Can you picture a 15-year-old kid, born and raised in Mexico City, playing Halo the whole day? Well, that was me. After some time, I decided that, when I grew up, I would work for Halo. Back then, my friends laughed and wrote it off – we couldn’t afford an Xbox and would play at local internet café for 50 cents an hour, so it was impossible to imagine one of us actually working with Halo.
Nevertheless, I was determined to accomplish my dreams. I outlined a plan of action and started right away. I applied for a scholarship and went to Tecnologico de Monterrey to pursue a degree in computer science. I tried to get an internship at Microsoft and Halo. Although it was difficult, I kept pushing and landed an internship at Xbox – for three years in a row.
Two years ago, I moved to the United States to pursue my passions working as a software engineer at Xbox. While I loved my job, somewhere in the back of my mind, Halo kept calling my name. I never gave up and it paid off – I am now a Multiplayer Technical Designer for Halo.
Throughout my journey, I’ve had support from mentors along the way, including previous managers from my internships, college professors and my current manager, who have all helped guide me in my journey. Now, I’m paying it forward: I mentor Latino interns, helping them develop their skills and providing career advice. I’m also one of the leaders of Microsoft’s group Latinx in Gaming, where we organize social and professional events to help the Latinx community enter and succeed in the gaming industry.
I’m always trying to figure out how I can help my community. I volunteer at a local organization that supports Latinos in the area, helping take care of kids and teaching them to code. I want to spread the word: opportunities in the tech industry exist for everyone.
My next dream is to open a game studio that produces unique videogames that represent diversity and empowers aspiring developers and designers to accomplish their goals. I want to support all creators that might not have the same opportunities that I had and create a safe space for everyone to learn and improve their skills.
My advice to young Latinos? Find the passion that fuels you and go for it. There are no rules in the world that define what you can and can’t do. There will be challenges along the way, but with hard work and allies, you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to.