Our experiences can make or break us.
Janeen Uzzell is an American global technology executive who knows a thing or two about how those same experiences can help to define your career. Personally, she believes having that global perspective and the opportunity to travel abroad can change the entire narrative when it comes to what success looks like for Black engineers.
“It is a game-changer and I want to put it at the forefront of the way Black techies and Black engineers prioritize their decision-making,” Uzzell shared during the latest episode of AfroTech’s Black Tech Green Money podcast with host Will Lucas. “My father, who is deceased, a guy from the south came up to New Jersey as a part of the Great Migration and hustled his way to raise a family. He was like, ‘I cannot afford to give you this world, but I’m going to give everything I have to educate you and you get yourself there.’”
For her, those experiences really kicked off during her tenure at General Electric where she recalls having more opportunity.
“The career that I had at General Electric gave me an opportunity to say ‘yes’ to things that Black people traditionally don’t say ‘yes’ to,” she continued. “As a result, it took me around the world multiple times. Doing that as a Black person makes a world of difference because you do not see us in those spaces internationally.”
Uzzell says traveling globally can really help advance your career as an engineer.
“I think it’s imperative,” said Uzzell. ”It changes the way that you think — the way that you solve in engineering.”
Listen to the full episode of Black Tech Green Money podcast below for more on why engineers need those global experiences and how Black engineers can leverage contributions to culture.