Final Dante CSL Graphic

Transformational Power of Technology | Dante A. Leon

Isla Martinez

Marketing and PR Coordinator

Welcome to Transformational Power of Tech, a new series at the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) where we speak with Latinos in tech who have been placed into jobs or internships after joining our LOFT (Latinos on Fast Track) and Code as a Second Language (CSL) network.

Up first we have 22-year-old Software and Platform Business/Research Senior Analyst, Dante Alvarado- Leon, who has been connected to HHF going on 3 years, a relationship that sparked when he led our CSL Coding Jam for over 35 middle school students in the Bay area in collaboration with Salesforce’s Latinoforce.  Dante has had much experience working in the tech field and was thrilled to talk to us on how HHF has helped shape his career and land his current job after graduating from the University of California, Berkeley. This is what he said.

How did you connect with HHF? 

I remember July 4th I received an email from HHF that they were looking for an Innovation Intern, and at the time I knew that internships were really important and I was looking for one, because I was still enrolled in school and I wanted to take part in one over the summer. I applied and then I had an interview with Alberto and I got the internship!

How has HHF helped your career so far?  

In order for you to get a job, you need internships to give you the needed experience and a lot of students don’t have that experience. For me, it was getting that first experience and working in a professional role. Through my CSL fellowship at HHF and attending the LOFT Coder Summits, I was able to learn a lot, which truly opened many doors for me. I will begin working this month in San Francisco as a Software and Platform Business/ Research Data Analyst at Accenture, a management and consulting company where I will be studying and analyzing data to see what the next biggest trends are in the next five years for tech companies like Google, Facebook and Airbnb.

Networking advice for college graduates?  

It is really important to take initiative, when I was interning the summer after my first year at UC Berkely, I could have stayed back home and enjoyed my summer like most other people, but I needed an internship and experience, so take initiative! Whether it is an internship, starting a club, being president of an organization, etc. Also, ask for help. There are a lot of people that are willing to help, and it’s important for people to advise and support the younger generations. Get your community involved, and a lot of change can happen. When a village is behind you, and you get them involved, really big things can happen. When you want to start something big, you really need the support of your community.

Tips for students and professionals on dealing with constructive criticism?  

What I learned from professors at schools and other professionals, when someone gives you advice, write it down, take notes and listen. Listening is the most important thing to remember. Don’t take the criticism personally, listen to the feedback, because you need to let the criticism sink in and then respond accordingly. Feedback is a gift, really see it as an opportunity to learn and see what you can improve on, remember to be open minded.

Dante lives by the words of President Roosevelt, “Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.” He has a passion to create and develop ambitious ideas, to dream big and think innovation, and to inspire others to do the same.

“My life is a journey to find the answers to global predicaments and create win-win situations to benefit society. By thinking altruistically and taking initiative we can unleash impactful actions that will change the world. Si se puede!”

HHF’s Code as a Second Language (CSL) initiative provides opportunities across the country and opens its doors to everyone. Whether you are a CSL fellow, participate in our Bootcamps, Academies, Jams and or attend our Latinos on Fast Track (LOFT) Coder Summits, the opportunities in technology are endless! We’d love to chat. Contact us!