On Growing Up

I grew up as the youngest child of 5 in a close-knit family. Born in Santa Barbara, my family moved to San Jose when I was 2 years old, and most of my formative years were spent either at school, on a pool deck, or doing some kind of activity with my siblings.

After graduating high school, I returned to Santa Barbara to attend college — after 16 years of hearing my family talk about how amazing it was to grow up there, I wanted to experience it for myself. It was here that I decided I wanted to dedicate my professional life to helping others, and I would go on to major in Sociology and Public Service. 

On Breaking Into Tech

My path to the tech world was certainly not a linear one. Prior to graduating from college, I had already established a solid career foundation with my employer, the YMCA, and was offered a full-time position with clear room for growth. As an avid fan of the organization, I did not consider other opportunities and was very grateful to come on board!

After some years with the team in Santa Barbara, I was promoted to a position based in Cupertino, and this is where I was exposed to the tech industry (with Apple certainly having an outsized influence). Unbeknownst to me at the time, I started my recruiting career here — on a daily basis, I was recruiting new members, volunteers, or staff members.

Eventually, in 2015, I found myself in a position where I could either continue my career with the YMCA by moving down to San Diego or, join a tech-based marketing company to assist with a data-integrity project similar to one I had experience with. After breaking down the many pros and cons of both options, I opted for the latter.

On Career Insights

I owe my career and successful transition to the tech industry to my network and recruiting agencies. A friend from college had shared that they leveraged recruiting agencies to gain their initial experience in the tech industry, and this opened my eyes to a range of opportunities that I had previously been unexposed to. 

If it were not for the assistance of these agencies, I’m not sure I would have successfully landed in the tech industry — in addition to not having the most traditional resume for an entry-level position in tech, during the few times I managed to earn an interview, I struggled to confidently convey how my experience in the non-profit realm would translate to the tech industry.

After a couple of years of working in various operational roles, I realized I wasn’t fully content. Although I loved the tech industry, I no longer felt like I was helping people to the extent I had at the start of my career. 
It was at this time that a colleague shared their amazing experiences with the recruiters at an agency I was unfamiliar with — Premier Talent Partners. I met with their recruiting team, and they demonstrated the similarities between recruiting and my experience and passion for helping people. I ended up joining their internal team, and it was here that I was taught the ropes of recruiting and particularly came to enjoy the outbound function of talent sourcing.

With this experience under my belt, I was able to gain two distinct opportunities: a year-long contract with Google to support executive referral hiring or a full-time sourcing position with an exciting start-up named Segment. I chose the latter, and this is how I first met Natasha, Amplify’s Head of Talent.

On Working with Amplify

My job at Amplify is to assist founders and early-stage hiring managers in identifying and engaging the best talent for their team. Sometimes, especially in early-stage companies, there is ambiguity as to what is needed in a position and the number of available candidates that match that description. I work with these teams to identify what characteristics are necessary for their new hires and then identify how many prospective candidates meet those specifications.

From there, the challenge is to successfully convince those prospective candidates not just to have a conversation with us but for us to fully convey the value behind the product and mission to them. As a Sourcer, the majority of people I reach out to are not considering making a job change at that time, but when successful, I am able to identify if & when they might be ready to make a move (or if they know other people in their professional network that we should consider!).

On Recruiting Advice

Just as you are always selling yourself, you are also always recruiting for your team. Every conversation, interaction, and engagement has the potential to have an outsized impact on your team’s future success. 

As a hiring manager, it is easy to be excited about what you are doing & building, but that is not always going to be apparent to a prospective candidate. Further, even if that candidate does have an interest in what your team is doing, they won’t necessarily be interested in leaving their current position.

In order to engage the best talent, you need to be transparent and open with them about why you are reaching out to them, specifically. You are asking them for a favor — to give you time out of their day to learn about what you are doing and provide their thoughts. 

Even if they are not directly interested in joining your team (at that time), they are still able to provide invaluable information as a subject matter expert on your product, team, and vision. Additionally, they may have other great people in their network to suggest for those roles you’re working on!

On Life Outside of Work

Outside of work, I enjoy physical activities such as backpacking in Big Sur, bike riding, or visiting the local gym, in addition to hanging out outdoors with friends and family throughout the Bay Area. Things haven’t been as exciting during quarantine, but I’m very grateful for all the unique neighborhoods and attractions located throughout the city that can be enjoyed by simply going on an urban adventure.