#CareerSpotlight: Dianna Colasurdo, Senior Account Executive- Political and Advocacy at Twitter @DiannaC
Do you ever wonder what it would be like to work for a global tech company? Or what it would be like to combine your passions for media and politics in the nation’s capital, Washington, DC? Or, maybe you’re just like me and want to learn what it takes to be a woman working at the forefront of innovation and tech.
We are always curious to hear the stories of women taking risks to follow their dreams and passions. With our “Career Spotlight” series, we take a glance into the lives of dynamic and pioneering women who are impacting the world positively, in many extraordinary ways.
Tell us about your journey to becoming Senior Account Executive at Twitter in Washington DC.
My journey was certainly not a straight line! I started in the campaign world, and pivoted to working in media in New York City. After connecting, through a former colleague, with the head of a tech company that was opening a politically-focused DC office, I knew my passion (politics) would be married with my love and interest professionally (media) and made the move to DC. This leap of faith was the best decision I could have made! After the technology company downsized their team following the 2014 mid-terms, the opportunity at Twitter presented itself, and I haven’t looked back.
What excites you most about working in technology?
Technology is ever changing, and never boring. There is always something new to learn, and there are always extremely smart and interesting people to learn from.
Any advice to get prepared for the future of work in tech?
Be prepared for constant change. There is a saying that I’ve heard many times that states “the only thing that’s constant is change” and though it is a bit cliché, it is very true! In order to work in the tech industry, you need to be flexible and able to adapt to many situations.
What’s the best part about living in Washington DC?
Whenever I drive or walk around the city, I am inspired not only by the gorgeous architecture, but by all of the important work and legislation that has been completed here. There is nowhere else in the country, and perhaps the world, where so many important decisions are made. That pulse can be felt when you come into the District, and for me, it is somewhat addictive. Living in DC, there are so many opportunities to be a part of this important work, and to make a real impact every day whether during your day job, or within your extracurricular activities.
What experience do you think has most shaped who you are today professionally?
Professionally, I have faced many positive experiences and some difficulties as well. I believe the difficult experiences are what have most shaped who I am today. Working in the media and technology industries, I have faced the unfortunate experience of a company downsizing. This experience taught me humility, resilience, and (most importantly) showed me that I can come back and persevere no matter what!
What is your advice for increasing the number of girls in the technology? What are some challenges you faced specifically because you were a girl/ in general are specific to girls and what would be your advice about how to overcome those challenges?
There’s never been a better time for girls to be involved in technology! I believe encouragement and education of STEM – focused career opportunities early in girl’s lives is integral. Women in technology also need to be one another’s biggest cheer leaders, and we need buy-in from men as well to champion women leaders in these industries. Seeing women at the top gives young girls strong role models as they decide a path forward for themselves.
In every industry, not specifically technology, I’ve noticed a tendency of men championing men, and I’ve faced this in my own personal experience. My advice is to not be a victim, and to push hard for mentorship. If you work hard, there will be someone who believes in you and who will help you on your journey to success!
Do I need to act like a man to be a successful woman in tech?
Women are powerful, smart, and confident. I truly believe that there has never been a better time for women to break through the glass ceiling and work toward not only positions within the tech community, but also leadership positions within the tech community. I always believe that the best way to act, and to feel the most confident, is to act like you!
What are some Twitter accounts we should follow?
Great question! To get the scoop about all DC political tips, I love @APalmerDC and @JakeSherman. To get the scoop about my (not so secret) love of the Royal family, I follow @RE_DailyMail
If you could give advice to your 17 year-old self concerning your career, “What would you tell her?” #WWyoutellher
When I was 17, the most technologically advanced means of communication was AIM (AOL Instant Messenger). That said, I would tell my 17 year-old self “The world will surprise you with all of the amazing opportunities to come. No matter how much you try to plan, an unforeseen and amazing career will unfold, so sit back, enjoy the ride, and always believe that you can achieve anything you put your mind to! “ #WWyoutellher