TELECOMMUNICATIONS – This spotlight series features T. Howard Foundation (THF) alumni working in Telecommunications.
Justin Malone (THF ‘14)
Product Marketing Manager, LinkedIn
What do you enjoy most about your company?
I love the culture of LinkedIn. The company prides itself on creating economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce. To create real opportunity, LinkedIn puts equity and inclusion first. Before working at the organization, I rarely felt I could be my full self at work. LinkedIn allows me to be my authentic self. It accepts me who I am and gives me the freedom to grow in the ways I want to grow. I could not ask for a better work environment.
In what way did this type of work interest you and how did you get started?
Product marketing found me. I had no idea I would be interested in this line of work nor did I know I’d be a great fit. Transparently, I tend to get bored quickly in roles. Many roles of my past did not move fast enough and or were not impactful enough for my liking. Product marketing allows me to be entrepreneurial. I get to utilize both the creative and analytical parts of my brain. Being at the center of sales, product, and marketing, I drive true impact internally with stakeholders and externally with customers. Particularly in my role, I support how we help organizations drive diversity, equity, and inclusion from sourcing and hiring candidates to growing, developing, and retaining employees with our solutions.
Has your career path been linear or non-linear?
My career path has not been linear. I have an array of experiences working at a startup, telecommunication organization, and a tech company. In my first role, I wore many hats: HR, marketing, finance, and operations. Following that, I worked at my next company for five years in which I gained a breadth of business knowledge in a few roles: strategy & operations, marketing communications, product pricing & analysis, and sales communications. Despite my experiences not having much relevance to my current job, I take learnings from my previous roles and apply them daily. I’m a firm believer that most if not all experiences can be used to build out a unique skill set to separate you from anyone else. My career plan is to learn on companies’ dimes in order to better myself, further develop my unique skill set, and be a value add for my community.
How has your affiliation with the T. Howard Foundation influenced your career?
The T. Howard Foundation influenced my career by providing the resources and training I needed in college to be a high performer during my internship at BET. My experience at BET gave me the confidence and courage to bet on myself, never settle for less, and take calculated risks. The T. Howard Foundation also has provided me with a strong network as well.
What personal attributes have been essential to your career success?
My entrepreneurial mindset and desire to continuously learn have been essential in my career success. Growing up in the age of social media and the Internet, I dabbled in my interests while having the world in the palms of my hands. Inspired by the wealth of knowledge and opportunity, I try to learn and apply new information in my daily life. This mentality gives me the confidence to try new things, take risks, and share ideas in and out of the workplace.
Are you extroverted or introverted? How does this show up in your professional life and how has this trait benefited you professionally?
I am an introvert at heart. I love my space to think and analyze, problem solve, and ideate creative ideas. It shows up all of the time in my professional life. I insert work blocks on my calendar to ensure I have the time to complete deep work and recharge from numerous meetings. Being an introvert has benefited me professionally in a variety of ways. I take a listen-first approach whenever I engage with stakeholders. This builds rapport with whomever I work with while effectively executing the end goal. Because I am not the loudest one in the room, my voice is valued when I add to conversations. Ultimately, I utilize my introverted nature as a strength to balance conversations and add value.
Justin’s Piece of Advice: We each have a unique story. Your voice matters. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Your story has the power to inspire others.