BEYOND MEDIA – Alumni Spotlights highlight the success of THF Alumni in various industries including government, finance, talent acquisition and more.
Darren (THF ’15) is a Senior Talent Relationship Consultant at Allstate, one of the largest insurance providers in the United States.
Tell us about your position with Allstate.
I work in Talent Acquisition focusing on sourcing and recruiting strategy to support Allstate’s Technology and Strategic Ventures sector.
What are your major responsibilities and what does a typical day look like for you?
My responsibilities include building out proposals, strategy decks, advising business leaders on what are best opportunities and tactics we can leverage to recruit diverse and tech talent.
I’m constantly networking with tech professionals in the industry through attending events, hosting them at corporate headquarters, using platforms to network, and sharing new opportunities with them.
What do you like most about your position/Allstate?
I enjoy coming up with new ideas, presenting to leaders and influencing them to support my idea. I get to come up with creative strategies and implement them.
I also appreciate work life balance and all of the things that the company does around corporate social responsibility and giving back. There a number of opportunities to do community service and grant matching programs. Giving back is just as important to my company as it is to me.
What are the most rewarding and challenging parts of your role?
A challenge can be finding creative ways to work with the resources you have. You can come up with great ideas that cost a lot of money. Sometimes I have a great idea and I’m not able to execute how I want, or not at all. This challenges me to think outside of the box on what I can do to get to the end goal.
One of the most rewarding parts of my role is focusing on diversity recruitment within tech. I enjoy being able to focus on multicultural and female recruitment in corporate spaces. It is important that I am able to give back and support people of color just as T. Howard has done for me.
What particular talents or skills are most essential to being effective in your role?
Storytelling, data analysis, gathering statistics, and conducting research. I use that information to tell a story that is clear, concise, and makes sense to stakeholders.
I use storytelling to influence leaders to “buyin” to an initiative I propose. It’s important that I convince directors and senior vice presidents that the strategy I execute will create business value and is just as important as all the other competing initiatives in the works at Allstate. Without executive support I won’t have the resources needed to bring my ideas to life.
Being able to network is a crucial skill to have. Once I get approval for strategy or proposal, I have to be able to network with talent, serve as an ambassador for
the enterprise, and convince industry professionals that Allstate is good for them to develop their career.
How has your affiliation with the T. Howard Foundation made an impact on your career?
The T Howard Foundation has had a huge impact on my career. In my most recent interview for the role I have now, my hiring manager was intrigued by my internship at ESPN that I received through T. Howard. It’s always a speaking point in my interviews since my THF membership has given be critical experience to transition into the corporate world.
I also founded the Via Lactea Scholarship 3 years ago for minority students at the University of Georgia, my alma mater. I received lots of support from diversity organizations during my undergraduate career – THF being one of them. So, I thought it would be a great idea to start and fund my own scholarship for students just like me. It is important for me to pay it forward.
THF gave back to me and serves as a catalyst for me wanting to give back with the scholarship and in my profession.
What advice would you give to THF interns/other alumni as they being their careers?
It’s important for you to leverage your network. If you are a current intern or alumni, THF is a great network to leverage. Stay connected with staff and administration. When you receive opportunities, pay it forward and give back! That’s the ultimate mission. If you are being intentional about giving back to those who gave to you the success will come.