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Meet Courtney (Sonni) Hughes, Senior Manager and Internal Communications at Dell Technologies

  1. Please tell us what your role is and what it entails?

I lead a world-class executive and internal communications team at Dell Technologies. I set the 360 communications strategy for the President of the Client Solutions Group and the communications team that supports the business.

  1. How did you land this position?

I earned this position after almost 10 years at Dell. I had to unlearn chasing a position and relearn chasing experiences. My ultimate goal is Chief Communications Officer, so it became more about the experiences I needed to prepare myself for that position and less about what the title was. Every experience teaches us something, so take a good look at where you need more experience and find those roles that line up with that.

  1. What does your everyday “workday” look like?

My everyday looks like managing my team and making sure I’m supporting, uplifting, coaching and getting them the experiences they need to go to the next level. It also entails owning and driving strategy and execution for key initiatives and developing content for the President: keynotes, blogs, videos, media opportunities, analyst briefings, internal channels and social/digital platforms

  1. What keeps you motivated?

My daughter, family and the responsibility I have as a leader. I’ve been broke, homeless and was a frequent on the struggle bus as I was finding my way. Those are things I will never forget. My mom made me promise a few things before she passed: To never forget where I came from, forge a new path and create opportunities for others, continue to learn and bring others up with me as I climb and be a voice for those who don’t have a seat at the table yet, even if I’m the only one.

  1. Who/what inspires your drive as a woman?

My daughter, family and close circle of friends. And to be honest, myself. I’m a firm believer that how you do anything is how you do everything and that goes for anything. Am I being myself at all times? I’ve learned to walk in my truth, regardless of what others think and embrace the power of “And”. For the longest, there was this internal struggle to choose one thing, as if two things can’t be true and hold space at the same time.

  1. What’s one important thing you’ve learned while being in your role?

I’m now in a position to be the senior leader I needed as a junior. With that in mind, going from an individual contributor to a people leader was an adjustment, not just in workload but mentally an adjustment. The most important thing I’ve learned is going from a player to a coach.

  1. If you could switch job titles with anyone in the world for one day, who would it be and why?

Man, this is a tough one. I would say Dara Treseder, Peloton’s CMO, or John Donahoe, President and CEO of Nike. Anyone who knows me knows I love Nike and Peloton.

  1. What do you think is the first word that comes to mind when others describe you? Why?

Ambitious. I’ve been a very driven person since I was little. I’m from a small town, Beckley, WV, and I’ve always had big dreams. Didn’t know how it would happen but knew if I did the work, everything would work out. Once I have a goal in mind, I map out what needs to be done and start the work. I gave up trying to do these things in my own time because God’s timing is always perfect. With God, there’s nothing I can’t do and I truly believe that.

  1. Where can our followers connect with you on social media?

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SonniDdotcom

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sonniddotcom/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sonniddotcom/

  1. Any additional information you’d like to add?

I want us to realize that we belong in the room and at the table. We need to stop minimizing our achievements by pretending they happened out of nowhere. We are worthy because you are here. We are worthy because of your dedication. We are worthy because of what we sacrificed to become who we are. Be bold, walk in that and do what you can to help others. My mother always said, “Plant the seeds even if you don’t reap the harvest” and that is something I live by.

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