What’s your background?
I’m a proud Marylander and Montgomery County resident! Prior to joining the Federal Government I managed the national scholarship program at The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI)- a national non-profit organization in Washington, D.C. whose mission is “developing the next generation of Latino leaders.” My work at CHCI included developing educational publications, recruiting students from across the United States and Puerto Rico, researching and developing policy recommendations, working with Latinx students and parents (one of the most rewarding experiences), and leading the organization’s transition from paper to digital applications. It’s cool to be part of their history! During my time there I also had the privilege to be invited into Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s chambers and I’ve had the honor to meet President Obama, four times! Other world celebrities I met through CHCI include the Prince of Spain Felipe IV, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, myriad members of congress, and others. I cannot wait to tell my one-year-old son the stories and show him pictures!
How does your work make an impact?
As a Talent Management Manager here at USDS, my job is to make sure the onboarding process for new employees is as smooth and enjoyable as possible. Anyone who has joined the federal government knows how taxing the hiring process can be and my job is to shield folks from experiencing too much of that. It is impactful because we seek to empower engineers, designers, product managers, operations folks and others. New USDSers are about to become public servants working on projects that benefit every single person in this country. The onboarding process sets the tone for their USDS experience and we strive to make sure it is the best it can be that way they can successfully hit the ground running once they arrive. In addition to my primary role, I also organize internal events, translate Spanish to English for certain projects, and co-lead the DHS Digital Service inclusion working group.
What do you want to do after USDS?
How will my USDS experience ever be topped? USDS is not a perfect organization, however it has been transformative in both my professional and personal life. I’ve been pushed to my limits and have grown more in these past few years than I ever anticipated. In my first job out of college I worked directly with students and I miss working more closely with my community. Perhaps my calling will be to return to my roots of working closely with students or the Latinx community. I’m also interested in working in a giant tech company to help bring about much needed diversity and inclusion change. I’d also be interested to continue in public service after USDS, depending on the opportunity.
What will you miss most about USDS when you leave?
This is a no brainer — I will miss my colleagues most of all when I leave USDS — both USDSers and government partners alike. I have been blessed to have made lifelong friendships and meaningful relationships with colleagues. I mean, when else in my lifetime will I have such beautifully unique colleagues like the ones I currently have? If I want to make sourdough bread and get stuck, I can call people who have mastered the art of bread making. If I want to learn how to draw microbiomes, I can call someone who has perfected their craft. If I need tips on climbing the Himalayas, I know exactly who to reach out to. If I want to train guide dogs, we got that too. Herbs for my dinner, style advice, joining the Peace Corps, our network is vast and spans all facets of life. I will never forget my USDS family when I move on.
“Serving a tour of duty with USDS is not only good for the country but also a great opportunity for you as a technologist.”
“There are no small wins at USDS. Whatever you help get done ... wouldn’t have happened otherwise, and will be a critical step to creating a positive impact for millions.”
“I’ve been involved with so many things I am proud of, but probably the most meaningful contribution is making the civil service stronger.”
“Honestly, it was a leap of faith more than informed decision. I packed my things and moved to DC knowing no one in the city. Turns out it was a fantastic decision.”
“I was inspired to join USDS because technology can do more than entertain and amaze us. Combined with good government, it can be a force for good in people’s lives.”
“Improving the aging technology that government and its services runs on was an extremely compelling goal.”
“I was a little concerned about whether I could make a difference in three months, but after my experience here, I wholeheartedly recommend that you should consider doing it for as long or short a duration as you can.”