Being alone in a new city and state, at a new job, can feel daunting to anyone. For Christie Barrows, her start at Intel became easier when she joined the Network of Intel African Ancestry. Immediately, she built a network of people she could turn to if she had a question or issue about how to navigate challenges she encountered. Ten years later, she’s still thriving at Intel.
Christie, who is now an employee engagement program manager in Intel’s Olympic and Paralympic office, joined the Employee Resource Group (ERG) when she started as an intern at Intel. After her three-month internship concluded, Christie moved from the East Coast to Oregon to start a new journey in her Intel career. She relocated to an area without any family or friends, but the support of the ERG made her feel less isolated.
“I realized very quickly that I didn’t have a community in Oregon, and I didn’t feel like I necessarily fit into my surroundings there,” Christie said. “I really appreciated the built-in community at Intel, and it was really welcoming.”
“I had people I could go to that understood what I was going through or that had some really great experiences and stories they could share with me,” Christie shared. “I felt like I could lean on them and they were really willing to help me.”
Paying it forward
As she found her footing within Intel, Christie was in a place to return the favor to other new employees. By offering guidance and support to those who were searching for people who looked likewere similar to them, she found a rewarding way to give back.
Christie’s participation in the ERG also helped her advance her career and skill sets.
Through the Network of Intel African Ancestry, Christie has been given leadership opportunities and asked to participate in programs with executive leaders in the company. “It’s been an unbelievable and an unforgettable experience,” Christie said. “Employee resource groups are really amazing resources to help you find what you’re passionate about—and figure out where at Intel you can do what you’re best at—so that you can do your best work every day.”
Helping to shape a culture of inclusion
Christie’s involvement across different teams and programs at Intel has given her a front row seat to the company’s evolving culture. “As an individual, I feel like the work I’m doing every day contributes to where Intel’s culture is moving in the future,” she shared.
She’s grateful for the openness and encouragement to engage in tough conversations around culture and inclusion she finds at Intel. This transparency has made her feel part of the organization’s larger transformation.
“Intel really encourages employees to have conversations, to be open and to learn about other people, and I think that’s just invaluable,” Christie said. “It’s made my time here so much more enriched.”
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