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 5G Powers Opportunity

The 5G evolution is unlocking cutting-edge, digital innovation along with growth opportunities for telecom professionals.
Telecommunications, or telecom, connects more people than ever today, cutting the distance so that it feels like you’re almost in the same room, all thanks to digital innovation and lightning-fast technological evolution. This innovation and evolution has occurred - and continues to occur - all because of talented individuals who are all in on telecom, the possibilities it holds now and in the future, and the advent of 5G coming down the broadband pike.
These talented, tech-savvy employees include the telecom pros featured here on the following pages. They all work for companies engaged in operating and/or providing access to facilities for the transmission of voice, data, text, sound, and video, and are a part of the 721,300 people that were employed in the industry as recently as June 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Mic Locker, managing director in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) industry practice, further suggests in Deloitte’s 2019 Telecommunications Outlook that, in 2019 in telecom, 5G wireless tech will provide myriad opportunities for growth, unleashing the full potential of augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR), smart cities and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Indeed, read on to find out how 5G is opening opportunities for the professionals featured here and those interested joining them on the cutting edge.
Serendipity Leads Jimenez to a Satisfying Career at Ericsson
Natalia Jimenez chose to work in telecommunications for a very personal reason. “I was looking for a job that didn’t require any travel,” explains Jimenez, who is currently a project manager for digital services at Ericsson, the multinational telecommunications company that has global headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden and that has U.S. headquarters in Plano, TX.
“One of my best friends, who was working for Ericsson at that time, told me about a position on his team that didn’t require traveling. I applied, had two interviews and got hired.”
She was in the right place at the right time. Although she had no telecom experience, she did have a strong commercial background that included sales and project management. She also had an undergrad degree in production engineering earned in 2000 in her native Colombia and an MBA from Indiana University earned in 2007.
She explains: “My boss at that time was looking for a person with commercial experience that could bring a different perspective to her team, which was mainly technical. She thought my background would be a perfect fit for the position that she was hiring for.”
Jimenez was hired as a proposal manager in the area of commercial management. “This was my first job in Ericsson, and I was in this role for five years,” she notes.
As proposal manager, a support role for Ericsson’s sales teams, Jimenez led a team that was responsible for answering the request for proposals (RFPs) and request for quotations (RFQs) that they received from their external customers. Her next role was on the partnerships team where she was responsible for managing Ericsson’s relationship with key partners who supported Ericsson in its five-year strategy.
Two years later, she moved into her current role as project manager for digital services, one of Ericsson’s three product areas focused mainly on software. It’s a role she’s now been in for more than a year. In this position she’s mainly tasked with leading a team that will work on delivering projects to Ericsson’s customers.
“I need to make sure that the project team understands what the customer requests are (project scope), that we deliver the project according to those requests on time and below budget,” Jimenez details.
She describes a typical day: “My typical work day is full of planning team meetings to provide project updates and make sure every team member has the right tools to perform their work. I also have regular meetings with the customer, usually once a week to also provide project updates and answer any questions that they may have. I deal with change requests from the customer, and also solve any problems that we may have with our project and that represent a risk to complete the project on time.”
She sees all of the roles she’s had at Ericsson as promotions because every new job has offered her new experiences, challenges and learning experiences. “I’ve been able to earn experience in different areas of the company and increase my network.”
She’s had friends and mentors who’ve supported her throughout her career at Ericsson, as well.
“They’ve been career and technical advisors,” Jimenez says, explaining, “I consult with them when I want a second opinion about a new project or a new job opportunity, but also when I have technical questions or inquiries about a tool or a best practice for any of my projects.”
She’s also taken advantage of the training, certification, time flexibility and tuition reimbursement Ericsson offers its employees.
With Ericsson’s support she attended classes to study for her project management professional (PMP) certification, and received the tuition reimbursement that Ericsson offers its employees. She’s also studied for and earned certification as a scrum master, taking a class with an Ericsson instructor at Ericsson’s campus in Plano.
Movement from a technical to a managerial track is possible at Ericsson. “To move to a managerial role, a person has to be able to understand technology. But this isn’t enough. It’s also important to understand where the market is going, anticipate what our customers will need next year and five years from now, and also know finance. Having a strong financial foundation is key.”
In addition, Jimenez suggests that becoming a mentor, developing junior talent and peers, being recognized as a leader and volunteering for activities that aren’t job-related are also key to being considered for a managerial role.
Jimenez is a member of the Latinos ERG and the cultural club, both of which are new to Ericsson. Both focus mainly on promoting and highlighting the importance of diversity in the workplace. In addition, the cultural club wants to build a work culture based on 12 Ericsson values that will become part of the company’s DNA.
