Talent Champion – Ariel Knight

Talent Champion Spotlight

AEF Talent Champion - Ariel Knight

Ariel Knight
Vice President, Human Resources
Mastercard

Ariel Knight currently holds the position of vice president, human resources at Mastercard, based at their global headquarters in Westchester County, New York. She has a strong background in various industries, having worked at companies such as PepsiCo, Lockheed Martin and Procter & Gamble in various HR leadership positions across the USA and internationally. 

What prompted you to get involved with the AEF and why are you passionate about the future of the industry?

I got involved with the AEF as a member of the ANA. In my current role as the HR leader for Mastercard’s Marketing function, it was imperative that we connect with leaders in similar organizations to benchmark and share best practices. As I think about the evolution of not only the function, during times like we have experienced in 2020 further reiterates the importance of how to stay competitive and ensure a dedicated focus on developing talent.

What is the best career advice you've ever received?

“You’re allowed 5 emotional minutes a day, then you gotta be gangsta.”

Who was your favorite professor and why?

Favorite Professor was Dr. Zenephia Evans from Purdue University. She was my biology professor, and not only was she wicked smart, but I was super inspired to see a Black professor leading the department. Representation matters.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy most the transformation of the Human Resources function. I’ve been in Human Resources 10+ years now and each year we continue to be more strategic, more thought leaders, and consistently get the opportunity to be the change agents – perfect example is the chaos of 2020.

"I can honestly say that I learned more in 30 minutes than I learned in 8 weeks of this marketing course."
— Student at Villanova University after AEF sent Speaker from Tierney