10.02.2017People

Leadership development: Living in the Moment

By: Eric Wilkens
Arlene Valle

Leaving the island breeze and sunshine wasn't an easy decision for Arleny Valle and her family. 

But with dreams of a better education and opportunity, the family emigrated from the Dominican Republic to New York City when she was a child.

Not knowing what the future would hold, Valle wanted to make her family proud with the opportunities she was given.

After graduating high school from Brooklyn Technical High School, she chose to attend City College of New York. This allowed her to manage her finances and to save while took college classes.  

With hard work, perseverance and determination, Valle was the first person in her family to graduate college.

Path to Verizon

There’s no one definitive path for individuals to take that leads them to Verizon. But for Valle, one of more than 16,000 students at City College, she made herself memorable.

As an undergraduate student, Valle studied mechanical engineering and was attracted to Verizon because of the company’s innovations with their network technology.

Her interest led her to apply for a Verizon STEM Scholarship, a three-year program that focused on populations like women and minorities that are traditionally underrepresented in the STEM field.

I credit Verizon for providing me with the skillset I have today.

After landing the scholarship, Valle attended the scholarship ceremony and did something that set her apart from her peers.

She had her resume in hand to make the most of the networking opportunity with Verizon’s senior leaders. 

“I was in a position to speak with senior leaders at the company and to make an impression. I knew I needed to do something to set me apart,” she said. “I was lucky because that decision initiated steps to where I am now.”

Valle added, “I didn’t prepare a pitch for the executives, but rather I let the conversation flow organically. In my internship I appreciated the effort the leaders made to reach out to underrepresented minorities in STEM programs like myself, and I was drawn to the company.”

The connections Valle made during the ceremony led her to an offer in Verizon’s Leadership Development Program, which is designed to drive the success of future leaders throughout the Verizon enterprise and give participants opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills and connections needed to become tomorrow’s leaders.

This was an eye opening experience for Valle. She was exposed to different facets of the business and networked with colleagues and established mentors throughout the organization.

“I credit Verizon for providing me with the skillset I have today,” she said. 

The Future Looks Bright

Valle is looking forward to continuing her career with Verizon and hopes to be a part of a leadership team focused on motivating and empowering future talent with tools to fast track their success. 

Are you the next Arleny Valle? Explore the Leadership Development Program now

About the author(s): 

Eric Wilkens is on the external communications team at Verizon. He is focused on next-generation public relations, brand storytelling, and digital campaigns. His background includes technology, broadcast, and higher education.