#ClouderaLife Spotlight: Kathleen Merto, Early Talent Program Manager

#ClouderaLife Spotlight: Kathleen Merto, Early Talent Program Manager

Meet Kathleen Merto. To her colleagues, she’s Kat. 

She works on our Emerging Talent team managing the hiring process for Interns and entry level roles. It’s a job she feels passionately about, so much so that she was eager to give her whole team a shout out! 

Kat fell into the perfect career path for her.

Growing up, she witnessed her mom, a nurse of 41 years now, dedicate so much of herself to helping others. That same service heart was imparted on herself. While her mom held high hopes of Kat going into the nursing field, Kat wasn’t exactly keen on the idea. “I knew I wanted to dedicate my life to service somehow but being in and out of the hospital all of my life was a bit traumatizing.” 

In college, Kat explored various career options but quickly realized that she preferred to experience the work rather than explore it. “Once I was in school, I just wanted to get my degree and get out. I learn and perform better by working in the real world.”

But in 2011, just 3 years after the recession, she found it hard to get a job in her chosen path.

That’s when she took a role in hospitality where she found her love for HR and recruiting. “I realized there are different ways to help people. Today I get to be a career coach to mostly students by doing resume reviews, interview training, and helping them find their dream jobs. It is such a rewarding experience.”

There is more that influenced her path and passions.

We’ve all witnessed the growing media attention around violence and prejudice against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community but Kat reminds us, “this is nothing new, it’s just being recorded for everyone to see.”

She’s no stranger to experiencing some of this prejudice, firsthand. As a child and teenager, she and her family overcame several instances of racism and judgment. It’s these examples in the media and her own life experiences that lead her to be such a fierce ally. 

“I am privileged and have a platform to speak out. I hope in my position I can do better to advance the interests of those who are marginalized.”

This month, in the US, we celebrate the AAPI community. 

“AAPI month helps us pay tribute to the different cultures, the generations before us and helps educate our allies and friends on our rich heritage, our history and to highlight the many contributions our Asian ancestors have made and will continue to make. But we don’t need to wait for specific months to pay tribute to the wonderful cultures, backgrounds and traditions that make up America.” 

This mindset is one of the reasons she feels Cloudera is a great place to work.

“I am proud and happy to be part of an organization that is not only talking the talk, but actually walking the walk. We have made such incredible strides, from hiring our CDO and DE&I organization to hosting events to honor and educate each other on our culture and backgrounds. We are on a path forward and I am excited for what the future holds.” 

When Kat isn’t busy helping early talent create their careers she is off discovering her city in California. She loves to explore new areas, hike the nearby trails, and try out new food. 

You heard it from Kat, Cloudera is a great place to work, especially if the world of emerging technology and DEI are important to you. Take a look at our new DE&I  page to see how we continue to make progress towards an equal and equitable workplace. 


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