Alumni Spotlight: Josue Mendez

DIVERSITY – This spotlight series features T. Howard Foundation (THF) alumni working in Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion.

Josue Mendez (THF ’18) (THF ’19)
Diversity & Inclusion Coordinator, MongoDB

Please describe your role.
I’m the Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Coordinator for MongoDB, mainly focusing on different avenues to increase our diversity recruiting efforts.

What do you enjoy most about your company?
There are plenty of positives surrounding MongoDB, but the ones that mainly resonate with me include the company’s flexible paid-time-off (PTO) and tiers for return-to-office (RTO) – I can still enjoy working from home as often as needed.

In what way did this type of work interest you and how did you get started?
Diversity has always been a passion of mine, but it was truly the T. Howard Foundation and other similar organizations such as Multicultural Advertising Intern Program (MAIP) opened my eyes to how few members of underrepresented communities are hired in white-collar organizations. I simply grew tired of being one of the only persons of color in each of the jobs I’ve worked at and immediately took to LinkedIn for a much-needed career switch.

How has your affiliation with the T. Howard Foundation influenced your career?
My time with the T. Howard Foundation allowed me to work at both TruTV and Fox News. I spent the majority of my time in college wishing for an opportunity to work in the entertainment industry and I’m eternally grateful I can cross that off my career bucket list. While I currently know the entertainment industry isn’t necessarily for me, I wouldn’t have known otherwise was it not for the experiences granted to me through T. Howard.

What personal attributes have been essential to your career success?
A charismatic and upbeat attitude has definitely gotten me far enough in my career, but what truly drives me forward is seeing change happen. Whether that change takes place in my own personal life or in the work field around me, I wouldn’t have gone as far as I have in my career was it not for a constant need for innovation and development everywhere I go.

If you were entering this career today, how would you prepare to facilitate entry?
The D&I field as a whole is still in its infancy compared to other functions typically seen in the workplace. While I wouldn’t change much of what brought me here today, I do believe having an understanding of Industrial and Organization Psychology (I/O Psychology) as well as a Human Resources is key for success.

In one sentence please describe what work/life balance means to you.
Work/life balance is that perfect harmony between being as productive as possible in a work environment while also giving yourself the necessary amount of time to detox and feel freedom outside of the said environment.

Are you an early bird or a night owl? How does this show up in your working habits?
I may sound insane to some but I’m absolutely in love with the idea of waking up around 4 or 5 AM and getting as much done as possible in the early morning. I usually get burnt out in the later afternoon so being able to pack all of my important tasks earlier in the day is key for my productivity.

How do you re-charge at work?
It may sound a little simple but lighting up my favorite candle, drinking a great smoothie, putting on my earbuds, and listening to some nice lo-fi on YouTube can really re-charge me for productivity.