How diversity and inclusion has shaped my career path

October 18, 2021 | 3 minute read
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My name is Rocio Yamilet Gonzalez Melendez. I am a current senior at Whittier College pursuing a degree in Business Administration with a minor in Organizational Leadership and a concentration in Marketing. Throughout the summer I was granted the opportunity to join the Oracle family as the Global Marketing Intern for the HCM pillar. This year, I accepted an internship extension. I couldn’t be happier to continue my journey here.

Rocio Yamilet Gonzalez MelendezI was raised in a household where throwing in the towel was never an option. Being raised by immigrant parents taught me to dream without limitations and to work relentlessly toward my goals. One of my greatest aspirations in life was to become the first in my family to attend college. I am proud to say that I am now living that dream, even though my journey has been nothing short of difficult. Learning to navigate a private institution as a low-income minority student has been incredibly challenging for me. There were many occasions where I was overwhelmed with feelings of inadequacy, guilt for leaving my family, and complete isolation. In all honesty, I didn’t feel like I belonged and I spent the better half of my first year in college searching for acceptance of my diversity.

Diversity and inclusion is opening new beginnings

The turning point for me came when I discovered the existence of diversity, equity, and inclusion programs. My school began hosting events that celebrated differences, teaching me about intersectionality and inclusivity. Attending these events lifted the blinds on what the celebration of diversity could look like and how that could fit into my quest of employment pursuits. Since that turning point, I have tried to be intentional with the job opportunities I have taken. In my second year, I was hired as the Residential Advisor for First-Generation Students. This role enabled me to act as a resource agent and a mentor for other first-generation students in a way I wish was available to me during my first year. I have also been given the platform to foster a sense of community while encouraging my residents to grow both professionally and personally. Most importantly, this role allowed me to identify my value system and my personal expectations for an inclusive work environment. On a professional level, I strongly value work environments that provide visibility, a degree of autonomy, and respect for my own layers of diversity.

Throughout my entire life, I have faced people who questioned my identity because their unconscious biases cloud their ability to see who I truly am. I have also been racially profiled and subjected to microaggressions in both academic environments and the workplace. Although these experiences have at times left me hurt and confused, they have also further inspired me to search for a company where I know I will be accepted.

An industry with the same values

Finding the Oracle Summer Marketing Internship felt like the beginning of a beautiful chapter in my life. I spent an entire summer witnessing companywide efforts intended to create and maintain an inclusive culture. To me, an inclusive culture is one where all nuances of diversity are both accepted and embraced by others. I discovered that even as the current Global Marketing Intern for the HCM pillar, my diversity of thought and overall identity is welcomed. I am proud to be employed by a company that stands out in the industry as a conscious company and hope to have the opportunity to return as a full-time employee and as an active Oracle Latinos Alliance member.

Illustration: Wes Rowell

Rocio Gonzalez Melendez

Rocio Gonzalez Melendez is the intern for the Oracle Fusion Cloud HCM global marketing team.

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