Senior Product Development Manager, International Product and Technology
Hooman Shahbazi has always considered himself an early adopter and wanted to work for a company that would support his creativity and entrepreneurial spirit.
Hooman’s parents immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico and Iran, and worked hard to become successful. He inherited their entrepreneurial spirit and wanted to find an employer that would allow him to not only refine his tech skills, but also to take initiative and lead his own projects. He found that match with AT&T’s Technology Development Program (TDP), which gave him exposure to an abundance of technology-focused areas at the company. Now working in product development, Hooman says he gets to be entrepreneurial every day, both in the work he does and by submitting any additional ideas to AT&T’s innovation pipeline.
What surprised you the most about the TDP?
What surprised me most was having the immediate opportunity to present in front of senior leadership, including company officers. Less than a year after starting the program, I had the amazing opportunity to present on AT&T’s many sustainability initiatives to a panel of company leaders, and they showed great interest and support. Coming right out of school and being new to the company, having that face time was something that surprised me and was invaluable at such an early stage of my career.
What kind of work/life balance does AT&T provide?
A lot! We have employee resource groups, mentoring programs, and plentiful volunteer opportunities. There’s great camaraderie among colleagues—my TDP class still gets together frequently outside of work to catch up on the many exciting and different things we are now working on. AT&T is also becoming more of a mobile, agile workforce, moving away from dedicated cubicles to a more open, collaborative work environment.
How do you exercise creativity and innovation in your job?
Supporting international product development continually pushes me to think outside the box. For instance, we’re constantly focused on the Internet of Things by connecting everything from pill bottle caps to farming equipment on a global scale. In a world where we’re becoming increasingly connected, it’s critical to be innovative in our thought processes and to provide creative solutions that help us to deliver a seamless customer experience. We want our customers’ devices to work in Paris, France just as they do in Paris, Texas. We’re also encouraged to submit any and all innovative ideas we have through ‘TIP,’ The Innovation Pipeline. It’s a platform to get exposure for your ideas and feedback from colleagues. If your idea submission is voted up and gains traction, you can get funding and help lead it to see it through to fruition. It’s exciting to have that kind of freedom and a platform from which to launch your ideas and creativity.