Alumni Spotlight: Tony Reyes
Tony Reyes studied Accounting and IT at UVA graduating from the McIntire School of Commerce in 2012. Tony was one of the pioneering Big Brothers in the early years of our Men's Leadership Project. We recently caught up with Tony to find out where life has taken him and what's stayed with him from his MLP days.
Where do you work now?
I'm a Financial Accounting Advisory Services Manager at EY helping companies navigate business and accounting change or disruption with an integrated risk based perspective.
How have you found that you are able make a positive impact on the world?
Leading with empathy is something I’ve seen result in meaningful connections with others. Being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes builds trust and encourages active participation in group settings. This increased engagement also allows others to find purpose in their actions to bring about profound change.
What’s something you learned in school/college that turned out to be useful later, in some way you didn’t expect?
I’ve seen an increased emphasis in the media and by employers on mindfulness and mental health. These topics, along with self-identity and gender norms were discussed when I was in the MLP program, but have become more relevant in the discussion of the risks of information overload via social media. Being able to decipher content and understand the originating “why” behind information greatly helps in evaluating the images and news we consume on a daily basis.
How do you practice work/life fit?
Time is definitely an invaluable but scarce resource, so I openly communicate my interests and upcoming activities to other members of the team to provide awareness. This allows the flexibility to actually pursue those interests and participate in outside activities. I also honor those outside commitments even on stressful, tiring days to avoid regretting missing out on opportunities to do things of the most importance to me.
How did you get involved with MLP at the Women’s Center?
I was looking to get involved with the Charlottesville community outside of the University and serve as a mentor. I recall the impact my mentors had on me during my adolescence and realize that many times I turned to these mentors before my teachers or parents on topics that aren’t addressed in the classroom (i.e., feelings of belonging, masculinity, self-awareness, etc.) I wanted to provide the same outlet to those who need it.
What lessons or skills from your work with MLP play a role in your career or life today?
No matter the context or the duration of time, I realize that my actions and words can influence those around me. It is tremendously satisfying realizing you have ability to transform other’s perspectives by sharing knowledge, skills and experience to give them a sense of empowerment and aid in both personal and professional growth.
We are currently accepting applicaitons from UVA students who are interested in serving as MLP Big Brothers in 2019-20. Learn more and apply here.