Four Ways to Find Success as a Millennial in Tech
Nathaly Munoz, Data Engineer
Years with The Hartford: 2
Nathaly Munoz loves her work as a data engineer at The Hartford. She got to where she is today through a combination of grit, smarts, drive, and determination, and has definite aspirations for accomplishing more. But the path wasn't always clear, nor was it easy.
Nathaly started out as a cook in Miami's restaurant industry, job-hopping among area restaurants for small increases in pay. It wasn't the life she wanted for herself, but she didn’t know where to turn for the professional fulfillment she hoped for.
Everything changed in 2013 when Nathaly got a tech internship with a small software company in South Florida. She and technology clicked, and there’s been no looking back. The internship evolved into a full-time job, and she quickly advanced through the tech support ranks. In 2015, she moved to Rhode Island to study robotics at Johnson and Wales University. In 2017, she became a technical product analyst with General Electric Digital. A short year later, she joined The Hartford as a software developer and recently advanced to her present position as data engineer. She's also pursuing a master's degree in data science through Colorado Technical University's online degree program.
Nathaly is passionate about what she does, and has a message to share with young women like her who are looking for their place in the professional world, especially in the world of technology.
Do What You Love
Success is a personal experience that can't be achieved by following anyone's template but your own, Nathaly advises. So it's important to dig deep to know who you are and what you like to do, and find a way to monetize that.
For Nathaly, a career in technology was obvious once she made the connection.
“I love analytical thinking,” she says. “I've loved video games and solving problems since I was a kid. Working in technology allows me to apply my passions to a broader purpose while making a living which is a dream!”
She also finds the work personally fulfilling.
“It's difficult, the most challenging thing I've ever come across, and I love that,” Nathaly says. “With every computer problem you solve, you get an amazing sense of empowerment, and you get to feel that sense of empowerment every day.”
“On a tech team, it takes a village,” Nathaly says. “There's no one way to solve a problem, so the more diverse the team members' background, the more likely they'll come up with different solutions – and that's good for business.”
As a woman of Latinx heritage, Nathaly is well aware of the challenges facing both people of color and women, and says it’s important to be part of the change you want to see.
“Once upon a time, there weren't a lot of women in conference rooms,” she says. “Now, the landscape has changed – and continues to evolve. Women like me are more encouraged than ever to have a powerful, active voice at the table.”
Women have come a long way in the workplace over the years, and Nathaly believes that there has never been a better time to contribute your unique skills and perspectives than now.
Tune in to Trends and Opportunities
“Technology moves so fast; it changes by the second,” Nathaly says. “You need to look for trends – what's happening right now, not yesterday or tomorrow. So it's really about timing, and pursuing education or work experiences that give you the knowledge and skills to stay current and fresh.”
It's also about paying attention to the opportunities right in front of you. Nathaly is a strong proponent of networking, taking on small steppingstones that could pave the way to bigger opportunities, cultivating strong relationships with your boss and colleagues, and making use of your company's benefits. The Hartford's tuition reimbursement program, for example, is paying for part of her master's degree studies at Colorado Tech.
“Putting it all together and saying yes to opportunities is what got me to where I am today,” she says.
Find a Supportive Work Culture
Today's corporations recognize the importance of diversity, but there's a big difference between making it an objective in a mission statement and realizing it in the workplace.
“Many corporations say all the right things,” Nathaly says. “What’s different about The Hartford is that they really walk the walk. As a woman and a Latina, I feel safe to let my true self shine here. I can do what I'm good at and I’m recognized for my contributions.
Management and the work culture in general have her back. She's also supported and gives back as a member of the company’s Hispanic Leadership Network and Women in Tech Network, which encourage and foster the success of their members.
Here, Nathaly has found her family, or familia – and a place to thrive with a bright future ahead.
“May you find your own version of The Hartford,” Nathaly says.
Connect with Nathaly on LinkedIn and learn more about an exciting career in Tech & Data at The Hartford.