How does a young immigrant to the United States, especially one from a country with a markedly different culture and language such as Haiti, succeed academically and thrive eventually as a high achieving professional in the host country? Through smarts, blood, sweat, and determination. That is the answer brought by the two people in the spotlight in this issue of HDNdigest: Lourdes and Yves Charles, two brilliant electrical engineers and communications specialists who came to the United States as young teenagers.
From the time they landed in America those many years ago, they put their noses to the grind to learn English and succeed in school, then to pursue challenging studies in engineering in reputable colleges, and finally to go on to achieve great professional success working for some of the most important U.S. based international corporations, all the while raising a family. They both make clear that among the factors that facilitated their personal and professional achievements they count as particularly important family expectations and support as well as accurate information and effective guidance from school advisors.
The trajectory of these two successful Haitian Americans is indeed most inspiring, certainly for all immigrants to America, but particularly for young Haitians who might need guidance to navigate that country’s complex social and economic ecosystem and take advantage of the many opportunities it offers to those with an enterprising spirit.
Lourdes Charles is “the Global Leader for 5G and Edge and the Head of Connectivity Practice in Wipro Engineering. She leads an organization responsible for building cutting-edge solutions enabling clients across multiple business sectors to leverage 5G to build a competitive edge and achieve their connectivity ambitions. A technology leader with more than 30 years of experience operationalizing and managing market leading products, offers and organizations, Lourdes has a wealth of business knowledge of the telecommunication industry from IP Telephony, MPLS VPN, Security, Multi-access Edge Computing and Private Wireless Network.”
Lourdes earned a Bachelor of Engineering (BE) in Electrical Engineering from Pratt Institute and completed her graduate studies in business administration at Long Island University in New York. She began her career in the nuclear power industry as an electrical power engineer in 1992 at First Energy Solutions, then worked at Verizon as a circuit design engineer and further broadened her technology and business expertise at Lumen, Fusion Connect. Lourdes spent 15 years at AT&T Business leading organizations responsible for developing and managing mobility business solutions.
Yves Charles currently works as a Telecommunications Engineer for AT&T Corp. Yves has been a telecommunications engineering professional since 1999. He has worked at Verizon Communications as an Engineer, as a Systems Architect/Engineer at Telcordia Inc., and a Lead Engineer at Ciena Inc. Holder of a bachelor’s degree from Pratt Institute and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from City College of New York, Yves started his professional career in 1992 in education as a high-school physics teacher in the New York City public schools, while also teaching electrical engineering technology at the City University of New York until 1999.
Yves is an avid reader, world traveler, DIY enthusiast and long-time Haitian art appreciator and collector. He has a genuine interest in the human condition, and he believes that anyone can participate and contribute to the betterment of his/her community through concrete actions guided by personal awareness of the place and time we live in.
Lourdes and Yves took time from their busy schedule to share their experience in an engaging interview in which they narrate their personal and professional journey, discuss the nature of the engineering profession, and provide useful information for young men and women who wish to become engineers.
Listen here to this absorbing interview with Yves Charles, Professional Network Engineer at AT & T, and Lourdes Charles, Global Head of 5G and Edge Connectivity Practice at Wipro Engineering:
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