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Agency Life

D&I with a side of R&B

D&I with a side of R&B

Danielle Smith

Danielle Smith

June 12, 2019

Havas Media Boston’s Talented Talent Acquisition Partner

"Havas was just what I needed – a creative and collaborative environment with a supportive team where I can recruit candidates and introduce them to a world I love belonging to."

At Havas Media Boston, Senior Talent Acquisition Partner Marcela Cruz works to advocate for diversity and inclusion while attracting the best talent to the agency. However, after she packs up for the day, Cruz can be found touring around Boston as an R&B vocalist, performing at schools and in shows, and supporting her community through her passion.

 

How did you get started in your career?

I gratefully fell into recruiting back in 2015. I had just moved in with friends and was focusing on the launch of my solo music career. Obviously starting a music career is quite the investment so I began to think seriously about what else might spark my interest aside from music. I had a degree in psychology but wasn’t sure what path I wanted to take within that so I asked around to see what types of jobs might be a good fit. My family and friends helped generate some ideas of what I might enjoy. At the time, my sister was working in Boston for a staffing firm and was loving it. She was meeting new people every day and helping them find new opportunities that would ultimately change their lives.

My first recruiting role was at a sales and tech recruiting firm. I gained a ton of skills there in just under two years and enjoyed getting to know people and doing my best to match them up with their dream jobs.

From there, I decided it was time to move on to something different and Havas was just what I needed – a creative and collaborative environment with a supportive team where I can recruit candidates and introduce them to a world I love belonging to.

 

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

My cat. He comes into my bedroom and makes a ton of noise wayyyy before my alarm goes off and I have no choice but to get up and feed him. Besides my cat, what drives me is the fact that there’s a new adventure waiting for me every day. As corny as it may sound, every move I make at work or outside of work can lead to something big. Especially in my role at Havas, where starting one new conversation could literally change someone’s life and impact the entire organization. It’s pretty cool and I really enjoy contributing to Havas in this way.

Additionally, continuing to pursue my music every day is thrilling and so rewarding that it drives me to get up each day and create. As in any industry, a career in music is a marathon so every day contributes to where I want to take my singing.

 

Tell us a little more about your current role at Havas.

I’m currently a Senior Talent Acquisition Partner within the HR Department at Havas Media. Being on this amazing team makes it that much easier to get out of bed each morning. I specifically focus on the hiring of our Boston talent alongside my colleague Josh Fialky. Together, we manage the entire recruitment/interview process for our open positions, and also manage our internship programs and all campus recruitment.

 

What is your approach to implementing diversity and inclusion?

I think simply talking to others about D&I is one of my biggest approaches to implementing it. Whether it’s discussing D&I topics with colleagues and friends or with people at different workshops and events specifically geared towards D&I, it’s important to continue educating ourselves as we strive to dive deeper to create an environment that walks the talk when it comes to D&I.

Another approach I try to take is to talk more about our organization with people outside of the industry. I get to meet a lot of new people outside of Havas through my music and I always make it a point to discuss what I do for our organization and why I enjoy it so much. I think it’s important to build awareness around who we are and what we do within circles that might not ordinarily be exposed to our world.

"Together, D&I allows each and every one of us to be who we truly are while receiving the support and respect for our unique perspectives on life."

Why is diversity and inclusion important to you? And important in general?

I grew up in Lowell, MA, one of the most diverse cities in our country. My high school consisted of 4,000 students from all over the world who all had completely different life experiences. I didn’t think twice about how lucky I was to be in such an environment because it just felt like things were supposed to be that way. Yes, there were those of us who had a lot in common, but to be able to learn about and celebrate our differences within a single school was a beautiful thing and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Growing up with my mom, who was one of the only Hispanic teachers in Lowell at the time, is also something that I have come to respect so much more as I look back. She’s been able to teach bilingually to students struggling with curriculums usually taught only in English. She has helped change the lives of so many Spanish native-speaking students over the past 35+ years by including them in an academic environment tailored to them regardless of the language they speak.

