20 MAY 2022
Learning how to be yourself and being unapologetic about it has allowed Briana to thrive, not just in her job, but in her life too as she encourages others to find the things that inspire them and go for it.
I am first generation Cuban with two very different immigration stories. My mum came with my maternal side, my grandmother, on a plane and landed in White Plains, New York. This was very different to my father, who actually escaped the Cuban regime twice.
I learned from my father to be scrappy. I learned how to be resourceful, how to just make ends meet. From my mum's side it was all about being self-sustainable. When I got in to boarding school it was such a change. In the middle of New Hampshire I was surrounded by people who do not look like me, sound like me and really being a part of that community during my formative years was so crucial to how I operate today.
Moving into my college experience, I felt so prepared in the sense of, ‘I already know how to take care of myself’, as I already lived independently. What I struggled with was actually entering the workforce, realising it's almost the same experience that I went through in boarding school. No one looks like me in boardrooms and conference rooms and I had to adapt very quickly. It's taken me a really long time, I think longer than what I would have liked, to really accept myself and to understand that I can have a harsh personality. I can also be super loving but I can still be a boss and still make really tough decisions and still have critical conversations.
I think all of those experiences really shaped where I want to work and who I want to work for and this is why I think mentorship is so important and why I do it alongside my role. It's really important to have a really good sense of self, which is why I’m so focused on giving back to those around me. I also very much encourage knowing what's for you and going after it. My name is Brianna Soto and I am the Director of Programmatic for Dell at MediaCom out of the New York office.