Building Your Community of Colleagues
When I transferred to State Street’s Boston office from my Toronto home base in 2015, I knew almost no one. But all that changed after I got involved with the Hispanic Heritage Month programming created by the Latin American Professionals Group (LAPG).
One of State Street’s largest employee networks, the LAPG serves to connect colleagues with Hispanic roots from across the organization. It's played a critical role in my Boston experience — and has helped me build my community, both personally and professionally, within State Street.
I was born in Quito, Ecuador, and raised and educated in Toronto, Canada. Soon after graduating college, I joined State Street in 2012. A few years later, I transferred to the Boston office for a position on the Latin America and Caribbean client service team — a role that required Spanish fluency. I was in my mid-20s at the time, and while the professional opportunity was enticing, it felt a little scary to move to a new city, in a new country, all by myself.
Fortunately, soon after I arrived, the LAPG hosted a mixer where I was able to meet colleagues of Hispanic heritage — people who became friends and supportive team members. Of course, the LAPG, and the Latin American community in general, isn’t a monolith: We all have separate voices and different experiences. Despite our differences, we all unite under this banner, bringing our unique experiences to the table.
Early into my time in Boston, State Street’s mentoring program also helped me get settled. I was paired with a mentor that I’m still in touch with to this day, and had three or four mentees myself across the years before that program dissolved. Recently, I became co-chair of the LAPG, where I’ve helped launch a new Latinx mentorship program in hopes of creating relationships like those that have helped me thrive.
Creating diverse teams helps us solve problems for both our clients and each other.
In order to make this a reality, we leveraged some of the content and structure of the original mentorship program, with an eye toward increasing participation among mentees. Thurs far, I’m happy to report that the response has already been strong, as we established 22 mentoring pairs globally during our first round.
When we launched the program, many State Street offices were still operating in a virtual setting, which helped create some flexibility for the mentoring pairs. Now that the company’s hybrid work model has evolved, we’re going to focus more on the in-person elements of mentorship. We hope this approach will help strengthen mentor-mentee relationships after all the disruptions of the last few years.
While mentorship can be a great help to individuals finding their footing, it’s also an opportunity to build organizational strength through diversity. Creating diverse teams helps us solve problems for both our clients and each other. Representation and inclusivity improve our output and efficiency — and they bring us all together.
Alberto Calero is a vice president in the Global Client Service organization of Investment Services. He currently serves as co-chair of the Latin American Professionals Group (LAPG). Outside of State Street, Alberto volunteers in the Boston community through the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts organization, and has been a Big Brother mentor to his Little Brother for more than six years.