In this mini-series, we highlighted success stories of college students who came from non-target schools who ultimately brought out their A-Game by landing at some of the top tech companies like Cisco, Amazon & Indeed.
On the season finale, we had to chance to talk with Karla Santiago, a DG sales Intern at Amazon Web Services (AWS) & a graduating senior at the University of Central Florida reflects on how she was able to grow from a shy college kid to a Forbes Under 30 Scholar.
While she has become an ambitious & driven individual throughout her college career, she has always made it a priority to give back/help others as much as possible.
In addition to the episode, we wanted to provide our audience with a little more spotlight on who Karla is as well as what are some of her interests.
1). What is your favorite book of all time? Why?
Too many to choose from, but one of my favorite books is Find Your Why by Simon Sinek. This book provides a great perspective on the importance of leading your life with purpose and it also provides some guidelines on how you can find your own. I always recommend this book to anyone who’s at a crossroads, looking to start living their life with the meaningful intention behind everything they do.
2). Who has been the biggest mentor in your career?
I’ve been lucky to have been born with a built-in mentor for life, my mom. As a businesswoman herself, she’s been my life long barometer for what a successful and impactful woman in business should look like. Having her as a soundboard I’ve been able to navigate tricky situations in my career and come out of it a more confident and capable professional, which I will always be eternally grateful for.
3). Where do you draw inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from the people I care about. Whenever I feel like I’ve hit a wall or I’m not doing as well as I could, I draw from the support and energy those people give me to keep going. I am incredibly aware that I did not end up where I am by just my own efforts, which is why it’s so important to me to make sure I always do my best for myself and for everyone who’s supported me up till now.
4). What’s next for Karla?
With graduation around the corner, my biggest next step is officially starting my professional career. I’ll finally get the chance to apply everything I’ve learned in school and in life to create explosive opportunities for myself and others. I can’t wait to perfect my craft and see where life continues to take me!
5). Ultimately what brings out your A-Game?
There are many things that bring out my A-Game, but a big one is knowing that every opportunity I gain is one where I can outdo myself and continue to improve my leadership, sales, and soft skills. The feeling of knowing that by putting in the necessary effort, I’ve improved my skills and have taken a step closer to becoming my ideal professional bring so much satisfaction and happiness into my life that it never fails to bring out my A-Game.
To learn more about Karla, tune in to our latest episode on both Spotify & Itunes.