Mi Historia Interviews - Angela Rosario
/ What is your name? Do you know the story behind your name?
Angela Rosario. My mom got it from a telenovela (soap opera) she liked, and Angela was one of the main characters. I know it also means “a messenger of God” 👼.
/ How do you self-identify your race and ethnicity?
Hispanic and Latina 🇩🇴.
/ Do you identify with the term Latinx?
No, for me, Latinx is a new term to adapt and narrow down how do we explain others our ethnicity background - I actually learned about it around six months ago and maybe is a matter of time until I get used to it, specially when you’re from an island and may potentially be a bit of everything, so I don’t mind people considering me Latinx, Latina or Hispanic.
/ Share with us more about your upbringing. Where were you born? Where did you grow up?
I was born in Moca, and then I was raised in Santiago, Dominican Republic 🌴. I was there until I graduated high school 🎓.
I never imagined that I would attend college in the U.S. I would visit my family in New York growing up, but when I moved to the U.S. with my mom, it was very unexpected 😰.
My mom wanted me to be a doctor 👩⚕️, or at least a lawyer ⚖️ or an architect 📐. But, because I didn’t know English nor the financial resources to fund my college education or knowledge in how the financial aid system worked 😣 , I had to join the ESL program at a community college and I started in the nursing program as a starting point to become a doctor. But, I soon found out I couldn’t deal with blood and seeing people suffering 🤢. At the time, I started working at a hotel and then as a bank teller in Bank of America. It was the way I paid for my classes 💰.
But it was working as a teller and seeing people wearing suits 👩💼, when I felt like I was in my element. This is how I pictured my life: working in big buildings 🏢 and wearing suits. I always enjoyed math and numbers, as well as reading the news 🤓. As such, I ended up changing majors and soon after I transferred to Baruch College and majored in finance and investments with a minor in psychology and sociology 👏👏👏.
/ What did you want to be when you were a child? What were your career aspirations and why?
My mom encouraged me to be a doctor and visualize myself in a white coat👩🏻⚕️, walking into a hospital everyday. My mom is a lawyer in the Dominican Republic.
The future that my mom was telling me about seemed appealing, so I was always aspiring to be a doctor, perhaps a pediatrician and follow my mom’s wishes 👩👧. But my mom herself being a lawyer indirectly shaped me into making decisions, having opinions and being a strong presence, so I also wanted to make decisions and bring ideas and act like her. At that time, I didn’t know finance 📈 would bring me into those spaces, given that in Dominican Republic it is not a common career.
/ Let’s start with your K-12 experience. Tell us about the schools you went to, and how did they help you prepare for a job or career?
I never saw career fairs or got exposed to careers other than the ones my mom told me about. I remember hearing about careers for the first time in the bachillerato (high school). The school systems in the DR are more focused on helping us memorize things and getting us ready for La Prueba Nacionales (mandatory national exams) 📓. Out of 40 people in the classroom, approximately 4 people ended up going to college or successfully graduating in my school 😦.
/ Did you do internships, apprenticeships, college campus jobs while in school to gain experience? Was it difficult balancing academics and extracurriculars?
My mom never sat me down and explained how to get a job. A lot of Latino parents think that good grades are enough.
I met my husband (who was just my boyfriend at my time) at Baruch, who told me about ALPFA and I ended up going to the ALPFA Convention in 2014. I met three thousand students who were getting a lot of support, as well as connections to employers. The first year was overwhelming, but the next year I came back and got five offers 💯. The offer I ended up choosing was for an internship at Goldman Sachs, and that transitioned into my current full-time job 🆒.
/ What scared you the most about choosing an employer?
I think Goldman Sachs was a natural choice because it was an attractive opportunity. However, Goldman Sachs went above and beyond, reaching out to me in advance to help me prep for the interview and make sure I do well. You always hear that it is all about the people, and it sounds so cliched, but at the end of the day, it is true and it is all about what is important to you 🧡.
