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A collage of an image of Monica S., Capital One associate, smiles at the camera with her computer in the background, with a Capital One two-toned triangular patterned background next to it

Monica’s Story: Empowering Herself and Others

By early 2017, Monica needed a change. She had spent the last eight years working with colleagues at other companies who told her she wouldn’t succeed because of her bright clothes, long nails and the way she wore her hair.

Monica craved a career in which she could proudly express her authentic self and live by her philosophy “See one. Do one. Teach one,” which involves identifying career opportunities and mentors who can help (see one), completing professional development (do one) and empowering others to find success (teach one).

Monica found a place to “See one. Do One. Teach one.” at Capital One.

“Capital One is hopefully the last company I’ll ever work for,” said Monica, a Northeast market community engage lead for Capital One Cafés. “Here, I don’t have to make any sacrifices. My passions for development, diversity, inclusion and belonging, community service and mentorship are combined into one amazing package.”

An image of Capital One associate Monica sitting at a table, with a quote from her that says, "Capital One is hopefully the last company I’ll ever work for. Here, I don’t have to make any sacrifices," Monica S., Capital One Northeast Market Community Engage Lead, all in front of a two-toned triangular blue background

See one: Finding life at Capital One

Monica applied to Capital One after meeting two Café executives at a networking event in New York City. They told Monica about how Capital One empowers associates through targeted learning plans, mentoring programs and education assistance. She successfully applied to be a market manager in 2017, overseeing several Capital One branches in Manhattan and Nassau, New York.

Monica connected to leaders in Café and retail banking by joining VOICES, our Business Resource Group (BRG) for Black associates and allies. The leaders quickly became mentors who helped Monica identify new job opportunities, including a promotion in November of 2020 to Café coach in Santa Monica, California.

Monica earned a second promotion to Northeast market community engage lead in 2022. In her role, she manages businesses and nonprofit relationships and works with Café associates to build brand awareness and customer engagement.

“The one thing my mentors keep telling me is ‘You’re a powerhouse,’” Monica said. “Just knowing and seeing that I have people in my corner is so validating. They validate my ideas and point me to resources that help me succeed.”

Do one: Creating opportunities

Monica’s mentors recommended her for VOICES' Magellan program, a customized, comprehensive nine-month career management and leadership development experience. She learned about career planning, developing her personal brand and building a strong network.

“Magellan is why I’ve found so much success,” Monica said. “Yes, it helped me develop skills, but I also found a new level of confidence within myself. I found the power to be exceptional.”

Monica applies her exceptional project planning and networking skills to her work with Cafés, VOICES and empowHER, our BRG for women associates and allies.

As the New York/New Jersey lead for VOICES, Monica created the Cultural Festival in February of 2018 to celebrate Black History Month. She managed a budget and formed community partnerships to execute the event, which had live music, food from the African diaspora and guest speakers.

In 2021, Monica worked with VOICES and Café leaders to create “Real Café Talk,” based on “Red Table Talk,” a TV show featuring actress Jada Pinkett Smith, her daughter and mother talking about current events. Monica invited two Café coaches and a project manager to have a roundtable discussion about their careers, families and lives.

“It makes my heart happy when I can step out into the community and make a positive impact for our customers,” Monica said. “I’m at Capital One because I see myself changing banking for good.”

Teach one: Helping others find success and happiness

Monica has met so many of her career goals through her mentors, friends and loved ones’ encouragement. They bolstered her confidence when she was unhappy at previous companies, encouraged her to seek promotions and advocated for her when she expressed interest in developing programs like Magellan.

As a leader, Monica wants all of her associates to receive the same level of support she’s experienced in her career. Knowing that they work with customers throughout the day at Capital One Cafés, Monica is intentional about conversing with her team about their development. Each associate on Monica’s team has a monthly one-on-one meeting to discuss career aspirations, professional development and network opportunities.

BJ, a Café ambassador in the Los Angeles area, immediately bonded with Monica over their experiences working in branches and moving solo from the East Coast to California for Capital One. Monica helped BJ with public speaking and sharing her career story.

“As an aspiring leader myself, Monica is a shining example of how much representation, inclusion and encouragement matters,” BJ said. “She cares about others personally. Monica makes time to support us all while helping us build skills and making us feel welcomed.”

Monica’s keen eye for professional development comes from an innate sense of curiosity and a passion to help. She wants to use her platform to open doors of opportunity for her associates.

“I want to position them in a place where they wake up every day and are happy with what they do,” Monica said. “It’s about understanding what success looks like for them. I’m in my happy place when I can coach, mentor and advocate.”