National Hispanic Heritage Month, an annual celebration that takes place from September 15th – October 15th, pays tribute to generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society. To mark the occasion, we spoke to Dalia Herrera, Business Development Manager at Sema4, about the importance of her roots and her advice on pursuing your dreams. You can also read our previous National Hispanic Heritage Month Q&A by clicking here.
What is your role at Sema4?
As a Business Development Manager at Sema4, I am responsible for many different projects that are directly involved in building new partnerships and channels for the company. Not only do we create partnership opportunities, but we also open up opportunities with multiple healthcare systems to further develop Sema4’s data-centric goals and operational needs.
What motivates you to work at Sema4?
I have worked for Sema4 since its early days as part of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. I’ve seen the immense growth and advancements Sema4 has made. Becoming public and working with phenomenal cross-functional team members motivates me every day. I’ve seen the great work done behind the scenes from a broad spectrum of individuals and it makes me extremely proud.
What does National Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?
National Hispanic Heritage Month is a month to celebrate those that paved a way for Hispanic communities, contributed to making history and influenced generations to come. To me, it is a time of inspiration and remembrance.
Can you tell us about a role model who has inspired you?
I have a plethora of individuals who have inspired me throughout my life, but the role model that has inspired me the most is my mom. She inspires me daily and without her past struggles, I would not be where I am today.
What barriers have you had to overcome to reach this point in your career?
The biggest barrier I’ve had to overcome to reach this point in my career is to not settle. As a young girl, I was always taught to conform. For example, I needed to speak perfect English because, if not, I would miss out on opportunities. I felt I shouldn’t voice my opinion at times because I might be “inexperienced” but I did not fold under pressure. I realized I should not settle for a job with a toxic work environment because I would have to work a hard laborious job without benefits and a minimum hourly rate. I am glad to say I didn’t settle, and I did the opposite of what I was taught.
People need your input in case you have a great idea that can help streamline processes or create the next product to sell. Employers will pay you what you are worth because they see the asset you can be to their organization. Truth be told, if you do what’s best for you, no matter where you work, if you keep your integrity and be true to yourself, all the opportunities in the world will open for you.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career like yours?
Being a Business Development Manager requires you to work with many different businesses, diverse people and subject matter experts. You must be a team player, possess analytical skills, know how to manage relationships, be an entrepreneur, and love your legal team. Having a little charisma will also take you a long way! My overall advice to anyone reading this is ask for mentorship, ask questions, be yourself, and always remember that if one door closes another one will open.
_ _ _
Would you like to work with Dalia and the rest of our team at Sema4? To find out more about open positions, please visit our Careers page here.