During Black History Month, Zoetis hosted a virtual event for INROADS scholars enrolled in Newark College Links, an innovative program that seeks to provide opportunities to talented and underserved youth, particularly from communities of color. Zoetis began its partnership with INROADS in 2020 as part of our aspiration to bring more talent from diverse backgrounds into the animal health industry and join us in nurturing the world and humankind by advancing animal care.

Reinforcing our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Introduced by INROADS CEO, Forest Harper, Roxanne Lagano, Chief Human Resources Officer at Zoetis and INROADS National Board of Directors member, and Evelyn Ortiz, Chief Talent, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer at Zoetis, kicked off the event by sharing about Zoetis, our many career opportunities, and our commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

“Inspiring the next generation of animal health professionals is critical to continuing our company’s and industry’s success and making it more inclusive -- which is why we think INROADS College Links is so important,” said Lagano. “Our culture is supported by so many outstanding colleagues from different cultures, background and experiences. Not only are they delivering stellar results for our company, they are devoting their time and talent to developing the careers of others. Together, they are paving the way for future leaders like you.”

Sharing Inspirational Journeys

Throughout the program, Zoetis colleagues and members of the company’s BELIEVERS Colleague Resource Group, shared personal stories about their journeys to their current positions by overcoming adversity, seeking out mentors, and setting and achieving goals.

Saba Belay, Head, Commercial Data Science and Analytic Engineering, shared about how she left her native country of Ethiopia to pursue higher education at the encouragement of her mother and her high school math teacher.

“I would not be sitting here today if it wasn’t for the mentors I had in my life, now I get my inspiration from mentoring others and I’m proud to have the opportunity to pay that forward by mentoring young people like you, said Saba. “Every single one of you has something good to offer to yourself, your family and your community. Discover what those things are early on and always remember to give back to your community.” 

Approaching her 21-year anniversary at Zoetis, Jennifer Johnson, Director, HR Regional ZCS Lead, US & Canada, shared how her pursuit of her goal to achieve a degree in animal science led to an exciting and fulfilling career path at Zoetis since graduating college. “The classes, like calculus, that challenged me the most in college, taught me so much about how to overcome challenges and persevere toward my goals.”

William Danzey, Director, Global Process Owner Procure to Pay, inspired scholars with advice to follow their passions and interests to pursue their goals and ultimately their careers. He shared a quote from his late father, Mr. Oscar J. Danzey, Sr., who told him, “Don’t just be what you thought you could be… be more than you ever dreamed you can be!” These words have inspired William, who left scholars with inspirational words, “Believe in yourself, trust in your abilities and go after yours dream. Everyone deserves the opportunity to believe they can aspire to achieve anything they desire.”

Discovering Strengths

Additionally, Zoetis colleague, Lance Legree, Director Talent Development, ran a workshop to help INROADS scholars discover their strengths and develop personal goals. By sharing the GROW (Goal, Reality, Options, Way forward) and SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, timebound) models, scholars worked through an exercise to help them define and meet goals.

“Programs like INROADs were invaluable to me because they provided me with exposure and understanding of the opportunities that were available to me outside of the small town I grew up in,” said Lance Legree, Director Talent Development.

“When I was growing up in Newark, I wasn’t aware of programs like INROADS, so I encourage you to leverage this program, which provides guidance and support as you navigate your present and work toward planning your future,” Ortiz shared with INROADS scholars. “Keep in mind, only you can achieve your goals. As I think about what made me successful, it goes back to being the B.O.S.S. of my life and my career. I try to be bold but balanced and pragmatic; I pride myself in being open and honest, I try to practice self-awareness personally and professionally; and most importantly I want to continue to be humble by sharing my success and story with others to support them and the community."