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Black in Tech

Erika Curry

Erika Curry

At CSC, you always have the opportunity to spread your wings.

What’s your current title and how long have you been with CSC?

I’m the service team leader of the Small Business Unit side of Corporate Legal Services (CLS), and I’ve been with CSC for eight years.

What has your career path looked like in tech?

I was an entry-level customer service phone rep with the Small Business Unit when I started in 2015. But I’ve done a lot of different things since then.

At CSC, you always have the opportunity to spread your wings. I spent a lot of time on the phone at the beginning of my CSC career, and I started doing some backend functions for the same team, making sure due dates were met for all the companies under I moved over to the larger business side, where all the Fortune 500 companies sit within CSC. I did support for them, drafting contracts, pulling the forms for big companies we have, and making sure the companies were staying in compliance. From there, I moved into order processing for the Fortune 500 as well, not just the support but actually ensuring their filings were completed. And from there, I moved into leadership roles. I moved back to as a workflow coordinator; then as a coach, and now, I’m a team leader.

I advanced because I told my leaders I was ready for something more. My hands always have to stay busy, and my mind has to stay busy as well. I like a challenge all the time. And I think my leaders saw that. During my CSR days, my leader said we were switching systems, and they wanted me to be the subject matter expert. They told me I was always helping figure out what’s working and what’s not. They put me in meetings when new technology was rolling out. When I changed roles, some of it was people saying, “This will be good for you. We need someone good here who understands the technology and the role.” And I moved from position to position that way.

What inspired you to get into tech?

I was always the subject matter expert for most of the technology changes when I was a service representative. Even as I moved to the different customer service positions that I held, I was always so intrigued by making the fixes, being almost like an analyst. When I found that niche, it was like an “aha” moment because I was originally going to college to study business, and I realized tech was more my speed. That’s when it dawned on me that I wanted to be in technology.

I’m now an applied technology major with a minor in data analytics as well as data visualization. I’m scheduled to graduate in December 2023 from Wilmington University.

I never thought about being in technology because I thought it was all zeros and ones, and that wasn’t necessarily what I wanted to do. It wasn’t until I was at CSC that I realized there was more to technology than just programming. I realized there’s a vast number of careers and opportunities, and that’s when I really started exploring the technology realm.

What are the responsibilities of your current position?

Every day is definitely different working in customer service. I’m either on the floor helping people, or I’m in meetings. We’re getting new technology soon, so sometimes the meetings can be longer than normal. Some days I’m actually working still as a customer service rep because I want to help my team out. If we’re particularly busy with phone calls or emails, I jump in and help wherever I can. But most of my day now as a leader is spent making sure the team is being taken care of in decisionmaking meetings.

What has contributed to your success so far at CSC?

Hard work, dedication, and leadership believing in me. They see I’m always willing to take on a new challenge, and they’re always giving me new challenges to conquer. I got into leadership through the usual stepping-stone path here at CSC. You’re in workflow, then you’re a coach, and you see how that goes before becoming a team lead. And that’s why I’m now a leader of approximately four teams. I try to contribute to others’ success and accept any challenge that comes my way.

Have you faced any obstacles as a Black professional in your career journey?

Yes and no. Everyone must work hard to get where they want to be in life and their career. As a Black woman, I felt I was working harder to get where I am today. At times I felt there were positions I didn’t get or may have been overlooked for, but I always like to think that maybe I just wasn’t ready at that time.

I’ve been here for eight years and in leadership only for the last two and a half years. Was I ready? I’m not necessarily sure, but I am now. That’s how I look at it.

What initiatives are you involved in at CSC that support diversity, equity, and inclusion?

I’m one of the leads of the Black Employee Network. I usually handle the roundtable events but love to pitch in where I can. We have one every quarter, and it’s usually an open forum where we talk about different things going on. This year there was one on Black history and another on Juneteenth. We have a group of leaders who love to bring awareness and provide a safe space for CSC colleagues to share their experiences. I love the education and sense of belonging this brings to everyone.

What advice would you give to other Black professionals who are interested in a tech career?

Go for it. Don’t think you’re not good enough. There’s more out there than just programming if that’s too intimidating. Take a leap of faith. I saw a saying on LinkedIn that stated, “I want to do this, but I’m scared. Then do it scared! Doing it scared is better than not doing it at all.”

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