We are highlighting a previous episode of the ¿Quién Tú Eres? podcast, where we explore the conflict we often face between "professionalism" & being our authentic selves.
Samara Collado is a first-gen Brazilian American who is focused on building generational wealth and empowering her community by making this knowledge accessible. She was the first in her family to go and graduate from college, and she is currently the Enterprise Account Manager at Forrester.
In this conversation, Samara shares with us some aspects of her upbringing that made her want to look for a better way to make a living and how authenticity and choosing to trust herself have led her to where she is today.
These are some of the episode highlights:
“You don't have to choose at all.” -Samara Collado
When Samara started working at the hospital, there was a Dominican co-worker who once told Samara that if she wanted to survive in corporate America, she had to keep the personal and professional aspects of her life separate. But when Samara went to a new corporate job, which was a startup, she understood how things can work differently when seeing that everyone was like family.
At first, it took her some time to warm up to them. But little by little, Samara allowed them to know both sides of her life, and as a result, amazing bonds were formed. And this contrast of work experiences helped Samara see that she did not have to choose one thing or the other. That the personal and professional can still blend in together and connect us deeply with those we work with.
“Why can't you be the representation that you're looking for?” -Samara Collado
There was a period of self-discovery for Samara when she was going through her divorce. During this time, she made her social media private and hard to find because she was busy finding herself. She wanted to process what had happened and figure out who she was without having other people's opinions influencing her.
And one thing Samara realized she needed was positive representation. She needed to see and learn from successful women of color in positions of power because she wanted to grow and have access to the tools and resources from people that had a similar background and had overcome similar challenges and obstacles as her to get to where they are.
And when she expressed this to her therapist, she asked her: why can’t it be you? And this small question was the planted seed that sprouted into her showing up as her authentic self and empowering her community. With time, she understood that sometimes we have to build our own path because sometimes what’s available doesn’t look like anything we resonate with.
“I want to show people what's possible.” -Samara Collado
There is so much that we can aspire to be as our authentic selves, but sometimes it's hard to be what we can't see. And what we can see as possible is only the tip of the iceberg. For that reason, Samara began to share her life to inspire and open up others to more possibilities. To serve as a bridge between the small town that she came from and the big world that is filled with many options and opportunities.
Samara opens us up to a world of possibilities!
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