Skip To Content

Celebrating ESL Employees During Hispanic Heritage Month:
Arline Santiago

October 2021

In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, we would like to introduce you to several ESL employees who took the time to share thoughts about their unique career journey here at ESL. Their stories are an inspiration to us all, and we are proud of their accomplishments! Once you learn more about them, learn more about our continued commitment to creating and maintaining a diverse workplace that provides equitable growth opportunities for all employees.

Meet Arline L. Santiago, Senior VP, General Counsel, and Director, Legal

Why do you think it’s important for companies and their employees to recognize and celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month?

What makes companies great is the people behind them. By recognizing the uniqueness that each employee brings and learning about our different backgrounds and cultures, we learn to value and appreciate different perspectives. It is the ability to see things in a different way that allows companies to adapt, grow, and be stronger. Like many other ethnicities, Latinos have been part of the fabric of the United States since before it became a country, by recognizing and celebrating those contributions and our commonalities, we all grow stronger.

Tell us about your current role at ESL.

I had the privilege of joining ESL in June 2008 as Senior Vice President and General Counsel. Since that time, my team and responsibilities have grown to encompass a diverse array of areas (including oversight of the legal, compliance, audit, physical security, and facilities teams), as well as a wide range of subject matters (from real estate acquisition, business continuity, to governance, just to name a few). As a result of those responsibilities I’ve had the pleasure of working with individuals throughout our organization and learning about the great diversity of work and people that make ESL successful.

Everyone has their own unique career journey. Share something unique about your own career experiences.

I started my legal career as a litigator—a lawyer who gets called in to help when something has already gone wrong. Although I truly enjoyed that work as it gave me some great skillsets and experiences, over the years I came to recognize that I love helping people avoid getting into trouble or going down the wrong road. By joining a company’s legal team, I realized that I could help people avoid trouble, and I could help them build a successful company with minimal legal issues. Helping build a strategy and successfully see that strategy come to life—that is exciting. Just think about it, we get to be part of the team that helps ESL bring its Purpose to life—now that is rewarding!

"The best opportunities for both personal and career growth have come through a willingness to learn."

What has provided the best opportunities for career growth?

For me, the best opportunities for both personal and career growth have come through a willingness to learn. I tend to be a naturally curious person who loves to learn—be it from books or from the many really smart people that I’m lucky enough to work with. So that’s always helped me grow.

What career advice would you offer to those starting out?

Don’t be afraid to take on challenging assignments. I often quote a former boss who, whenever he was assigning something that he felt was going to be hard, would say—what a wonderful learning opportunity. The first time I heard him say that I thought—what is he talking about, this is just going to be hard. In retrospect, I realize he was so right. It is in those challenging opportunities that you learn the most about yourself and those around you. Those moments that make you stretch beyond what you perceive to be your strengths and capabilities, let you see your own potential. It is in those moments that you learn the most.

"Don’t be afraid to take on challenging assignments."

Has ESL provided support to help you manage your career? Have you taken advantage of any of the learning & development options available to employees?

ESL offers so many great opportunities to help us grow professionally. I’ve taken advantage of both our “in class” programs as well as our Munch and Learn sessions! If you haven’t participated in any of those options, I encourage you to take five minutes, review all of the offerings, and commit to develop yourself! It is so special to work for a company that has a strong learning and development team and culture—make sure you make the most of the opportunities provided!

What is your favorite part of working at ESL?

This is the easiest question to answer—I love ESL because of its people! Even without any awards or recognition, this is truly a great place to work!