I believe grit is based on passion and perseverance which ultimately leads to success. When you have grit, you give everything you can even under tough circumstances. You stand firm in the face of adversity and ultimately stay the course and use good judgement.
When I think of an example of embracing grit, I think about my grandparents who immigrated to the United States from Cuba. With nothing but $18 in my grandfather’s sock, my grandparents brought their family to Miami to start a new life. Right away, my grandparents started working and my mother and her sisters started going to school, despite not knowing English. With inspiring perseverance, my grandfather eventually started a successful printing business and my mother and her sisters continued their education and made their own success in our new country.
The perseverance of my grandparents has always inspired me and led me to profound experiences in my own life. I first left Miami to go to a college in a small town located in central Illinois, where I seemed to be the only Cuban American. Despite facing adversity as an outsider, this experience put me in a position to appreciate how everyone was different and how learning about our differences can be powerful. I kept this in mind as I entered my professional life in public accounting, which then lead me to become a champion for diversity and inclusion.
After previously working for two big accounting firms and a major health care company, I was blown away when I finally got to RSM. It was a breath of fresh air to see how diversity and inclusion was truly a part of the culture. It was inspiring to see so many initiatives and investments that went into RSM’s focus on CDI, and I immediately got involved. Then two years ago, I was given the honor to become the national leader of our Hispanic Organization for Leadership and Advancement employee network group (HOLA).