1. What were some obstacles that you faced in the beginning process of starting your business or career?
When I began my career at Google, I was a part of the Human Resources Associate Rotational program. This was an incredible learning experience, but the challenge was that as soon as I found my groove in a role and reached a strong level of domain expertise, it was time to rotate to the next position. I had a brand new team each time and at least 2 managers per rotation. I’m not a huge proponent of change, but I truly felt like I “grew up” at Google. For this program to be my first full-time experience, it undoubtedly set me up for success once I graduated into my permanent position. It helped me realize early on that you have to be patient and adaptable. I didn’t necessarily like everyone, but I appreciated the exposure to all the different working styles. I also have a pretty big network within Google!
2. What inspired you to break into your particular industry?
I didn’t envision myself working at a tech company because I wasn’t exposed to many people who look like me - Black women - in the field. Google came to my college campus and held an orientation. I was immediately inspired by their initiatives for diverse communities in tech. I interned at Google and fell in love with the collaboration, innovation, and the people who work at Google. I was offered a full-time position and I haven’t looked back!
3. How do you balance your personal and professional life or have you been able to find a balance?
I make time for what’s important to me. In order for me to be successful and productive in my full-time role, I need to have creative outlets for self-expression. Outside of Google, I’m a dancer and an actress. I ensure that I’m able to do two things: 1) Find ways to incorporate my own creative flair and talents into my work so I remain passionate and energized 2) Stick to my non-negotiable time dedicated to dancing and acting, time with loved ones, and days for self-care.
4. What is an inspirational quote that you live by?
“Be the example that you needed / If it doesn’t exist, create it!”
5. Who were some influential people or mentors that helped or encouraged you along the way?
My parents always told me that I was smart and beautiful and that I could do anything if I put my mind to it. This boosted my confidence tremendously and empowered me to make strong decisions. Valeisha Butterfield Jones has also been an exceptional mentor to me. I see her achievements and know that my goals are possible. She is one of the most humble and brilliant people I have ever met. My partner is also someone who I truly look up to because his work ethic is unmatched. It’s nice to come home to him after a hard day because he is a master at putting things into perspective and motivating me to get back up when I’ve fallen down.
6. What are your "must-haves" to keep your career or business going strong?
Communication, trust, well-being, support, inspiration, creativity, teamwork
7. What is your definition of a BOSS?
A BOSS is someone who unapologetically brings their full self to everything that they do and understands the importance of meeting their own standards. A BOSS finds the learning opportunity in every challenge and always reaches back to help another BOSS climb as they succeed.
8. Provide us with two words that describe you?
Learn more about Daraiha at www.raysofsunlight.org