She has this advice for anyone seeking a career in the telecom industry: read everything you can about the industry.
“Telecommunications is a huge field that touches many people’s lives in different ways. Understanding how customers use technology is key to making a difference,” she adds.
Always do your best and make certain your project is complete before submitting it. “That will be reflected in your work ethic and commitment.”
And, finally, give back to the community, which will help you develop leadership skills, and is one of the keys for success at work, Jimenez concludes.
Find more information about Ericsson at ericsson.com/careers. Connect on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Gibbs Find Career Success in Marketing at Cricket Wireless
Monica Gibbs expected to go to law school. So, in preparation, she earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and Latin American studies, and an advanced degree in public policy. But, instead, when a former colleague with whom she’d worked at AT&T and who had subsequently moved to Cricket Wireless, a subsidiary of AT&T headquartered in Atlanta, GA, that provides wireless services to its customers, told her about the company, Gibbs reconsidered.
“I was recruited in June 2013 to join Cricket Wireless as a part of its local marketing team to help build brand awareness and consideration throughout the Los Angeles (CA) market,” she explains Gibbs, who became interested in the telecom industry because of its increasing influence on people’s daily lives.
Prior to coming aboard at Cricket Wireless, Gibbs had worked as a consultant to AT&T’s public affairs team, which focused on paid/earned media relations, building statewide coalitions and providing strategic public affairs counsel.
At Cricket Wireless Gibbs is a senior marketing manager in Greater Los Angeles, CA, and is responsible for the development and implementation of targeted, local marketing, and diversity projects to drive customer acquisition, retention, and revenue growth for the company.
“My role also includes identifying and engaging community programs, boards, and sponsorship opportunities to leverage brand, products, and services,” she explains.
According to Gibbs, the company provides resources and trainings to ensure professional growth development for its employees. As an example, she cites recently participating in “a book club with my colleagues during which we read and discussed award-winning books on the marketing industry.”
She joined HACEMOS Hispanic ERG upon her arrival at Cricket Wireless. This led her to becoming president of its Greater Los Angeles chapter, a role she currently holds.
Her advice to anyone wanting to start a career in the telecom industry is this: “Intern and try different jobs within the telecom industry to get experience, and find the area you are passionate about.”
Find out more about Cricket Wireless at cricketwireless.com/why-cricket/careers.html. Connect on Facebook, Twitter LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.
Corona Directs Business Development for Viasat
Fernando Corona was introduced to Viasat by a colleague at a company where he’d previously worked. “The hiring process included a phone-screening interview followed by a series of seven in-person and phone interviews,” he remembers. “I was drawn to Viasat because of its entrepreneurial spirit and potential growth.”
He joined the company in April 2018. Today he’s the director of business development, Latin America, global business solutions for Viasat, a global communications company that provides high-speed satellite broadband services and networking systems. The company is headquartered in Carlsbad, CA.
“The group that I’m part of is relatively new and operates almost as an ‘internal startup’ to Viasat corporate. I like to refer to it as a fully funded startup with lots of access to a mature infrastructure and a wealth of knowledge,” he outlines.
While he was originally hired for Latin America, he’s now director of business development for all international markets within the global business services group.
“I drive distribution and sales for enterprise, and small and medium business (SMB) customers that can greatly benefit from satellite-based internet. I structure the distribution strategy by country or territory, and then work with those partners to connect business customers with our satellite connectivity services,” he outlines.
Corona has a bachelor’s degree in marketing with a minor in advertising, which he earned in 1983. He chose marketing because he’d “always been intrigued by how products and services got to market and how demand was generated by various brands.”
However, since graduating from college, he became fascinated by technology, and came to the telecom industry “knowing that computing had a tremendous future.”
He worked in technology for about a decade. He was involved in product development, product marketing, and market entry for both startups and large public companies in the wireless and broadband markets.
“In 1999 I got into telecommunications believing that all computing and communications would, eventually, fit in the palm of your hand and be ubiquitous as long as there was an internet connection,” he shares.
At Viasat Corona received on-boarding training and has sought experts in the satellite area to increase his knowledge.
“My current role is similar to prior positions in other companies, but the satellite space is new to me,” he says, adding “I’ve found that one can pick up enough knowledge within a given industry to be successful as long as you’re able to draw on past experiences for execution.”
Because he’s constantly seeking to increase his knowledge, he’s attended several “lunch-and-learns” within Viasat.
His advice to anyone who wants to work in telecom: become a student of the industry. Read the current news about what’s taking place within the industry and with competitors - who’s winning what contracts, who’s buying whom, and what new technologies are being developed or commercialized.
