Hearing the words 2020 connects directly to vision. Shifting what we see thus far and challenging it to create a bigger impact. Beyond creating opportunities for people of color, Ariel Lopez is dedicated to exposing opportunities in digital and technology outside of pre-conceived notions. As a full-time entrepreneur, Ariel has leveraged her experience as a career coach and recruiter to partner with the likes of Amazon, Pandora, and AlleyNYC and catapult minority professionals of color into the world of technology.
For this Millennial Monday, we’ve highlighted Ariel Lopez for her ability to shift the vision of a diverse tech industry.After experiencing the diversity issue in the tech industry first hand, 2020 Shift positioned itself as a social enterprise to help tech and digital media companies diversify their recruitment process, retain minority talent and provide leadership and skills-based training to the industry's next leaders.
We caught up with this Millennial on the run and here’s what she had to say:
CEO, Entrepreneur, Speaker, Badass– It's hard to box someone in when they flourish in several areas. How do you describe the work that you do?
I usually just say what you said! lol. For me, primarily my life is 2020Shift as we are an early-staged start up. However, I'm always speaking at a conference and love to coach people 1:1 when I have time. The thing that ties all of these things together is my interest in digital media and technology- I've been working in the space for years in different aspects and now focus on doing the things I love the most.
What was your experience like launching 2020 Shift?
It was crazy, and it always is crazy lol. I quit my job a little over a year ago to pursue it full time so there weren't any promises of success, I just believed in the purpose behind what we're doing. It's been quite a ride thus far, but I'm looking forward to scaling the company and developing new products and services to help our users in the future.
You're passionate about diversity and media just as we are. What's the biggest misconception in those areas that you've seen in your line of work?
For us, it's the notion that you have to be an engineer to be successful in tech and make a lot of money. We know SO many people that have jobs that they love and they don't know how to code at all. We wanted to make sure we were providing people with visibility to all of the different opportunities in tech and giving them access to the skills/network they need to find success in the industry.
[bctt tweet="I feel like I make mistakes everyday, but that's just a part of being an entrepreneur."]
What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made that have impacted the way you conduct business?
I feel like I make mistakes everyday, but that's just part of being an entrepreneur. I think my biggest lesson thus far is not hyping things up until they're 100% set in stone. Any time you see us announce something new (course, event etc.) know that we've been sitting on it for months lol. Taking the time to prepare is key, but also a hard thing to do when you're moving at scale.
What is the biggest factor pushing you to strive for success?
Seeing our people (black, brown, underrepresented, etc.) find career happiness! (Career Happiness = doing what you love + getting paid for it) Every time I find out someone has gotten to the next step of where they want to be in life through what we've built it makes my heart smile 🙂 We are always motivated by helping others achieve things they may not have thought were possible.
Any upcoming projects? Tell us about it and how we can keep up with you.
A LOT of things I can't quite reveal yet (see the answer to mistakes lol) but what I can say is there will be more courses, more dope events, and a platform that we know will change lives.