Adelia Curtis Duarte

Tell us your story.

I went to AU and in graduating I was pretty lost about next steps, but what I knew for sure was that I wanted to find something, professionally, that I believed in.

I had interned at National Geographic and saw the passion in the team I was supporting and wanted to find this same energy in my work. A lot of my peers were interested in larger companies and programs but I knew that wasn’t as important to me as doing something I loved.

I was forwarded a craigslist posting at Positive Energy, now OPower, which, back then was virtually unknown. I loved that they were very mission driven so I was super excited to join them as their first junior employee. The company was in crazy start-up mode so I was doing everything from unloading the dishwasher to writing a communications plan for RFPs-experience I am very grateful for and think you really only get in this type of culture. As we grew, a big pain point was talent acquisition. Recruiting was something I was supporting and eventually took this on as my full role as it was something I really enjoyed. Our challenge was more of a branding and awareness issue in the tech scene. So, I embedded myself in the tech culture and made ourselves as visible to the right talent in order to attract them in the right way.

I loved this work but wanted to test my skills on the client side of the business. That lasted only for about 6-9 months before I realized recruiting was where my heart was. A mentor of mine helped me realize my desire for change wasn’t in my role but rather a need to diversify my experience. So, I jumped to LivingSocial. For them it was about finding the right talent for a variety of roles- sometimes super high volume in operations, other times incredibly niche in the tech space. Last year I left that role and went to consult at NPR, which I thought would be super solid and long term. Then a friend of mine from Uber reached out. I knew that was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down so now here I am, leading up their East Coast Region recruiting which has been an even more exciting ride than I ever could have imagined. I’m lucky that I’ve gotten to work with such smart, talented people, and be challenged to grow every day.

What do you most want other women and young girls to know about being a woman in our digital culture?

For me my bottom line is “Be nice, be humble, give it back.”

The tough thing for me was realizing how much I didn’t know. I like to think I am kinda tech savvy but recruiting threw me into a whole new realm. I realized that I had to be super humble and learn from those around me who had the depth of experience and success. I found when I approached things or individuals with that mindset, people were usually really willing to help. It’s wonderfully surprising how much people are willing to help out just out of kindness. Some of those answers have helped guide my career and ensure my success. Now that I feel I have some knowledge that can be helpful to others I want to pay it forward and give back. I try to support local groups asking for advice – either job seekers or hiring teams, I taught a class at General, and try to give guidance to AU students when I can. I think it’s critical to mentor more jr talent and be a resource as so many have been to me.

Pass it on!

Rails Girls is a group that we worked with a lot at LivingSocial and they constantly inspired me. The active mentors and teachers in this group helped our younger LivingSocial employees and a few of them now are doing amazing things-one even started their own company!

Also, the Vice President of HR at LivingSocial, who previously worked at OPower, with me is a mentor of mine and has always given me very sound advice, even things that might be hard to hear.

The Women in Tech campaign exists to help redefine what women in technology means in the 21st century. Started independently by a group of professional women who, after many impassioned discussions about women in tech knew we wanted to expand this definition beyond ‘traditional’ technology skills. To us, it includes most every current, emerging or evolving role within an organization. By featuring leaders and emerging leaders across industries who embody this we hope to collectively ‘stand up’, be proud of our place in the digital world and inspire young women or those new to the ‘tech space’ to get involved.

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