Welcome to my world
With 25+ years of experience in the Technology & Leadership realms,
I believe in a more diverse & inclusive Tech World!
Many people ask me, how did you make it to this level of success?
Senior Vice President at a Fortune 100 company in the US.
One of 100 women to watch in 2022 in Technology.
One of the most powerful women in 5G.
What seemed like overnight success was many, many years in the making.
I come from Abobo, a ghetto neighborhood in Cote d'Ivoire, West Africa. My journey is ONE of adversity, perseverance, and success.
Cote d'Ivoire… A very beautiful country.
The land of golden beaches, the world's largest producer of Cocoa, home to the football legend Didier Drogba and host to the largest church in the world.
However, poverty, prostitution, and civil unrest are evident as a struggling economy.
Really, early on as a child, I learned how to find joy in little things like a nice bath.
I knew that we didn't have much, so I found hope in my faith in JESUS CHRIST, and also in the love my grandparents gave me unconditionally.
Things were difficult but I got used to difficulties, developed a thick skin towards pain and the shame associated with not having much. I still kept dreaming of a brighter future even though I didn’t know what that future will be.
By the time I got to high school, things didn’t get easier. I learned that sometimes having courage is not the option…It is the only choice that you have.
I had to overcome an array of adversity and climb so many mountains.
After all those hard years, traveling 2 hours to go to school, staying some days without enough food to eat. Living a life of no assurance with the only hope being a dream to make it big one day.
With courage and strong will to succeed, I was bestowed with an amazing gift to travel to the United States as a DV lottery winner.
This opportunity brought me so many good memories and fright too.
I remember arriving at the airport frightened.
Before leaving my family was like,
“Why would you go to a country where you cannot even speak their language? Who does that?”
I told them…well I must go, if it doesn't work out, I can always come back.
So, I arrived in the United States holding tightly to my suitcase in my right hand and my English dictionary is in my left hand.
Quickly, I had to adapt to the country.
I remember when I had two to three jobs and was learning English as a second language.
And it was during one of those classes that our professor - Mr. Johnson spoke about a job working in a factory, from 3 pm to 3 am.
I quickly seized the opportunity and this graveyard job allowed me to learn about AC/DC, resistors and transistors, different temperatures to test hardware, how to do audits, etc. I was the only female, but I did not care — I was able to take care of myself and also send money back to the Ivory Coast to take care of my family.
I always say yes to scary opportunities.
And in the end, they always turned out to be growth and learning opportunities
So why not start saying yes to those scary opportunities coming your way today? You can do it too.
Even when it looks like you don't have everything figured out…
Just say yes…
Because you never know if that "YES" would be your launchpad to something greater.
By saying yes to this graveyard job; it opened my path way into the technology world and doors that I would never imagine…
I worked for not one but multiple Telecom giants - including Nortel, AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Sprint, Comcast NBC Universal, so many more and now T-Mobile, one of 51 ranking companies in the USA…
I still remember my conversation with my boss after several years as a field Tech where I was learning to manage wireless Cell sites and getting good at it.
I asked my boss,
“What do I need to do to stop working in the Outside in field? I'm in the snow, I'm in the heat. What do I need to do to work in the office so I can learn about Wireless planning and the actual design of the sites that I'm installing?”
My boss said…” in the office we need people who can talk about ROI”.
I was like… “what is ROI?” And he said “Return on investment.”
“You see, you need to learn the business language. Do you even have your bachelor's degree?”
I said no… but I do have my associate degree in engineering. He said ”oh I see…you need a bachelor's degree in order to work in the office”
I told myself - “okay, no time for excuses.”
In the middle of everything - I went back to College at night after work. And not only I obtained my bachelor's in engineering, but I also obtained my MBA and strengthened my leadership skill along the way in schools like Wharton, and Harvard.
Success requires sacrifice…
To reach higher grounds - You have to be willing to give up something…
I was willing to give up comfort. I was willing to give up on sleep. I was willing to give up time with my family at that time I had my young boys. I was willing to do whatever it took in order for me to get on the other side.
I refused to play the victim card… I had to do the best with the cards I was dealt with
I often asked “ Okay, now that I am here, let me know what it would take for me to get there”
And I did it.
The journey has been long … I am still on it, trailing new paths and staying open to what life is offering
So far, this journey led me to occupy vital roles at major companies such as AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Clearwire, Sprint and Time Warner Cable, and more.
Today, I am an advocate for women in leadership and a mentor for young women in technology. I was recently recognized by Aleria Tech as one of the “Awesome Black Women Everyone Should Know”.
I served in several Advisory Board's roles driving STEM education to underserved communities.
From the ghettos of Cote d'Ivoire to today a SVP at T-Mobile - a fortune 100 company with $70B in revenues, responsible for leading a team of over 4000+ to design, build and operate a cutting-edge 5G network.
The sky is not the limit, because there is no limit!
Belief in yourself.
Believe It’s Possible
Thanks for reading.