As a daughter of two retired Air Force lieutenant colonels, I was raised to always strive for success in all endeavors. The sacrifices and hard work that my parents experienced during their early years and career allowed me to have a comfortable upbringing that I am forever grateful for. My parents’ journeys and their career success motivates me most to be successful in my own career journey.
I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2020 with a BS in public relations (PR) and a minor in business. My path to determine my major and career trajectory wasn’t easy—during my four-year collegiate career, I bounced among three different majors and spent plenty of time making a decision that would shape the start of my professional career. I ended up applying for entry into the PR and advertising program because I believed my extraverted personality would line me up well for a career in communications that would allow me to cross paths with many different people.
During my collegiate career, I found myself drawn to many multicultural and social justice organizations. I found community and passion within these spaces and took on leadership roles that allowed me to advocate for diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives around campus. These experiences showed me the importance of D&I initiatives and the impact that intentional programs and opportunities can have on diverse communities and their success. I knew that advocating for diverse and inclusive efforts would be something I would want to continue to be a part of during my career.
I love looking back on my journey to Oracle because it was the perfect introduction to a great company that’s full of passionate marketers, and it set the tone for the successful career I’ve had so far at Oracle. I was one of the unfortunates who graduated at the height of the pandemic—a time of uncertainty, furloughs, and hiring freezes. All the companies I interviewed with were no longer taking new hires. I spent the two months after graduation doing freelance PR work and persistently applying to full-time job opportunities.
Around this time, one of my college friends and peers reached out to me with a potential opportunity as an Oracle marketing specialist within the “Marketing Class of” program. At the time, she was a PR intern in the 2020 Oracle summer marketing internship program. She provided me with the opportunity to throw my name into the hat for the open role.
My first formal interview was with the teammates that I would end up working with. This conversation is what made me really excited about pursuing an opportunity at Oracle. I felt they really took the time and effort to get to know me and gave me the time to really get to know them. I was able to see their passion and dedication to marketing and the important initiatives their team supports: student programs and D&I initiatives, which were also very near and dear to my heart. The remainder of the interview process, including an interview with my future boss, showed me how great the company and the employees are. The people I met during this process made me feel incredibly valuable and eager to get started.
Since I started at Oracle in September, I’ve had the opportunity to sit on Oracle’s Marketing Operations Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce. This taskforce allows marketers from various teams—HR, the corporate D&I team, and representatives from Oracle’s Employee Resource Groups—to sync up and plan for D&I initiatives and programs at Oracle.
Additionally, in the summer of 2021 I had the opportunity to act as one of the program managers for the Oracle Summer Marketing Internship program. We wanted to make sure we were meeting diverse candidates where they were—through partnerships with Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and other multicultural organizations. Those efforts generated the most-diverse candidate pool in the program’s history. Not only was the 2021 cohort the most diverse but it was also one of the most dynamic, successful, and hardworking group of students Oracle has ever had the pleasure of hosting.
Watching these students grow in their careers at Oracle, convert to full-time employees, and continue to successfully make impactful contributions to the company has been my favorite part of working at Oracle, and I can’t wait to continue to keep D&I at the forefront of my marketing career.
Rachel Walters is a marketing best practices specialist at Oracle.