Hola, I am Joanna and I’m thrilled to share my #LifeAtATT journey with you in hope that it inspires you to work towards your dreams!

I’m Mexican-American and was born in McAllen, TX but was raised by my single parent in a small rural area in Southwest Kansas called Liberal. Yes, home of the yellow brick road and Dorothy. Growing up in a predominately Hispanic community, I learned so much about my culture, traditions, and established values in my life that I carry with me ‘til this day – work hard, work smart, and be kind.

Be Anything, Go Anywhere

My love for communications and connecting others was rooted in my childhood days. I would get home from soccer practice and my mom had Univision playing on the TV. I like to believe this was my first introduction to AT&T, the modern media world, without me knowing it.

After high school graduation, I went off to pursue my Journalism & Communications degree at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, and that’s the spot where I launched my #LifeAtATT.

It was a regular day. I clocked into work and checked out my team’s group site and my email for the latest updates on promotions. I had an email from Women of AT&T offering a free mentor session. A year left before graduation, I wanted to bring as many mentors into my circle as possible for guidance and support post-graduation. The mentor assigned to me was our local Area Retail Sales Manager, so it worked out perfectly.  We sat together and wrote down my strengths, goals, and all the different organizations I could be a part of based on my skillsets. I always heard the saying, “You could be anything and go anywhere at AT&T,” and for the first time, after that mentor session, I truly believed it.

I accepted my first communications role a couple of months before my college graduation. It was official. I would finish my last semester virtually and move to Little Rock, Arkansas. This was a huge personal and career milestone for me. I would be leaving the state I grew up in, to head off to a new state I had never visited before, all on my own. I had a team behind me that cheered me on and lifted me up on days I wanted to quit. I visited Corporate Headquarters for training and left with the goal that I would make it to HQ within the first 5 years of my career journey.

Put Me In, Coach!

I spent 8 months in Arkansas before a business change created an option to relocate to St. Louis, Missouri. I knew enough about the business’s, goals and targets, but most importantly, I knew myself well enough to confidently say, “Put me in, coach!” I was very fortunate, from a support standpoint, to be able to pick up and move my life to new places. So I did just that. Once again, a new place I had never visited before, all on my own.

St. Louis will forever hold a special place in my heart. I learned so much about the city, had the best Italian food on “The Hill” and worked with some of the best people at this company. I was given the opportunity to shape and create a culture within the Retail Organization that I will always take pride in being a part of – KAMO, #Hunting4Number1. I like to refer to St. Louis and my year and a half there as the year of my “firsts”. It was the first time I was challenged in growing and winning, the first time I traveled for work, first time being a Service Excellence Winner and President’s Choice for Summit, first time I felt like I had a seat at the table, first time having an apartment in a downtown area aka living my “small town, big dreams,” and the first time believing I was more than just a number at AT&T. Saying yes to a new city, new team, and essentially a new role, empowered me to launch my career even further than what I believed I was capable of.  St. Louis grew my love for connecting people.

After serving 2 years as the Communications Manager for KAMO and creating multi-media communications for more than 2,500 employees, it was time to close that chapter.

Do It Afraid

I accepted the Lead Chief of Staff role for the Diversity & Inclusion team April 1st, 2020. I was responsible for promoting an inclusive work environment, providing data-driven strategies, and maintaining communications for the organization. After 8 months, I was promoted to the #LifeAtATT social media team as their new Lead Talent Acquisition Manager. I was responsible for social content development and talent attraction. During this chapter of my career, I had the opportunity to give back to AT&T. I’m passionate about the power of social media, growing our diversity at AT&T, and connecting people to what they enjoy doing (especially throughout the pandemic). My skillsets and saying “yes” provided me two opportunities to be promoted during the pandemic, something I am very grateful for.

In July of 2021, I accepted the Sr. Events Manager role for the AT&T Discovery District. This was an opportunity for me to continue the work I was doing in my previous virtual role, but in person, with the right protocols. This was my “I made it” moment! A new downtown destination in the heart of Dallas, Headquarters of AT&T, where tech, culture, and entertainment meet to create unique experiences for our employees and guests. The past five roles of my career, all in one. Six months into this role, I’ve had the opportunity to plan, partner, and execute events with the Dallas Stars, Dallas Cowboys, NBA, Dallas Holiday Parade, AT&T employee groups, and many others! What a dream come true for this small-town girl.

Often I get asked how I navigate my career. I believe in following this mantra: “Do it Afraid.” I’ve accepted roles that scare me, left my family behind, accepted the challenges and brought others up the ladder with me. It’s been a humbling and rewarding #LifeAtATT journey thus far. And wherever I may go next, I know there is always a yellow brick road that will lead where I’m meant to be.

Si se puede.

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