Being the daughter of an immigrant helped me understand at an early age that nothing is impossible if I am willing to work harder than others and seek guidance from those who have already walked the path put before me. This, coupled with a growth mindset, has allowed me to accept and understand that I have a lot more to learn and that I will never stop learning and growing.
Starting My Life at AT&T
My name is Antonia Martinez, or Tonie for short. I’d say my journey with AT&T started when I worked for the non-profit, Junior Achievement, back in 2014. I would host job mentoring workshops for local high school students at a Laredo retail store, and although the curriculum was addressed for the students, I paid close attention to Adam Hernandez, the South Texas Area Retail Sales Manager for AT&T. He would talk of company culture and advise on how to start a career most people could only dream of. His approach was very honest, raw, and awe-inspiring. I knew then I wanted to work at AT&T. Fast forward to January 2021, I officially joined AT&T through the B2B Sales Development Program and began my mission to find more mentors to help on my journey.
I quickly learned there are different types of mentoring partnerships and opportunities, and not all require having a standing one-on-one calendar invite. Understanding this has truly transformed the way I view mentorship altogether and has allowed me to find creative ways of collecting, absorbing, and giving back those golden nuggets of wisdom. Through our shared passion of service and networking, I was able to connect with Corey Anthony, Senior Vice President of Engineering & Operations, and every time our paths crossed I asked for his advice and input on how to propel my career forward. “Look into employee networks and employee groups,” he said during one of our interactions and, shortly after joining a few, I grew my list of mentors substantially.
Building My Network
Through the HACEMOS mentorship circle, I met Alencia De Anda-Gregg. She has shared advice on various topics that has shaped my path and thinking for the better. Something she said which still resonates with me is:
Don’t worry so much about climbing up the ladder and lose sight on building a strong lattice. A successful and meaningful career is not always defined by how quickly you can go up; sometimes you will find more value building horizontally.
I have made it a personal mission to pay my mentorship experience forward. Almost immediately I began to share the messages I’ve received from leaders across the company. This is one of the reasons I joined oxyGEN’s national board as their Director of Development. This specific employee group is shaping and aiding in the development of young professionals who are just starting their careers with AT&T.
My approach towards mentoring is casual and encouraging. My goal is to build a strong relationship with my mentee, so they feel confident in leading the conversation. I have learned and grown through the relationships I’ve built, and I believe building relationships is an integral component of mentoring. My advice for anyone wanting to become a mentor is to make yourself available for building relationships with people outside of your immediate circle, challenge yourself to have meaningful conversations, and – if you’re up for it – join and be involved with an employee group.
My journey at AT&T is just beginning. I truly feel lucky to be able to continue my professional development with the help of the many mentors I’ve met along the way. Looking back at where I started and where I am now makes me excited for my future with AT&T. I want to express my sincere gratitude for the many mentors who have invested in me and helped shape my career.Find your place with AT&T