Winds of Change - Spring 2017 - 26

GARY BURNETTE
(Continued from page 25)

American Indians, which gives me the
chance to participate in programs
such as AISES and be hands-on at
conferences and with recruiting."
His conversations with students
give him plenty of openings to talk
about opportunities at IBM. "More
often than not, I hear students say
they want to solve 'real-world
problems.' They talk about health
issues impacting their families and
communities and finding other ways
to make a difference, such as
environmental issues, land use, water
availability, and climate change,"
Burnette says.
That gives him the connection.
"IBM shares some of these same
passions," he explains. "We've got a
broad portfolio of solutions that
align with these objectives and
culturally." From cancer treatment to
sustainability solutions, food
distribution to underserved
communities or public safety,
Burnette says that Native STEM
professionals can find a home at IBM,
where they can "make a difference and
start building their own personal list
of accomplishments."
During those mentoring sessions,
Burnette says that "one of the best
pieces of advice I can give to anyone
at that stage of life is you must
recognize you are your own brand.
And just like any well-known brand,
you will be known by what the people
you encounter perceive about you,
your skills, abilities, and experiences
- and also by your integrity and the
trust others will build in you."
Burnette recommends that
students find a mentor or coach.
"Mentors will provide insight and
challenge you," he says. "They will
give you needed feedback and advice
and - who knows - they may even
help you find a job someday.
Someone once said to me, everyone
is looking for a unicorn. Whose
unicorn are you?"
- Debra Utacia Krol
26 WINDS OF CHANGE * SPRING 2017

THE SCIENCE
BEHIND THE SERVICE
AT&T DISCOVER
The heritage of AT&T is anchored in
individual creativity dating back to
Alexander Graham Bell. His invention of
the telephone in 1876 was the foundation
of today's global communications giant,
known for innovations like leadership in
developing the mobile internet. From the
company's earliest beginnings, its mission
has been to connect people. Today it is
doing just that through ever-smarter
technology. AT&T Labs plays a big part in
that heritage, drawing on 140 years of
innovation that has garnered eight Nobel
Prizes and more than 12,000 patents
worldwide.
For AT&T employees, that worldwide
reach translates to a workplace that
embraces diversity. The organization
currently does business in more than 160
languages, so AT&T clearly understands that in order to serve its customers, it must
be culturally relevant - and to accomplish that, AT&T staff members must be
representative of the world's peoples. The company works hard to recruit the
brightest individuals from all walks of life and all backgrounds to lead the innovation
the company is known for.
The company is also proud of its diversity leadership, which includes rewarding
performance and holding senior management accountable for diversity initiatives,
often driven from the top by the Chairman's Diversity Council. The company
currently has nine employee networks and a dozen employee resource groups,
including the Inter-Tribal Council of AT&T Employees. (For more on the Inter-Tribal
Council, see page 39.) The company's award-winning support for education and
training, also important to the high satisfaction of employees, has helped make AT&T
the world's largest communications company.

Ebe well into a successful
lroy Largo, Navajo, may

ELROY LARGO

NAVAJO
__________________
SENIOR NETWORK
PLANNING ENGINEER
AT&T

career, but he still enjoys
learning. And he attributes
his professional growth
during his nearly 20 years
at AT&T to his openness to
acquiring more skills,
whether it's on the job or
in a classroom.
Largo credits his love
of learning to his parents,
who instilled in him the
importance of getting a
good education and
persevering to achieve his
goals. "They have always
worked hard and have
been great role models,"
says Largo, who was a
first-generation college
student. "They encouraged me to do well in
school and in my job and

to make the most of my
opportunities."
He has certainly done
that, having earned two
master's degrees - one in
information management
from the University of
Washington and one in
business administration
from Redlands University.
"I enjoy school quite a bit,"
says Largo. And apparently
his appreciation for
education has had a
positive and lasting
impression on his siblings
and extended family, as
most of them have also
decided to pursue higher
education.
Shortly after graduating
from the University of
Oklahoma, where he
earned a BS in business
aises.org


http://www.aises.org

Winds of Change - Spring 2017

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