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10.03.2018Inside Verizon

It’s good to be Susie.

By: Lillian Doremus

Her life is rich with culture and life experiences.

Susie Corona looks forward to Hispanic Heritage month.

Susie Corona looks forward to Hispanic Heritage month.

First of all, she’s of Mexican descent. Secondly, as part of the Wireless Marketing team she works on a lot of programs that have a positive impact on the Latino community. And thirdly, she’s so cool that she made time to tell us more about her story in this Q & A.

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Question: Susie, tell us why Hispanic Heritage Month is important to you.

Susie: I embrace this time of year as a way to celebrate my culture. As a Hispanic woman, I love my beautiful roots and I’m so proud of my family. My parents are from Mexico, making me a first generation American.

Question: Food is such an important part of any culture. What type of food do you enjoy?

Susie: I absolutely love Mexican food -- but around here it’s nowhere near as good as it is in California. Although I was born in Chicago, we moved to there when I was a baby, and you can’t beat that delicious food. But I love ice cream too, and that’s great everywhere.

Question: So you’re from California. What brought you to New Jersey?

Susie: I have had interesting experiences with my share of risks and gambles. As a teenager, I worked for Starbucks. Over twelve years ago, a manager from Verizon came in and ordered his latte and asked me daily if I’d turned 18 yet so he could hire me. Once I hit that milestone, I accepted a position as a customer service rep. It was one of the best decisions I could possibly have made.

Question: Did you expect that twelve years later, you’d be living and working in New Jersey?

Susie: Never. After customer service, I moved into a position in sales and then a special assignment in marketing with the multi-cultural team, and I learned as much as possible. I networked and offered my assistance to many different groups to gain insights and experience. I worked on Latino strategy in what was the West Area then. When my assignment ended, I was to go back to the store. Instead, due to expressing my career goals with one of the marketing leaders, I was invited to a ride-along with the National Indirect account manager and got a job with that team. That experience was unforgettable, as I got to participate in “Rock Star” and I made it to the Top 7. From there, I was set up for my next move to work on front-line positioning. I was so scared, because this required me to leave my family and move to New Jersey.

Question: That was a big risk. Did you make the right move?

Susie: It was a risk, and I’m so glad I took it. I gained the experience necessary for my next move to Hispanic segment marketing. Now I lead Hispanic strategy and I love it, even though it was sometimes tough having to fight battles to get to where we are today.

Question: What are you most proud of in this role?

Susie: Our team launched the Spanish My Verizon app. If I didn’t move to NJ, I would have never had these amazing experiences. In order to get what you want out of your career, there are roadblocks and having to hear “no” a lot. That was often tough for me, because my pet peeve is when people tell me “no”, and they don’t explain the “why”. But I made it my goal to fight through the clutter.

Question: What’s next?

Susie: I’m currently a USC graduate student. I’m working hard at school and at work. I aim to have a long career here at Verizon. The master’s program I’m enrolled in focuses on the relationship between consumers and employees. Bottom line: a company cannot succeed if the employees are not happy. We must always strive to provide a positive organic experience.

Question: You’re very busy with work and school. Do you have any Susie time?

Susie: Oh yes. Because I grew up with such rich culture, it’s such a part of me and why I’m so passionate about everything I do. It’s also important to me to pay it forward. I’ve participated in “Built by Girls” as an adviser and it’s an incredibly rewarding experience. For fun, I like to do yoga and crossfit, I enjoy watching “New Girl” and “Stranger Things”, and I really love going to the beach and reading a good book.

Question: I understand you have some exciting news to share?

Susie: Well, my boyfriend Leonardo urged me to go skydiving with him. I’d never done this before and I was terrified about jumping 10,000 feet out of a plane. My boyfriend jumped first, and when I made it down to him, he was on his knee with a diamond ring -- and then I said yes. I don’t remember all the details because I collapsed from the adrenaline and the shock. But I remember the most important parts. We’ve set the date for next October.

Question: Any final thoughts during this month of Hispanic Heritage celebration?

Susie: Yes - Don’t give up! There will be times when you feel doors are shutting on you. I often wondered if it was because I was Latina. Was my heritage a disadvantage? So keep your head down and work hard and you’ll see the rewards.

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Susie Corona

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About the author(s): 

Lillian Doremus is a member of the Verizon Corporate Communications team. She highlights workplace culture and employee achievements. 

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