Jessica Reyes didn’t hear about AT&T when she was growing up. Born and raised in Mexico, our business was not yet a household name. It wasn’t until she was studying for her Master’s in El Paso that she met recruiters at a career fair and realized the opportunities available to her by joining the team.

“I joined AT&T because of their partnership with the university – the opportunity to join a Fortune 500 company and learn about them as a student was invaluable to me. My journey started in the Technology Development Program (TDP). I worked in one of the Network Reliability Centers and liked the wide variety of products AT&T was offering in the technology space.

Although she found a natural fit working in AT&T’s technology space, she couldn’t shake off the feeling that there was something bigger on the horizon. She had worked in multiple programs during her studies and was always looking for new opportunities to expand her knowledge.

Branching Out

“AT&T is so big, we have that opportunity to achieve growth in new areas. I reached out to my first manager for his perspective and he connected me with our Latin America branch for a finance role.

“It’s funny how life works. During the interview, my future-boss happened to walk by and saw my resume. It caught his attention. He did something my current boss always encourages us to do: to seek out the ‘unobvious’ choice.”

Despite having little to do with finance, Jessica’s history of hard work made it clear that she could take on the role. That “unobvious” decision made a profound impact in her career journey. Jessica is now a Chief of Staff for Vrio, a jack-of-all-trades position that’s constantly serving new challenges. As a leader herself, she’s often on the lookout for the unobvious.

“You work with all teams at all times to make sure the work continues flowing. It could be as simple as planning an agenda, to analyzing drivers for the organization, to helping plan an event for all employees.”

Be There. Make a Difference.

Our Vrio organization works throughout Latin America, and Jessica works closely with our Latin America Social Responsibility Group. This team dedicates itself towards one of our core values: Make a Difference.

“They’re currently leading an effort to distribute one million plates to families in Latin America and helping with the Faciuni Scholarship Program for young filmmakers – an initiative highlighted for Hispanic Heritage Month. Back when COVID first hit, they made sure our educational channel was available for free for all subscribers in Latin America.”

For Jessica, community involvement isn’t just something to check off the to-do list but an opportunity to give back to the Latino community, her community. As a member of our HACEMOS Employee Group, she has participated in annual initiatives like High Tech Day – where Latino high school students learn about AT&T and how they can dive into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs.

“We encourage STEM education, especially for girls who are maybe hesitant. Working with organizations like Girls Who Code helps us reach an audience on a larger scale.”

Evolving into Leadership

Throughout her time with AT&T and Vrio, Jessica has recognized a shift in her perspective on how to make a meaningful difference. It’s not enough to just want to get involved, leaders need to understand how to best focus their efforts.

“There’s a wide generalization within the word ‘Latino.’ There are a lot of Latinos who are living different experiences. You need people at the table who lived them. For AT&T and any company, we need to recognize that there are blind spots.

“For example, sometimes it’s helpful for me to give an executive – who wasn’t raised in a Latino culture – why they’re not getting pushback. We’re raised to give those in leadership roles full respect, so something like pushing back is a big ‘No’ in our culture. Embracing those differences help enable productive conversations.”

Like many of her peers, Jessica is also focusing on the bigger picture. The present and future; for her career and the community she grew up in. How can she pay it forward as a leader in a global company?

“As I move through my journey, I realize we’re a small piece in a bigger puzzle. You need to really get your head up, witness the bigger picture and look at the perspective you have in front of you. Understand you can impact the strategy of a company, the community and the customers.

“We need to be, as leaders, radically candid. We can’t be scared to give and accept feedback and use it to the best of our advantage. I’m here because I was bold embracing change, working hard and because of good people who gave me an opportunity. It’s important to realize that the people around us, make us, and make the difference.

“Always be on the lookout for that unobvious choice.”

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