The family is the foundation of the Hispanic community, as it is in other cultural communities. For some reason, the same concept is not being applied in the professional community.
Some studies have suggested that relationships between mentors and mentees of similar cultural backgrounds, where those involved probably have more in common, tend to be more successful. This is not to be confused as a racial bias, but more so seen as a recognition that people tend to be more comfortable to learn and grow from one another when there are fewer boundaries between them.
Thankfully, leaders like David Medina are bridging the gap and working towards creating a cultural connection through mentorship for the future generation of workforce talent.
Medina is president of Defined Software Development. He was born one of twelve children in the small town of Jayuya, Puerto Rico.
A graduate of Florida State University, he has several years of diverse experience in both the private and public sectors of information technology (IT).
Medina is now the owner of Defined Software Development, founded in 2011, which is now a vendor to the State of Florida.
He credits his uncle for being the truest mentor in his life and acknowledges the senior managers in the several companies that he worked for as being the ones who gave him the guidance in his professional development. Most importantly, Medina knows the importance of paying it forward.
“I work with the people who are working on our current contracts directly and week-by-week. Open communication and constant meetings, whether via email or text, is important to effective mentorship and growth,” Medina said.
When asked to give his best advice to Hispanic students and young professionals seeking careers in the industry, Medina suggests going straight to the source.
“There is a huge need for companies to take on young professionals and show them the path,” he said. “Find a small company that is in growth mode. They are small enough to need the help and can offer you the projects that allow you to gain exposure in the profession. They are willing to share the work and to teach.”
Medina himself has begun traveling annually to the University of Puerto Rico job fair to meet with future engineers and technology professionals. He hopes that by doing this he not only helps them begin to make connections in the professional world but to also provide a future opportunity for them to take a step forward.
“I want to start making a connection between my company and them,” he said. “As my company grows, I can offer them a path to grow their career. My initiative is to offer these kids an opportunity to gain exposure to the business early on, and not have to wait 10 to 15 years like I did. Some of them need that guidance and that push.”
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