Employees on their journeys to Intel and celebrating 25 years of the Latinx network.
Story as told to Jennifer Sanchez and Emily Lightcap
For over 50 years, Americans have acknowledged the contributions of Latinxs in the United States during Hispanic Heritage Month. Running from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, Hispanic Heritage Month also recognizes our Mexican and Central American neighbors – people from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua – who in September celebrate their independence.
This year at Intel, we’re celebrating the 25th anniversary of our Intel Latinx Network (ILN). While we have over 30 employee resource groups, ILN was one of the first to organize, advocating for the advancement, inclusion, visibility and retention of Latinx employees. ILN is open to all employees and provides an inclusive environment in support of Intel’s 2030 goals.
Below, employees share their Intel journeys and why they make time to be part of the ILN family.
It’s hard to say when I knew I wanted to be an engineer, but my family gave me the tools to make it happen. My parents are from Mexico. My mother, a housewife, is from Jalisco and only attended first grade. My late father, a carpenter and construction worker, was from Chihuahua and went up to third grade. When my parents married, they emigrated to El Paso, Texas. My two older brothers and I were born and raised in this U.S.-Mexico border city.
Despite not having much formal education, my parents taught us skills to succeed in life. They could rarely help us with our homework, so I learned to be independent and find answers. They never let us miss school, so I learned discipline and responsibility. My family often made games of solving problems. My dad and I would sit on the porch for hours as we worked on the Rubik’s Cube. My uncle would always give us brain teasers. All of this forced me to develop creative ways to find solutions to win.
My dad always encouraged us to study computers because most industries depend on technology. I went to the University of Texas at El Paso, and followed in my brothers’ footsteps, who both earned degrees in computer technology. I then earned my master’s in business administration.
In 2010, I joined Intel in Arizona as a supply chain analyst, a role where I was a software engineer developing applications for supply chain decision-making. Today, I’m happy to be a program manager, where I’m responsible for managing and coordinating the validation of internet of things (IOT) products in alignment with customers’ expectations and technical requirements. I make sure we stay competitive.
I do my best to practice Intel’s values. Inclusion comes most naturally to me. I remember what it was like to join a company and feel alone, until a woman of color who mentored me introduced me to ERGs. There, I was able to connect with people who better understood and supported me. As ILN X-site co-chair, I serve as a mentor, connecting people and helping them to be successful. I’m also able to build relationships, sharpen my leadership skills and serve our community. Above all, ERGs serve as access to inclusive leaders. I sometimes don’t see managers and leaders who look like me, so it’s nice to see and hear from diverse leaders at ERG events who inspire me to dream big at Intel.
When I was a teenager in the 1980s, summers in our rural desert town were for hustling to make money. That’s where I originally gained the skills that led me to be innovative and fearless — and have helped me contribute to Intel’s success for over 25 years.
I was born and raised in Yuma County,Arizona on the U.S.-Mexico border, the third of seven kids. My dad worked the citrus, lettuce and alfalfa fields, and mom managed our cozy three-bedroom house. I didn’t realize it then, but we were poor in material things, and rich in love, family and culture. I landed a job picking and packing lettuce – the best part was going inside the industrial coolers away from the heat. Once when my brother and I complained about the work, my dad shared his greatest wisdom: “If you don’t like this type of work, then go home and study, go to the university. Get better, get a degree and get out of this environment.”
We were sold! Our next hustle: get into and pay for Arizona State University as first-generation college students. With help from my older brother, I got in. (Six of us kids earned degrees from ASU and the youngest sibling graduated from Stanford University.) I studied engineering because I liked manufacturing. When it was time for an internship in 1992, I took some time off from school, got a nine-month gig at Intel and moved to Albuquerque. I used every minute to learn about the factory, machines and people and their roles. I returned to ASU and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in industrial and systems engineering.
In 1994, I joined Intel’s Fab 12 in Arizona startup team. We were in construction trailers and reviewing everything by print. Within a few years, I decided to go to graduate school at night to learn about our business, too. I later moved into the supply chain organization and got the opportunity to understand our business model. Intel in the 2000s sponsored two of my master’s degrees – business administration and international business. By 2010, I joined Sales and Marketing Group’s Latin America regional team while based in Arizona. For over 10 years, I’ve flourished in SMG, and I’m loving my job as a global account manager.
Navigating Intel has been my career hustle. I haven’t done it alone. I’m grateful for the support of ILN and several great managers, leaders and sponsors who have helped me contribute to our business. Above all, I’m most thankful to my dad for his advice that hot day..
In 1994, over 25 years ago, I got the call that changed my life – a job offer working thin films at Fab 7 in New Mexico. I had a high school diploma. I was going through a divorce and raising two kids. Intel provided me with more than just a job, they provided me with many opportunities. In 2007 at age 45, I earned my bachelor’s degree in business management, becoming the first college graduate on both sides of my family. At Intel, I’ve built lifelong friendships and discovered more about my Hispanic heritage along the way.
Growing up, I was the eldest of five kids, curious about my Hispanic roots and wished I knew Spanish. My late mother was Hispanic, and my father is white. My mother left us when I was six, so I didn’t learn about my Hispanic culture. I connected with my mom’s family when I was a young adult, but many of my relatives passed away before I got to know them.
Ten years ago, a friend invited me to an ILN gathering, and I’m so glad she did. ILN is where I’ve found some of my closest friends and gained a greater understanding of my roots. I’ve learned some Spanish and more about our comfort foods, music and fashion.
ERGs are like families. I enjoy being active in several ERGs to seek greater understanding of other cultures and make new friends. I recently joined the newly established Jewish group. I’m not Jewish, but I’m looking forward to learning and experiencing the culture.
Inclusion starts in our community, within our teams and within our ERGs at Intel. We have an array of people from so many different backgrounds. Everyone is encouraged to be their authentic selves, to grow and connect with others. This is one of the many reasons why I love working here.