In celebration of Latinx Heritage Month, we asked inspiring Latinx professionals to share their stories in their own words. Meet Ana Usúa Maldonado, Workforce Consultant at The Hartford.
Can you believe it is already October? 2020 has been such a whirlwind, to say the least, that it has been hard to take a breather, step back, and reflect on how I got to where I am today. This year alone I finished my second rotation at The Hartford’s Early Career Leadership Development Program (ECLDP), started my first permanent role as a Workforce Staffing Consultant in Claims Finance, and began UConn’s Master of Science in Business Analytics and Project Management (MSBAPM) program. Three years ago, as a senior at UConn, I would have never thought this would be the life I’d be leading and how I’d be building my future.
How did I get here?
For context, after giving Actuarial Science a try, I joined the School of Business the second semester of my junior year as I realized I had a passion for financial math. I was also very involved with the Puerto Rican Student Association since it was a way to connect with my culture while I was away from the Island. These things made me realize that there was a lot out there in the world for me to keep learning from and I wanted to find a way to marry both things regardless of what I decided to do after college.
This is when I decided that I would not start grad school right after my bachelor’s. I wanted to give myself time to be exposed to things I may not have known about during school. As I started my full-time job search using Handshake I found The Hartford’s two-year rotational program called ECLDP and, after some research, I learned that they were very proud of their Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). Eureka! This was my opportunity to start my career while keeping my passions alive.
How has The Hartford helped me?
Starting my career through ECLDP has given me so much exposure and experience in just two years. As part of my program graduation requirements, I attended professional development sessions that gave me insight into multiple departments, side projects, and support to join the Hispanic Leadership Network ERG. I was able to understand a lot about The Hartford at a fast pace for a young professional.
Last summer, I went to a professional development session for the Finance Optimization team. In just one hour, I knew that business analytics was something I would want to go back to school for, as I understood the impact problem solving and automation skills can make within the Finance organization. This is when I found UConn’s MSBAPM program, applied, and decided to take classes part-time while taking advantage of The Hartford’s tuition reimbursement program.
Through my experience with ECLDP, I was able to build on my organizational and leadership skills, and business acumen. This encouraged me to be open-minded and curious in order to truly understand the role I was in and how to better support my team. Additionally, the program positioned me to be a competitive candidate once I was looking for a non-rotating role.
Where will I go?
Right now, I feel very fortunate for the steps I took that led me to where I am today. I am glad I was exposed to different resources in my life that lent a hand in jump-starting my career and giving me guidance throughout each step I’ve needed to take. As I think about my future, I don’t have a “cookie-cutter” position I’ve always imagined myself to be in. This doesn’t stop me from challenging myself as opportunities present themselves. Instead, I strive to keep an open mind and continue to expand my knowledge throughout my career. I hope by sharing my story you can reflect on where you’ve come and how to keep building your future.