we dealt with the toughest customers, but always found a way to resolve their issues. This is where the emotional intelligence skills became critical to my success. In 2018, I was then offered a position as a case manager where we specialized in resolving technical issues and preventing dispatch tickets. We would essentially contact the customer, resolve the issue, cancel the repair ticket, then monitor the account for 2-5 days to ensure resolution. This proactive approach led to our team saving the company >$10 million YTD for 2018.
In January of 2019 I was promoted into the Technology Development Program where I have been able to increase my Cybersecurity skills, along with building on soft skills as well! However, acquiring this position did not come by just applying. It took networking and strategic planning to be a part of this brilliant team!
If it wasn’t for mentorship, I would probably be in the same place as when I started. When I joined The NETwork five years into my career, I began building connections that lead to a better understanding of the corporate environment and career development. From attending networking events & professional development workshops, to acquiring a mentor and learning through experience, it helped me navigate my career with a much more engaging approach. As the networking skills got better, the mentors increased and “luck” began to happen more frequently.
I later set my sights on taking more of a leadership role, so I began to mentor students, and also took on the role as Secretary within the NETwork (Wisconsin). There, I was able to get more involved with the community while learning how ERGs worked from an insider’s perspective. Helping people is one of my true passions so being a part of this organization has meant a lot to me. Not to mention the opportunity to introduce kids to STEM because kids possess great ideas, and with technology what they can do with this resource is limitless.
These community efforts propelled me to become a member of other ERGs like WOA, oxyGEN, Hacemos, Inspirasian, and OASIS to name a few J. I feel that it’s important to build your network and get involved with communities outside of your comfort zone. The work really focuses on that community aspect, which is why I like to get involved. The luxury of community engagement is being able to tell these stories when going to events like the ERG Leadership Academy, and the annual ERG Conference. Not only do peers get to hear these stories, but executive leaders as well who now have the ability to connect with you on a level outside of work. Always take advantage of an inclusive atmosphere!
The Technology Development Program marks a new chapter in my journey, and although it is new, I am ready for the challenge. It has been a great experience so far, along with the various volunteering events I have been able to attend, so I am very much looking forward to the future.