When you are trying to get a job in this huge conference, it is scary. I was afraid to talk to people and spent a lot of time hiding in the bathroom 😨. Networking was confusing for me, so when Goldman reached out with tons of resources, it helped me feel secure and confident going into the interview. They assure me I will get a mentor and coach in my first few months of the job.
This was very different from my experience with other employers. I often encountered interviewers that were super dry in their communications and didn’t let me know about any support or mentorship that I would get once on the job ❌.
/ Were your family and friends critical or supportive during the process of choosing where you wanted to work?
I think parents believe that good grades and a degree are enough. My mom didn’t understand the concept of internships. She didn’t understand much about what I was doing. After I finished my internship, I remember her saying, “Did you get fired? 🤣 You only worked for the summer!” I had to educate her on how the process worked.
She also didn’t understand why I didn’t become a doctor. Now she gets it and understands I am happy 😃. She doesn’t know how huge an opportunity it is to work in finance at Goldman Sachs.
/ Do you feel your resume is a good indicator of your skills and experiences? Was it scary writing your resume?
I think the interview went well because I was able to provide examples, and my resume truly embodied my experiences ✅.
I worked at a hotel and as a bank teller to be able to pay for my college. I didn’t have many extracurricular activities, so I really had to dig deep and find examples that showed my strengths. It definitely taught me that any experience is valuable 🔑.
/ What did you wish you had to support you in the job search process? What resources did you feel were missing?
There are a lot of resources to help college students find jobs. Where we are lacking resources is on how to interact with senior management and build self-advocacy as a young professional to be able to learn how to communicate your ideas and opinions 💡.
We were taught to respect the elderly 👵 and that parents are always right 👪. Learning to advocate for yourself and network with senior management wasn’t the most natural for me. Career coaching in these areas would be helpful, so people not only get the job, but can also stay and thrive 🔍.
/ How did being Latinx impact your job search? The career fair? The application process? The interview?
I wasn’t 100% authentic. “Fake it till you make it” was my motto. I did things to conceal or dampen my Latina identity.
Because I was Latina, I limited myself and didn’t apply to certain roles in finance, because I thought you needed to have a level of money and influence growing up to be able to get certain job offers 😥. Now looking back, I wish I didn’t have these perceptions.
/ Is Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion important for you? What does it mean in your own words? How do you know if a company is checking the box or if they actually care?
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is super broad and includes people from different majors and experiences. I graduated from Baruch College, but there are a lot of people from Harvard, NYU, etc. in my workplace.
I also felt that for me to make it to Goldman Sachs. I had to have a finance background, but other majors also bring a lot of value. I urge students that want to join corporate roles that they don’t have to stick to a major they don’t like just so they can work at a particular company 🗝️🗝️.
/ Do you wish more Spanish was spoken at your workplace?
When I went to the community college to sign up for classes, there was a random lady by the train. She said, “If you want to do well, make sure to speak English, and try not to speak with your ums.”. And she was right!
I have friends and family that have been here the same amount of time, and they don’t speak the same level of English.
My husband and I recently started to speak more Spanish, because he needs it at his job. I thought it was rude to speak Spanish in the workplace, but now I am practicing it with other Latinos at work.
I was placed at a project that included travel, and knowing Spanish gave me that opportunity. Being multilingual helped me get an opportunity that you typically need two years in the company to get. I encourage people to show off their abilities to speak multiple languages 🎉.
/ What would you like to bring to the forefront regarding the conversation about Latinos in the workplace? What do you think is the important element of this conversation that is not talked about as much?
We do learn a lot from our mistakes. I wish I was more authentic before. A recent mentor told me, “Hey, you need to be more of yourself in the corporate environment.”
The moment I started to be like myself, my career really started kicking off 💯. The way we add value is by bringing a different mindset and not trying to be like anyone else. I now listen to my reggaeton on my way to work and speak more openly in Spanish with my colleagues.