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Career Quarterly: Multiculturalism Grows Up

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When I came to Intel, members of the Latino employee network called me to introduce themselves, say hello, and take me to lunch. That was great for me, to know that there were other Latino professionals with whom I could connect and feel welcome. That makes a big difference.

Mentoring also is very important. I always seek a mentor when I come into a company. Intel has an additional system, called “buddies.” Mentors are more formal, but a buddy could just be someone down the hall, and it makes a big difference. I benefited from that.

HB: You mentioned that you have courses that help in acculturation. What kinds of subjects?

GD: Orientation, for starters. We talk about the employee groups, or formal mentoring, or our Web page. There’s another class that teaches the culture of Intel, called “constructive confrontation.” The culture is fast-moving and challenges you to ask questions. Many incoming employees aren’t in tune with the organization and don’t know how to ask questions. The class in constructive confrontation shows how to challenge things in an effective manner.

HB: Walk us through your hiring process. How should Hispanic professionals proceed if they’re interested in Intel?

GD: Well, under regular business conditions, there’s lots of hiring. Right now there isn’t as much. As to the process, we participate in a lot of job fairs – specifically, engineering conferences, regional and national. So that’s a good resource for Hispanic professionals. They should find out where the SHPE chapters are in their area, because SHPE is a prime network and we are likely to be connected with them.

HB: What would a typical starting position be? Would the new hire get on a white suit in the clean room?

GD: A large percentage of our workforce is in manufacturing, and that’s where the bunny suits are. We hire a lot in that discipline. Also administrative, management, engineering. But I would say the majority are entry-level technical, meaning applicants with two years of technical education at a community college or a certificate from a technical school. For the higher-level positions in engineering, of course, you need a degree.

    Hispanics Caught in Recession Lag?

      Heading into the 2001–2002 recession, U.S. Hispanics were in better economic shape than ever before, but they will feel its effects longer because of geographic, demographic, and immigration by the Pew Hispanic Center claims that on average, Hispanic workers won’t experience employment or income gains until about 2004, even if the economy rebounds this year.

      "California and New York, home to about half of all Hispanic workers, have Latino unemployment rates … a full percentage point higher than the Latino rate nationally," the report states. Also, the youth segment, mostly second-generation Hispanics with a U.S. education, have suffered doubledigit unemployment in the downturn, according to the Pew study.

      Hispanic employment in manufacturing and retail has taken the biggest hit, together with the hospitality industry – sectors that slowed significantly in the downturn. To view a copy of the report, visit

HB: I assume Intel uses the Internet a lot for resume submission. True?

GD: Yes. We have a Web page where we take resumes. It’s That’s a good approach to applying – it’s fast and easy to manage on our end as well as on the candidate’s end. You can also search for jobs on the Internet.

HB: What’s your advice to Hispanic professionals thinking about getting into Silicon Valley?

GD: You need to belong to a network, such as Hispanics in engineering, Hispanics in accounting, or SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management). I’ve gotten my jobs through networks.

And you need to constantly update your network. Keep in touch with who’s who out there. Participate in events, whether it’s through SHPE or PMAA (Personnel Management Association of Aztlan). What those do primarily is connect people with jobs. The National Hispanic Employee Association consists of employee groups like those at Intel. If you’re a Hispanic professional, a technical individual, those are the places to look. And they’re all on the Web.

Mr. De La Torre will join our Community Forum to provide feedback to your comments and questions.

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Source: HISPANIC BUSINESS magazine

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