Diversity Workforce and the Technology Sector
By Melissa Martinez
I remember after the first BRDG meeting, I asked myself, “What did I get into?” I was feeling nervous after hearing the agenda for the semester that included lots of workshops and meetings. Looking back, BRDG has assisted me greatly by increasing and honing the myriad skills required for strong, competent communication and leadership.
The first semester consisted of routine work such as mock interviews, elevator pitches, impromptu speeches, networking, etc. At the start, it was clear I lacked these critical and necessary skills; however, with practice and guidance, I was able to polish my speech and feel confident in interviews. I don’t think I would’ve practiced enough on my own and would not be as confident and natural. We also did a personality workshop which teaches me how to
communicate with the different types of personalities and also identify your own personality. This has helped me immensely in understanding how other people feel. I even did a personality workshop when I did my summer internship at Zillow. BRDG really helped me to work on my communication skills.
My mentor, Anabella Bonfa, guided me in building a strong LinkedIn profile and also helped me with my communication skills in many ways. She has introduced me to many different professions to help develop my networking skills. I learned to research people before meeting them in person and I still do this today. I’m a very good listener but often am not sure how to
communicate. She helped me to be able to communicate better, whether it is asking questions or keeping a conversation rolling. I’ve also done many mock interviews with Anabella, and they are all unique and make me observe things from a different perspective. I am always learning something new when I chat with my mentor.
As soon as we have summer internships, BRDG enrolled us in a Financial Literacy program organized by Thomas Lotts with NYLife, to make sure that we are exposed to options on how we can make our earnings work for us.
BRDG has helped me get out of my comfort zone and talk with ease. I did not realize how fuzzy my elevator pitch sounded until Terry began coaching me. With practice, I was able to polish my elevator pitch and not feel as awkward. We also did a series of leadership development workshops that focuses on “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, led by Rafael Duran. These workshops helped me realize the small things I needed to know to truly become a leader
and balance my personal and professional life.
Caecilia Gotama has been instrumental in infusing the motivation to elevate my efforts from ‘good work’, to ‘exceptional effort’.
By excelling in the workshops and training provided by BRDG, my next efforts will be directed toward enhancing and augmenting a dynamic enterprise by being an exceptional corporate citizen.