Where I really started to notice how important it is to develop in a diverse environment and understand what it truly means to be inclusive was while attending a not-so-diverse college, which was a huge culture shock for me. Together, D&I allows each and every one of us to be who we truly are while receiving the support and respect for our unique perspectives on life. Without this, we severely limit our ability to learn, grow, and reach our creative potential.

       

Do you have an interesting/funny story you want to share about your day-to-day job?

I’d say one of my most memorable moments while working at Havas would be when The Breakfast Club and iHeart Radio came to the office. My two worlds collided when the cast of one of the biggest and “most dangerous” radio shows came to MY place of work. Charlamagne tha God, Angela Yee and DJ Envy were in our café and I got to sit down and talk to them about music and other interesting topics. I let them know that some way somehow I’d end up as a guest on their show one day!

 

Tell us about founding and leading the Culture Committee at Havas Boston.

Every office goes through those times where things get SO busy that everyone’s stressing about getting their work done on time. So much so, that things can get a little too tense and a little too serious. Welp, our office was no exception to this for a bit of time and we needed to shake things up. What better way to reignite our creative flame than bringing people into a room to talk about what makes us happy, and what events, guests, and opportunities we can bring to our employees to help them grow and create meaningful moments?!

 

We have some pretty amazing people in our Boston office, and together we’ve created a culture that is extremely special. The Culture Committee isn’t about one person because it truly is a collective, where we can comfortably share our ideas and work together to execute them.

 

What is something that is very Boston that you love? Don’t love?

Love love LOVE our seafood and our sports teams. Hate our winters.

 

How are you involved in the larger Boston community?

I’ve mentioned this a couple times already but within the Boston community, I’m better known as a performing artist. I’m an r&b/pop singer-songwriter and perform regularly in and out of the city. I’m also involved with supporting other local artists and organizations in spreading their message to larger audiences. One of my favorite things is to visit schools in the area and discuss what I do and what I wish I had known when I was their age, pertaining to education, career goals, and music.

 

Tell us about some of your passions outside of your job.

My biggest passion is writing and performing original music that I’m able to share with the world. There is nothing like creating music with the incredible team I have, perform it for audiences I’ve never met before. Performing gives me such an unexplainable rush and a total sense of fulfillment.

"Havas was just what I needed – a creative and collaborative environment with a supportive team where I can recruit candidates and introduce them to a world I love belonging to."

At Havas Media Boston, Senior Talent Acquisition Partner Marcela Cruz works to advocate for diversity and inclusion while attracting the best talent to the agency. However, after she packs up for the day, Cruz can be found touring around Boston as an R&B vocalist, performing at schools and in shows, and supporting her community through her passion.

 

How did you get started in your career?

I gratefully fell into recruiting back in 2015. I had just moved in with friends and was focusing on the launch of my solo music career. Obviously starting a music career is quite the investment so I began to think seriously about what else might spark my interest aside from music. I had a degree in psychology but wasn’t sure what path I wanted to take within that so I asked around to see what types of jobs might be a good fit. My family and friends helped generate some ideas of what I might enjoy. At the time, my sister was working in Boston for a staffing firm and was loving it. She was meeting new people every day and helping them find new opportunities that would ultimately change their lives.

My first recruiting role was at a sales and tech recruiting firm. I gained a ton of skills there in just under two years and enjoyed getting to know people and doing my best to match them up with their dream jobs.

From there, I decided it was time to move on to something different and Havas was just what I needed – a creative and collaborative environment with a supportive team where I can recruit candidates and introduce them to a world I love belonging to.

 

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

My cat. He comes into my bedroom and makes a ton of noise wayyyy before my alarm goes off and I have no choice but to get up and feed him. Besides my cat, what drives me is the fact that there’s a new adventure waiting for me every day. As corny as it may sound, every move I make at work or outside of work can lead to something big. Especially in my role at Havas, where starting one new conversation could literally change someone’s life and impact the entire organization. It’s pretty cool and I really enjoy contributing to Havas in this way.

Additionally, continuing to pursue my music every day is thrilling and so rewarding that it drives me to get up each day and create. As in any industry, a career in music is a marathon so every day contributes to where I want to take my singing.

 

Tell us a little more about your current role at Havas.

