Meet Elaine Montilla


MEET ELAINE MONTILLA

AT 16, ELAINE LEFT THE DOMINIC REPUBLIC AFTER COMPLETING HIGH SCHOOL TO PURSUE HER COLLEGE CAREER. IT’S DUE TO THIS EXPERIENCE THAT ELAINE DISCOVERED A PASSION FOR MENTORING NOT ONLY MINORITIES, BUT IMMIGRANTS AS WELL.
ELAINE IS A LATINA WORKING IN THE TECH INDUSTRY.. SHE TRIES TO COMMUNICATE AS MUCH AS SHE CAN THE IMPORTANCE OF MENTORING WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN TECH. FROM HER DAILY JOB WORKING AS AN ASSISTANT VP OR THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DEPARTMENT TO HER KEYNOTE SPEECHES, ELAINE KEEPS PUSHING TO INFORM AND MOTIVATE MINORITIES INTO TECH.
SHE SHARES WITH HOW SHE HAS STAYED IN TECH AND WHY SHE ADVOCATES FOR MENTORS TO HELP MINORITIES FOLLOW CAREERS IN STEM.
AS SHE STATES IN HER TEDX TALK, “WITHOUT ANY TYPE OF ACCOUNTABILITY ALL THIS TALK ABOUT DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION IS NOTHING BUT LIP SERVICE.” ELAINE TAKES THAT ACCOUNTABILITY SERIOUSLY AND CREATED WWW.5XMINORITY.COM TO HELP CLOSE THE LACK OF UNDERREPRESENTATION OF MINORITIES IN THE TECH WORLD.
WHAT WOMEN (OR MEN) INSPIRE YOU? WHY?
GOSH, THE LIST IS LONG AND INCLUDES: OPRAH WINFREY, GLENNON DOYLE, MEL ROBBINS, ECKHART TOLLE, GARY V. THEY ARE ALL "AUTHENTIC" INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE NOT HERE TO FAKE IT OR TO SAY WHAT SOCIETY WANTS THEM TO SAY. I HOPE I CAN BE LIKE THEM ONE DAY.
DID YOU PURSE A HIGHER EDUCATION? WHY OR WHY NOT? IF SO, WHAT SCHOOL DID YOU ATTEND AND WHAT WAS YOUR DEGREE?
YES, A BS FROM CUNY BARUCH COLLEGE AND AN MS FROM CUNY SCHOOL OF PROFESSIONAL STUDIES.
WHAT DO YOU FOR FOR A LIVING? IS IT WHAT YOU THOUGHT YOU WOULD BE DOING 5-10 YEARS AGO? 
I AM CURRENTLY WORKING IN HIGHER EDUCATION. I AM THE ASSISTANCE VICE PRESIDENT/CIO FOR THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DEPARTMENT. I AM ALSO A BLOGGER. NONE OF THESE THINGS WERE IN MY MIND GROWING UP BUT PERHAPS FIVE YEARS AGO.
HAVE YOU FOUND YOUR PASSION IN LIFE? IF SO, WHAT IS IT?
YES, I LOVE MY TEAM IN IT NOW BUT MY TRUE PASSION IS MY SIDE HUSTLE. 
I CREATED WWW.5XMINORITY.COM
MY GOAL WITH THIS BLOG IS TO INSPIRE OTHER MINORITIES TO BELIEVE IN THEMSELVES AND STEP OUT OF THE BOXES SOCIETY TRIED TO PUSH US ALL INTO.
WHAT EVENT OR MOMENT OCCURRED THAT LED YOU TOWARDS YOUR PASSION?
I WAS SELECTED TO DO A TEDX TALK AND I KNEW THEN THAT THERE WAS NOTHING I DREAMED OF THAT I COULDN'T DO.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS ONE KEY ELEMENT OR EVENT THAT HELPED TO GET YOU TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY?
I BELIEVE THE MENTORS I'VE BEEN FORTUNATE TO HAVE ENSURED THAT I STAY IN THIS CAREER AND HELPED IN MY SUCCESS.
WHAT DOES SUCCESS LOOK LIKE TO YOU? IS YOUR IDEA OF SUCCESS DIFFERENT FROM A PREVIOUS VERSION?
SUCCESS TO ME IS BEING HAPPY WITH WHAT YOU HAVE, WHERE YOU ARE, AND WHO YOU ARE WITH. I WANT TO BE MY TRUE "SELF" AND NOT THE SELF OTHERS WANT TO SEE (INCLUDING SOCIETY, MY FRIENDS, MY FAMILY).
DO YOU HAVE ANY FAILURES, THAT IN RETROSPECT, TURNED OUT TO BE LEADING YOU TOWARDS A BETTER DIRECTION?
OH YES, I HAVE A FEW. I WAS FIRED ONCE IN MY LIFE AND IT WAS THE BEST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN TO ME. IT TAUGHT ME MANY LESSONS BUT IT ALSO MOVED ME INTO THE PATH WHERE I AM TODAY.
WHAT IS A QUOTE YOU LIVE BY?
"WHEN YOU CHANGE THE WAY YOU LOOK AT THINGS, THE THINGS YOU LOOK AT CHANGE,” -  WAYNE DYER
IF YOU COULD GIVE ADVICE TO YOUR YOUNGER, THIRTEEN YEAR OLD SELF, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?
"THERE IS NOTHING IN THIS WORLD YOU CANNOT ACHIEVE IF YOU PREPARE/EDUCATE YOURSELF.” "DON'T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU THINK.”