“When we start questioning, and a lot of new things come up, we do research, we create presentations, we provide information, and we make ourselves better. Then we know what questions to ask next.”
From the time she was old enough to join the workforce, Silvia Herrera started dipping her toes into potential career streams, absorbing experiences, gaining exposure, deepening people skills, and adapting to various work climates and personalities. While she went to school to become an English teacher, she bounced around in various waitressing gigs, tried her hand in other roles in the food service industry, and then worked in customer service at a call center.
She was still at that call center when her previous supervisor, Pablo—who had since gone to work for VMBC—asked if she would be interested in joining him. The two had built a close, sibling-like relationship, complete with bickering and making up.
“He yells at me, I yell at him, we ignore each other for awhile, and then we get over it,” Silvia laughs.
The trust she placed in Pablo, coupled with her desire for work that would be fulfilling and dynamic, made the choice easy: Silvia took the plunge and accepted a role at VMBC.
The combination of VMBC’s culture and team structure felt inviting and secure—she soon began to sense that the company was a place she could see herself long-term, a place worth her time and energy. Now, seven years after coming aboard, her voice trembles with emotion when she talks about her team.
“It is not a specific job or task that I’m proud of—it’s the team that we build. With my team, there is this path toward growing. We are encouraged to study new things, try new projects, and explore new leadership roles, so we can have an active role in our career path here.”
Though Silvia has always been on the operational side of the company, organizing business with VMBC’s largest client, TracFone, she often finds herself diffusing across several departments throughout the day.
If you ask her what she “does for work,” she will probably smile, knowing that the answer she gives you could vary from day to day, and even hour to hour. Maybe she spends part of her time with client calls or working with VMBC’s quality assurance team to ensure everything is trickling down the brook smoothly. Maybe she is serving her team with operational coaching or training, assessing feedback from customers and clients, guiding e-learning courses, stepping in to delegate and resolve unplanned glitches. Whatever she is doing, she has learned that the most important skill to acquire when working in a team, aside from commitment, is versatility. Silvia is certain that it’s a gift to have learned this so early in her career.
She has bobbed and weaved across different team structures, held various leadership roles, and continues to be presented with new opportunities within the company. She has participated and advocated for continuing education courses for her team, making sure to stay up to speed with the latest technologies and programs.
“I asked for Excel courses for my team recently, and I’ve started holding organizational coaching for other team members. When you’re not in school, you forget how great it is to study and learn new things. You won’t find this opportunity everywhere.”
Over the last year, VMBC has undergone a sizeable shift in the name of growth, and Silvia and her team have accepted the challenge. It’s been a time to sharpen their skills, adapt to new faces and working styles, continue to make deadlines, and still take pride in the quality of their work. She’s sure that every company grows up at some point, and these growing pains are natural. One thing that her team has learned to master during this transitional period is how to ask great questions.
“We don’t know everything, and that’s a good thing,” Silvia says. “When we start questioning, and a lot of new things come up, we do research, we create presentations, we provide information, and we make ourselves better. Then we know what questions to ask next.”
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