Yesenia describes her path to the CSE team as “a random set of events,” – where milestones feel as if they happened by chance versus design. While taking a full load of night classes during college she went to a temp agency to find a new job. She was offered a choice: Do you want to work as a receptionist at a software company, or with an electricity company? Her choice was easy. She went with the software company. It was closer to home and the university she was attending. Little did she know this choice would put her on a path that would launch her career at Microsoft.
Yesenia’s story really started when she was a kid. Simply put, she was curious. She remembers throwing pennies into her radio, only to unscrew it, rescue the pennies, and then figure out how to put it back together again so it would work. Looking back, she realizes she didn’t grow up in an environment where examining how things were built was encouraged – it was not out of lack of support, but more from a place of her parents not having awareness of what was available as a learning path. It was up to her to decide what she wanted to learn. She laughs now because her parents still do not quite understand what she does. To this day, they still think she fixes computers. Yesenia is the kind of person who learned to crochet on a whim when she first found out she was going to be an aunt. When something interests her, she is all in.
During her time as a receptionist at the Microsoft sales office, she made a lasting connection with a mentor who championed Yesenia to challenge herself. This led to a role as a sales and marketing coordinator. As the organization expanded, she transitioned into different roles with each position changing in scope and deepening her understanding of how to build advocacy for Microsoft solutions across engineering audiences. She has honed her mastery of business and program management.
In her current role, as a Business Program Manager for CSE – Yesenia focuses on streamlining business operations and reporting for global programs. She is also responsible for landing reuse of technical skilling programs through Microsoft’s Worldwide Learning organization and across customer projects in the Americas region. Within her role at CSE, she has become a steward of the Microsoft OpenHack program. Her deep knowledge on Microsoft technical training programs has helped her build and grow relationships with customers. Her favorite project is when she partnered with a financial institution in Singapore to deliver an OpenHack. This began with a request from one of her customer’s Chief Technology Officer. The engagement included several late-night planning meetings to account for time zone differences because the CSE team included representation from US, Singapore, France, and China. The team successfully delivered the OpenHack, cementing the Microsoft partnership in Asia-Pacific as well as other regions as a result. She demonstrated the value OpenHacks brings to help customers along their development journey. She was also taken by the level of commitment by the CTO, who not only graciously hosted the team, but more importantly coded alongside the developers.
Yesenia takes pride in being a continuous learner. She brings together her business and tech perspectives to foster the conversation with the CSE team and the customer to see where the path can lead in solving the challenges they face together.