New Paltz Magazine - Fall/Winter 2020 | Alumni Profile: Clarissa Arnao
#ClarissaArnao

Alumna leads with empathy and flexibility - one Tweet at a time

clarissa
Companies around the world promised in early 2020 to take a fresh approach to inclusion and diversity in the decade ahead. 

Among Twitter's new recruits, the company sought the expertise of SUNY New Paltz alumna Clarissa Arnao ’15 (Management) ’16g (Business Administration). Arnao is a prominent new Tweep, proudly serving as one of the company’s Inclusion & Diversity Business Partners.

“My team’s mission is to help Twitter become the most inclusive company in tech,” said Arnao. “Our goal is that the Twitter staff be as diverse as the people who use it. We believe that the more diverse our team becomes, the higher our creative potential will be as a company."

Working at Twitter means being at the heart of a nearly endless number of global conversations. It can be overwhelming at times, but it’s always enlightening. Arnao says her professional experiences have further opened her eyes to social and political realities in the U.S. and around the world.

There are often many opportunities to choose divisiveness and anger, but the work we do and the education I received reminds me that we’re all in this together, on the good days and the bad ones."
Clarissa Arnao ’15 (Management) ’16g (Business Administration)

That global perspective empowers her to spend time every day thinking about how she and the organization can be both proactive and responsive to the needs of its vast, diverse community of users. 

“When I made the transition to Twitter, I knew that I’d be able to make an impact in a way I never thought was possible,” she said. “Being a part of a team that values all voices is so important in our society today. There are often many opportunities to choose divisiveness and anger, but the work we do and the education I received reminds me that we’re all in this together, on the good days and the bad ones.”

Arnao traces that “in this together” approach to the preparation she received as a SUNY New Paltz student.

A student leader in the Business Association for Students of Color and the Global Engagement Program, the alumna saw first-hand how much can be achieved when people stand together with shared goals and inspiration. Her experiences provided a lens through which to see the world in an interconnected, integrated way.

“At New Paltz I felt prepared for the business world, but I also felt included in the space(s) I was in,” said Arnao. “That lesson of inclusion and what it felt like to be part of a team transformed my approach to leading teams and organizational development.”

Now a central player in Twitter’s Inclusion & Diversity efforts, Arnao gets to apply those leadership skills to ensuring that this enormous marketplace of ideas remains a space where everyone feels heard.

“I’m so grateful that my past professional and educational experiences led me to where I am today,” she said. “It’s honestly the coolest and most fulfilling job.”

 

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