For those interested in working at Viasat, he adds: “Try and find out as much as you can about the company’s culture, values and how it’s changing the world through satellite connectivity.”
Additional information about Viasat can be found at careers.viasat.com. Connect on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.
A Successful Internship Leads Casillas to a Career at Akamai
In Summer 2017 Leonardo Casillas was a rising senior in college. He was also a finance major seeking a “fun and dynamic company in the high-tech industry,” where he’d have a good internship experience.
A family friend told him about Akamai Technologies, a Cambridge, MA-based company that delivers web content and cloud service to its customers.
“After conducting research I saw Akamai offered a financial rotational program. This was the perfect opportunity for me to really gain the foundations of business finance and expand my knowledge,” says Casillas, who, as an intern, was both challenged by his manager and supported by his colleagues.
He was offered a full-time position in Akamai’s financial development program (AFDP), a rotational three-year early career program, after graduation with a bachelor’s degree in finance. AFDP is designed to expose analysts to numerous roles that lead them to understand Akamai’s entire business process. Its purpose is to create financial analysts who demonstrate leadership, a drive for continuous improvement, and excellence.
During his first rotation Casillas received intensive training and mentoring. “Akamai is very centered around providing training in new data tools,” he points out.
As such, he was trained in Akamai’s databases and data management tools. “I left the trainings confident in being able to complete the responsibilities of my job.”
Casillas will spend the next year on the deal desk team, where he’ll help protect the value of Akamai products through price controls and deal structures for its customers.
He’s now an associate financial analyst in Akamai’s financial planning and analysis division, where his responsibilities include creating financial reports for management.
“We lead the reporting process for our quarterly financial results as a publicly traded company and monthly reporting deliverables. These include revenue analysis and foreign exchange forecasting,” he explains.
When he first came aboard at Akamai, Casillas joined Ohana, the company’s employee resource group (ERG), where he received mentoring to aid him in transitioning into the workplace. Outside of Akamai, he participates in INROADS and is a member of the board of directors at La Vida Scholars, a group dedicated to helping high school students navigate the college-decision process.
While Casillas considers Akamai “one of the most fun companies to work for,” it’s also a challenging work environment.
“Akamai provides numerous opportunities for mental growth and an abundance of new knowledge to anyone who accepts the challenge,” he notes, adding that Akamai is fast-paced, with many moving pieces.
For anyone who wants a career with the company, says Casillas, “I’d highly recommend you come prepared, ready to gain knowledge quickly and gain valuable experience around every corner.”
Finally, according to Casillas, someone hoping to work at Akamai in the future should also learn the business, and then identify what he or she can offer the company as a new employee.
Look for more information about Akamai at akamai.com/careers. Connect on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.
The 5G Effect on Telecom
In 2019, fifth-generation (5G) wireless technologies are virtually certain to dominate the thinking of providers across the telecommunications industry.
According to Mic Locker, managing director in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) industry practice, it’s critical that as telecommunications companies make technology investments, they also continue to focus on devising business models for monetizing 5G and other opportunities.
She adds that, in 2019, telecom providers should also look to take advantage of voice-assisted technologies and Internet of Things (IoT), including the connected car and home.
Source: Deloitte’s 2019 Telecommunications Outlook, www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/technology-media-and-telecommunications/articles/telecommunications-industry-outlook.html
https://www.forbes.com/sites/alejandrochafuen/2019/05/09/the-5g-battle-a-change-of-mind-needed-to-win-the-war/#2cf32c937944, https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-30224853, https://www.pcmag.com/article/345387/what-is-5g, https://www.rcrwireless.com/20190424/5g/6g-physical-digital-biological
Beyond 5G
By 2020 it’s thought that 50 billion to 100 billion devices will be connected to the internet. To accommodate, many carriers are starting to launch the long-awaited 5G networks in 2019.
But as 5G rolls out this year, researchers are already looking beyond it. In fact, Nokia Bell Labs is researching 90 GHz for future 6G. Marcus Weldon, president of Nokia Bell Labs and its chief technology officer, confirmed this by making clear in a presentation at the Brooklyn (NY) 5G Summit this spring that 6G - or beyond 5G - will likely follow previous generations of cellular with a 15-year development timeline.
He also indicated 6G would mix physical, digital and biological systems. “What it really comes down to is mixing the physical world…the digital world - software systems, AI systems and biological systems. You mix those together in real time. [Then] I have a permanent AR overlay.”
Weldon further described his vision for 6G as almost a “sixth sense experience for humans and machines.”
Sources: Forbes, BBC News, RCR Wireless News and PCMag
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