At Amentum, we celebrate our people, our cultures, and we recognize the value of diversity and inclusion. In May, we’ll focus on Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month while shining a light on one employee at a time. Today’s Q&A is with Roela Santos, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Communications.
How did you come to join Amentum?
I was recruited into Amentum a year ago and was excited for the opportunity to build a brand for a company founded on impressive talent, strong customer relationships and innovative solutions. The year went by so fast, and I’m proud of the work my team has done in such a short period of time.
What is your professional and personal background?
I have a business background (undergrad and business school) and feel lucky to find Marketing and Communications as my career path. It allows me to build on my business background to promote a company, stay ahead of our competitors, and deliver results in very creative and exciting ways.
As for my personal background, I was born in the Philippines and grew up there and in Southern California. Straight out of central casting: mom’s a nurse and my dad’s a chemical engineer, and I rebelled by going into business management! On a more serious note, I’m proud of my Filipino heritage and having lived in Asia because they shaped my appreciation and curiosity about people and the world. Having a multi-cultural upbringing also helped me become adaptable, which is a very practical skill in the business world.
Describe the work you do and how you think it makes a positive impact.
I absolutely love Marketing and Communications (Marcom) because I get to interact with and influence all of Amentum’s stakeholders—from current and future Amentum employees to customers and partners, to our owners and reporters who follow our markets, to the broader public.
There are so many exciting work and impressive people around the company, and my team and I get the honor of telling the Amentum stories. I enjoy the creative side of our work and using technology so that we can stand out in our market, give a platform for our employees to share their Amentum experience, and build excitement around the company.
What do you enjoy about working for Amentum?
It’s cliché, but the people in Amentum never ceases to impress me and are the best thing about the company. Not only are they extremely smart, but the people I work with are very collaborative, and genuinely and selflessly work towards the success of the team and our customers.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about my work and I love what I do and the people I work with. Besides the business aspects of my work, I am also eager to showcase the personality of Amentum. Our people and our culture tell a strong story that we also need to convey.
I am also passionate about my family and their well-being. I am grateful for the opportunity to work for Amentum and in our industry because it allows me to use my experience and expertise that contribute to the safety of my family and our nation.
What’s your career advice?
There’s a quote that’s been attributed to Churchill; it wasn’t substantiated but I like the message because it’s good career and life advice. “Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” I like this quote because first, it tells you that it’s alright to fail. Science and technology are about learning from iterative failures. From a creative perspective, you have to take smart risks to create new things that make you stand out. The status quo will not shake or shape tomorrow’s world.
The other message I like from the quote is that attitude is important. Everyone will face difficulties and challenges, but when we recover, we can’t lose our confidence and hope for the future. If we keep moving forward with the right attitude, we can accomplish a lot of great things.
Anything else you would like to share from a personal or professional perspective?
I’ve learned that building a sense of community and connecting with other people are important. I think we all learned that from our pandemic experience. It’s a challenge for a company this size and as geographically distributed as Amentum, but that’s one of our priorities: build that sense of community for our employees to help them feel connected with each other and with the company. We all can contribute to this building an environment that supports each other.
What does Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month mean to you?
To me, Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month means the opportunity to learn about stories that shape people and celebrate their life journey. On a personal note, it’s a chance to honor my parents who have sacrificed a lot that led to the life I enjoy now and appreciate other Asian Americans who have opened doors for this and future generation. It’s also a chance to share the Asian American experience, the lives we now proudly have in the U.S.A., the blessings we enjoy, and the opportunities for us to give back.