Isidora Delizo Armentrout ’13 was a history major at Bryn Mawr and is now an account manager at Amazon Web Services.
On Friday, March 5, from noon-1 p.m., Armentrout will join Kerlyne Jean ’11, Adaobi Kanu ’08, Edisa Rodriguez ’07, and April Stewart ’11 for Real Talk with BIPOC Alums in Business. This event is being co-sponsored by Elivade, a Black and Latinx professional networking community and Bryn Mawr's Career & Civic Engagement Center. The event is open to all Bryn Mawr students. Registration information can be found on Handshake.
In the below Q&A, Armentrout talks about pursuing her career passion, her advice for current students, and more.
How did you get involved in your current field?
After graduating, I was certain of one thing: I wanted to be in business. The dilemma I faced was that I didn't have any idea what I wanted to do specifically, and I considered myself unqualified with my bachelor's in history, and no coveted investment banking internship. I applied to every entry-level "business" role I could find—marketing, business development, sales, etc.—with the hopes of getting anything.
I eventually landed a position at a small, boutique consulting firm, led by a well-known Wharton professor who specializes in high stakes negotiation. I was considered for the position partly because the CEO had high regard for Bryn Mawr as an institution, and they gave me a chance to prove I had what it took to work for them, over a number of Wharton graduates who they taught directly.
I was responsible for business development for the firm's tech, international, and public sector accounts, which introduced me to a new world of industries to explore and become familiar with. I developed mentors through my accounts who encouraged me to explore their fields given how green I was in my career. Ultimately, I was convinced by one of them to consider all the potentials of the technology industry, with engineering/coding skillsets valued as highly as the ability to think critically to solve large and complex problems—a skillset my liberal arts education equipped me with. I decided I wanted to immerse myself in the industry and moved to San Francisco, to place myself right at the epicenter of the tech industry in the U.S., and have worked in sales/business development with a range of company profiles, from startups to a newly IPOd mid-tier company, to one of the largest tech enterprises today.
What part of your Bryn Mawr experience has been most important to your professional development?
My experience at Bryn Mawr taught me a great deal about resilience and I developed a strong "make it work" attitude as I grew during my College years. On top of that, my history degree taught me the ability to evaluate disparate sources of information, distill them, and effectively present ideas/decisions based on them. This is a skill I apply on a daily basis in my work.
What career advice do you have for current Bryn Mawr students?
1) Don't rule yourself out. I made the assumption at the beginning of my career that I was not qualified to enter business without an economics/mathematics/business degree, and without a relevant internship. This is simply not true.
2) Network early and often. Have informational interviews or calls with alums working in fields you're interested in to get an honest take on what they do for a living. Ask them for intros to their network/colleagues if you see they have some interesting connections that you are uncertain about reaching out to.
What made you choose to attend Bryn Mawr?
I went to a very small high school, and when I was deciding on what university to attend, my sister (who was a sophomore at Bryn Mawr at the time) reminded me to consider the aspects I valued about the small-classroom dynamic and what type of learning experience I wanted. There was no doubt that I would receive a quality education by attending Bryn Mawr, but the access to faculty and opportunities for interdisciplinary learning were what most excited me about the opportunity.