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Four Capital One leaders gather in front of a wood background at the VOLIA leadership conference

Meaningful career advice from Capital One leaders

Black and Hispanic leaders at Capital One came together for a day of connection at our inaugural VOILÀ leadership conference in 2023. The conference—organized by HOLA, our Hispanic Business Resource Group (BRG), and VOICES, our Black BRG—was a chance for executives to put their most authentic selves forward, building community with other Black and Hispanic leaders across the enterprise. They shared their career experiences, challenges and wins and spoke about the immense need to lay down a ladder to help future Black and Hispanic leaders at the company.

While there, we asked a few of the leaders to share some of that career advice, and the lessons they’ve learned that have been the most impactful. Whether you’re considering a career at Capital One or need some nuggets of wisdom, we think you’ll find the tips helpful. 

Andy Navarrete: Executive Vice President, External Affairs

“Say yes to new opportunities. Every initiative or role I’ve said yes to has informed and shaped my 25-year career at Capital One, in ways both expected and unexpected. Sometimes the benefits are immediate—new platforms for personal development and relationship-building. But often they are longer-term—bearing fruit years after the fact where you find yourself presented with new responsibilities based on that past experience. I so appreciate that Capital One encourages us to seek ways to learn and grow and eagerly step into work that offers a new challenge. The more novel and ambiguous, the better.”

Kerone Vatel: Senior Vice President, Community Impact & Investment 

“Reflecting back on my career, I would say there are two lessons I learned by observing leadership. One, follow the leaders you respect and admire, because they’re the ones that will inspire or motivate you to achieve your goals. Second, figure out what’s important for the leaders you work for. Develop solutions that address their larger vision. Show them that you’re listening and thinking critically.”

Mark Mathewson: Executive Vice President, Bank Tech 

“For those new to Capital One, I often recommend building and fostering relationships by intentionally engaging in side-of-desk projects that get you excited and align with your interests. Engaging in these projects will allow you to demonstrate and grow skills you might not get the opportunity to show off day-to-day, and will provide opportunities to organically build relationships, advocacy and impact across the organization, specifically with others that might be outside of your team.”

Amy Yates: Head of Human Resources, Commercial Bank

“If I could do one thing differently, as I look back on my Capital One career, this would be it: dedicating more intentional time to building my network sooner and creating a space for those relationships among all the other priorities that quickly stack up in a dynamic environment. The return on investment is high. It translates into learning about the ways your work connects to the broader organization and allows for growth in meaningful and intentional ways.”

Corey Lee: Chief Operating Officer, Commercial Banking

“If I were to give one piece of career advice to someone joining Capital One, it would be to focus on relationship-building. It’s always good to have a network of peers you can confide in and have fun with, but it’s especially important in a consensus-driven environment like ours. The best part is that there are plenty of ways to meet people—as individuals and as colleagues— including our Business Resource Groups.”

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