I’m currently a Senior Talent Acquisition Partner within the HR Department at Havas Media. Being on this amazing team makes it that much easier to get out of bed each morning. I specifically focus on the hiring of our Boston talent alongside my colleague Josh Fialky. Together, we manage the entire recruitment/interview process for our open positions, and also manage our internship programs and all campus recruitment.

 

What is your approach to implementing diversity and inclusion?

I think simply talking to others about D&I is one of my biggest approaches to implementing it. Whether it’s discussing D&I topics with colleagues and friends or with people at different workshops and events specifically geared towards D&I, it’s important to continue educating ourselves as we strive to dive deeper to create an environment that walks the talk when it comes to D&I.

Another approach I try to take is to talk more about our organization with people outside of the industry. I get to meet a lot of new people outside of Havas through my music and I always make it a point to discuss what I do for our organization and why I enjoy it so much. I think it’s important to build awareness around who we are and what we do within circles that might not ordinarily be exposed to our world.

"Together, D&I allows each and every one of us to be who we truly are while receiving the support and respect for our unique perspectives on life."

Why is diversity and inclusion important to you? And important in general?

I grew up in Lowell, MA, one of the most diverse cities in our country. My high school consisted of 4,000 students from all over the world who all had completely different life experiences. I didn’t think twice about how lucky I was to be in such an environment because it just felt like things were supposed to be that way. Yes, there were those of us who had a lot in common, but to be able to learn about and celebrate our differences within a single school was a beautiful thing and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Growing up with my mom, who was one of the only Hispanic teachers in Lowell at the time, is also something that I have come to respect so much more as I look back. She’s been able to teach bilingually to students struggling with curriculums usually taught only in English. She has helped change the lives of so many Spanish native-speaking students over the past 35+ years by including them in an academic environment tailored to them regardless of the language they speak.

Where I really started to notice how important it is to develop in a diverse environment and understand what it truly means to be inclusive was while attending a not-so-diverse college, which was a huge culture shock for me. Together, D&I allows each and every one of us to be who we truly are while receiving the support and respect for our unique perspectives on life. Without this, we severely limit our ability to learn, grow, and reach our creative potential.

       

Do you have an interesting/funny story you want to share about your day-to-day job?

I’d say one of my most memorable moments while working at Havas would be when The Breakfast Club and iHeart Radio came to the office. My two worlds collided when the cast of one of the biggest and “most dangerous” radio shows came to MY place of work. Charlamagne tha God, Angela Yee and DJ Envy were in our café and I got to sit down and talk to them about music and other interesting topics. I let them know that some way somehow I’d end up as a guest on their show one day!

 

Tell us about founding and leading the Culture Committee at Havas Boston.

Every office goes through those times where things get SO busy that everyone’s stressing about getting their work done on time. So much so, that things can get a little too tense and a little too serious. Welp, our office was no exception to this for a bit of time and we needed to shake things up. What better way to reignite our creative flame than bringing people into a room to talk about what makes us happy, and what events, guests, and opportunities we can bring to our employees to help them grow and create meaningful moments?!

 

We have some pretty amazing people in our Boston office, and together we’ve created a culture that is extremely special. The Culture Committee isn’t about one person because it truly is a collective, where we can comfortably share our ideas and work together to execute them.

 

What is something that is very Boston that you love? Don’t love?

Love love LOVE our seafood and our sports teams. Hate our winters.

 

How are you involved in the larger Boston community?

I’ve mentioned this a couple times already but within the Boston community, I’m better known as a performing artist. I’m an r&b/pop singer-songwriter and perform regularly in and out of the city. I’m also involved with supporting other local artists and organizations in spreading their message to larger audiences. One of my favorite things is to visit schools in the area and discuss what I do and what I wish I had known when I was their age, pertaining to education, career goals, and music.

 

Tell us about some of your passions outside of your job.

My biggest passion is writing and performing original music that I’m able to share with the world. There is nothing like creating music with the incredible team I have, perform it for audiences I’ve never met before. Performing gives me such an unexplainable rush and a total sense of fulfillment.

Danielle Smith is the Communications Manager of Havas Group. She’s believes every meal can be tacos if you have tortillas and the heart to try.

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