28 Days: Moments that Matter with Ralph Atansuyi
Ralph Atansuyi is a technical consulting engineer with AT&T. He handles the technical design of customer MEVPN and MAVPN networks. That means he works with our clients, customers and potential customers to solve technical, scientific or engineering problems with products and services. A native of Lagos, Nigeria, Ralph holds a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from the University of Lagos and a masters of telecommunications management from the Keller Graduate School of Management.
Q: Why did you choose to work at AT&T?
A: I have always been curious about the way things work and movement of information from point A to point B. This curiosity led to me to pursue a degree in electrical engineering. I was already working in telecomm in Nigeria. I decided that the U.S. would present greater opportunities for me to develop my career. I came to the states in 1997 and began working at AT&T in 1998.
Q: What are some of the defining cultural moments you’ve experienced during your lifetime?
A: As a Black man from Africa, I have had many defining moments. There have been times when my accent has made it difficult for others to understand me. There have been times when people call me names. And there have been times where I’ve had to work harder just to be equal with my colleagues. I’ve never let this affect my focus. I have several degrees and certifications. But to get where I am has taken time, effort and a lot of hard work.
Q: Which qualities are necessary to be an inspiring leaders?
A: An inspiring leader influences people who’ve already made up their mind.
Q: What are some of your hopes for future generations?
A: I have 4 children. I want them to know their dad worked very hard to provide them with the lives they have. My hope is that my children and future generations will understand there is dignity in labor. There will be times where you might have to work harder than everyone else to reach your goals. Life is never truly fair. I want my children and future generations to be independent and educated. I take the time to teach my children about money, credit, stocks, retirement planning, marriage, family, love and living life to the fullest.
Q: What is your personal manifesto?
A: Get involved and share your skills and gifts. I am constantly striving to improve my life and the lives of others. Whenever I can, I try to push the people in my community and in my church to want more for their lives. I try to connect them to the resources they need to succeed.
Ralph Atansuyi, technical consulting engineer