Posted on February 4, 2020 by MGT Consulting Group
My first interaction with the world of computers started in junior high school, using the “Green Turtle” to learn programming. From this experience, I was hooked. My love of programming also led to an interest in robotics, and I worked on anything I could get my hands on at home. That was fine with my mom, as she encouraged me to do these types of activities because she could see I had a passion for science and technology. So what does that have to do with #MyMGTJourney? My passion for technology coupled with my love of giving back and working among a dynamic team led me here!
I went to technical school and studied electrical engineering then governance, risk, and compliance. I enjoyed the theory side so after working for others and becoming involved in the Cyber Security industry, I decided to start my own company. Being a woman in the technology industry is challenging if you don’t know how to present yourself, particularly as a black woman. But I resolved to follow my passion.
Foundations for My Journey
To put some context behind my journey, I want to share two of my foundational beliefs. First, I believe every person is born with a seed of vast potential and our surrounding environment should support us in reaching this potential. I’m exceedingly optimistic in the capabilities of every person. Second, we are all teachers and students. Every person has valuable knowledge to share, and every person has endless opportunities to learn. What drives me is being able to live these foundations on both a personal and professional basis – and I found that here at MGT.
Humble Beginnings/Strong Ambition
When I came to this country from Haiti in 1989, I was surrounded by male employers in New York City who taught me to be strong and strategic in business from an early age. My mother and father installed in me to always be confident. Always make sure what comes out of your mouth is impactful, especially when you are the only person that looks like you there. My parents taught me to play the game at a different level and make sure you are positively impacting your community and leaving a path for others to follow.
I’ve always believed that having great ideas isn’t enough. Someone needs to give you an opportunity to act on those ideas. That’s why for the past several years I’ve been part of a great movement to encourage other women to achieve success. In the technology and STEM fields, there can be an unconscious bias towards women. That’s why when I started working with Tony Martinez, Vice President of Cyber Security at MGT, I knew I had found a special organization.
“Joining MGT was a natural choice for me. Everyone is so welcoming and helpful – and that speaks volumes about the culture at MGT.”
My interaction with Tony has always been great. In 2018, he approached me to work with him on projects as a subconsultant. Always looking to learn, I found him to be very smart, patient, and able to frame his opinions in a different way that teaches while asking for feedback. He’s never made me question my abilities, which is a great commodity both in a leader and in this industry!
Working in a team environment is great. After getting to know Tony, when he approached me about joining MGT, I didn’t hesitate. I’ve been with the company for a year and having someone else to help you, collaborate with, and learn from has been amazing. I love that I have support, but I’m still operating in an autonomous role. It’s a great combination for me.
With every project I engage I bring a mindset of a business owner. In other words, if I think “I’m only an employee,” my commitment level may lessen. So, helping to grow MGT’s Cyber Security practice allows me to take ownership. I love the challenge of growing an idea or business into a success.
Helping Others Along the Way
It’s always been very important to me to be a part of professional organizations. I grew up believing that if you achieve success in life, it’s important give back and do what you can to help others. I mentor young women, and I’m all about encouraging them to embrace technology. I’m involved in many organizations and am an Advisory Board Member for the East Coast Polytechnic Institute (ECPI) University and Florida Polytechnic University. I’m also a Board Member of the University of South Florida Muma College of Business and Chairperson of the Internship Committee at the International Consortium of Minority Cybersecurity Professionals (ICMCP). I am also Vice President of the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) Tampa Bay.
I also work as an Ambassador with #brainbabe. It’s a thought leadership platform dedicated to supporting women to help find jobs in the Cyber Security and Technology industry. Many of the boards I sit on include young women – students or young adults. I love helping kids and young adults because someone needs to step up to help and encourage them. I know because I received this help along the way, and now I want to pay it forward. I’m blessed to work with an organization that supports my passion for the job, but also my passion for giving back outside of work.
Joining MGT was a natural choice for me. Everyone is so welcoming and helpful which speaks volumes about the culture at MGT. It was imperative that I found a place that supports my personal belief in helping others, collaborating, and giving back. I’m so lucky to have found that and am doing well on my #MyMGTJourney!