L.E.K. recognizes and celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month. San Francisco Senior Associate Sabrina Kuta provides insight into her background, her perspective on Hispanic Heritage Month, the role of identity in her career and her favorite aspects of her culture.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your cultural heritage?
My Hispanic heritage is a mix of both Cuban and Spanish cultures, as my mom was born in Cuba and then moved to Spain before settling down in the U.S. I’m originally from Los Gatos, California, which is between the Santa Cruz Mountains and San Jose, and I attended nearby Stanford University. My mother always stressed the importance of family when I was growing up, which influenced my decision to attend Stanford.
What brought you to L.E.K.?
I studied biology with a concentration in neuroscience for my bachelor’s and master’s degrees; I’m naturally a curious person and enjoyed the dynamic lab environment, which made consulting work very attractive to me. In particular, L.E.K.’s strong Life Sciences sector immediately intrigued me.

What does National Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?
The meaning of Hispanic Heritage Month is twofold for me. From a big-picture standpoint, the month serves to honor the diversity of the Hispanic and Latin community and raises awareness of the Hispanic and Latin contributions to American society. From a more personal point of view, this month is also about my journey to reclaim my heritage. I used to feel insecure about my Hispanic roots, especially after an incident in elementary school when a classmate told me that speaking Spanish was “stupid.” This experience made me feel ashamed of my heritage for years. In the past decade, though, I’ve come to realize the importance of knowing where one comes from and being proud of one’s culture. Hispanic Heritage Month reminds me of this journey. 

What are some of your family’s traditions?
I wouldn’t say we have traditions specifically for Hispanic Heritage Month, but my family does celebrate year-round traditions with Hispanic origins. For example, we celebrate Three Kings’ Day, eat 12 grapes at midnight on New Year’s Eve and cook léchon for Christmas. Many of the traditions we participate in are a mix of Cuban and Spanish influences, due to my mom’s upbringing in both Cuba and Spain.

How has your identity played a role in your career trajectory?
Although my career trajectory has just begun, I do find myself considering the importance of family when making career choices. I’ve always wanted to stay close to my family. My career is not solely mine; I want to balance familial considerations and career ambitions.

What are your favorite parts of your culture?
The two aspects of my culture that I hold dear are cooking and music. I aspire to cook like my mom, who has an uncanny ability to remember recipes by heart and know exactly what ingredients are needed for the perfect dish. Dance and music have also been a significant part of my life, and I can’t imagine a life without them. I have fond memories of dancing as a child to classic merengue and salsa songs alongside my sister. Throughout my life, I’ve taken various dance classes, from classical ballet to hip-hop and salsa. My taste in music has also been heavily influenced by my culture. I love the fusion of Latin beats with electronic house music. Music and dance are integral parts of who I am and what I enjoy in life.