Tessie McCoy

Campaign Manager- Gap Inc. Brands located in San Francisco, CA

San Francisco

I started with Synchrony in 2016 as a call center representative in Fraud while pursuing my MBA and, although I was focusing on school, I knew wanted to grow my career. After receiving my MBA in Marketing, it was time to start focusing on my career growth. I started attending roundtables to gain exposure on the different functions at the Charlotte site.  Since Marketing was a large function in Charlotte, I reached out to the CMO of Retail Card to discuss my career path. During our discussion, he shared his career journey and provided guidance on my own career path.  Following our discussion, I was connected with other leaders and able to job shadow others within Marketing.

Learning about the CMO’s career journey really helped me by providing me a framework of what can be achieved. It’s hard sometimes to be in such a big company and really chart a course for yourself. Talking to talk with someone in my field of interest who had started in a place similar as me helped me to see a path for myself.   His story was inspirational because his career path led to a Senior Leadership position in the business and it made me feel I could do the same.

 

What steps did you take to apply for your current role and what were some key learnings?

When applying for my current role, I first sat down with my career mentor within Synchrony and the African American Network+. I brought the job description and we went over it together—it was clear that I was qualified for the job.

In order to apply, I needed to update my resume. I had a basic one-page bullet point resume and it really didn’t do a great job of highlighting my skill sets.  I spoke with my manager at the time and she guided me on updating my resume.  From there I used internal resources to identify someone who was in a similar role and reached out to see if she wouldn’t mind talking with me about the day to day of the position. After that conversation and getting more insight on the role and team, I felt strongly that I would be a good fit for the position so I applied. I would advise anyone looking to make a move in their career to follow a similar model.  I found that almost everyone I reached out to was willing to talk with me and provide necessary feedback to help me make decisions and navigate the process.

When I first started my new role, I  had some unexpected challenges with the early feelings of being overwhelmed.  It’s a lot to learn being in a new position with new responsibilities. In addition, I moved across the country—which rarely goes according to plan. Some days, I would question myself, “What have I done?” and “Why did I do this?” But I would quickly refocus and remind myself that if I wasn’t qualified I wouldn’t be here in the first place. And any issues with my move, I just had to take one at a time and get through them.  When things felt difficult, I also reached out to my family and friends who provided me with support and encouragement even from across the country, which helped to reassure me that I had made the right decision.

 

What is the most impactful career advice you can share where you learned something?

 I attended a Hispanic Network+ event  where a senior leader spoke,  and from that talk I realized that if I was going to develop my career I had to step outside my cubicle because a new position wasn’t going to come to me.  It didn’t matter that I had my MBA. No one knew that because they didn’t know me. If you want to grow and move within the company, you must get out of your comfort zone.

 

 What advice would she give to others who are contemplating a move?

I would tell others to go for it if they have the opportunity.  Moving away from my support system forced me to do my research and be sure that I would be secure before I went for it.  The move has made me more independent.  If I encounter an issue, I’ve learned to handle it all on my own.  It’s shown me how strong I am and how capable I am. So, I would encourage anyone who has the chance to take it for your own personal as well as professional growth.   Aside from missing family I have no regrets moving to San Francisco—I love the area and look forward to meeting new people!

 

What impact has Synchrony’s African American Network+ had on your career?

AAN+ helped me realize my true potential. I’ve met a lot of the senior leaders along my journey because of the AAN+ network.  Working in such a large company it can be easy to feel small.  The AAN+ network helped me to see my value in the company and that I could be impactful even in seemingly small ways. I have a habit of “working with my head down” so the events, programs, and volunteer opportunities with AAN+ gave me a chance to look around and to see and be seen.