From engineering to HR: Diego Rejtman has followed his passions and made his dreams come true at Microsoft

Apr 16, 2018   |   Equipo Microsoft Latinx

Meet Diego Rejtman, video game fan and Senior Director at Microsoft Global University Recruiting. With his team of more than 200 people in 27 countries, he helps students around the world to realize their dreams at Microsoft.

Before working at Global University Recruiting, Diego wasn’t aware of the opportunities Microsoft offers to its employees to grow in different professional areas. At that time, he only looked at the company through an “engineering lens”, as he served as the Principal Engineering Manager at Microsoft. In fact, before taking the position at Global University Recruiting, his only experience in that position came from his passion for culture. He is a talented Software Engineer with technical expertise, but without formal training in HR.

His successful career at Microsoft is a product of his hard work. In fact, Diego says that during his childhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he already had a vision of his future and worked hard to fulfill his dreams. From a young age, he wrote letters to American companies asking what books he should read, what programming languages they used, and how he could work for them in the future.

His dream came true when he graduated from college in Argentina and was hired to work for the Xbox operating system. In almost 10 years, Diego went from being a Software Design Engineer to Microsoft’s Chief Engineering Manager.

However, seven years ago Diego faced a moment of uncertainty about his future. A technology company offered him a very good job opportunity in the field of engineering. The decision was extremely difficult for Diego, “What am I about?” He asked himself at that moment. However, he chose to stay at Microsoft, but not without his newfound hobby – culture.

It was then when he began to work with the HR team. Diego founded Team Xbox Latinos (a Latino community within Microsoft passionate about video games), started sponsoring HOLA* HR at Microsoft, and became an active member of the largest HOLA’s community in the company.

*Hispanic Organization for Leaders in Action (HOLA) is Microsoft’s employee resource group for Latinos and their allies.

According to Diego, these groups “help to diversify Microsoft, a necessary ingredient to fulfill the mission of the company: empower each person and each organization on the planet to achieve more.” Diego remembers the importance of these initiatives when he recently arrived at Microsoft, and to the United States as an immigrant. Today, these initiatives that he leads have allowed him to create new friendships, learn new leadership skills and generate a positive impact on the lives of hundreds of his co-workers.

While he was working on developing his passion for culture throughout these projects, the position of Senior Director at University Recruiting at Microsoft opened. After six weeks of interviews, Microsoft offered Diego the position. Despite his doubts about starting a new career, Diego followed his dreams and accepted the challenge. It was then that he jumped from engineering to work for HR.

“When I took the position and sent a text message to my family, my sister answered, ‘that’s you,'” Diego commented. For him, Microsoft is a company where everyone can follow their dreams. “The trick is to choose something that you enjoy doing.”

As a Latino immigrant, the most difficult part of his career was overcoming the “impostor syndrome,” since as his responsibilities began to grow, he wondered several times if he could really assume this leadership position at HR.

However, over the last years, Diego learned that he doesn’t have to hide his identity at work. “I used to hide my origins, and it took me years, plus Microsoft’s constant support, to get to work completely proud of my identity. Now, I literally play my Creole guitar every day in the corridors of the office here at Microsoft,” says Diego.

Diego will be at Hispanicize 2018 as part of the Microsoft Keynote: The World as YOUR platform. In this can’t-miss talk, Diego will focus on how to use the company you choose to work for as a platform to pursue your passions AND how to use your passions as a platform for the company to achieve its mission.  

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