How did you start at Sitel?
I started working in call centers since I was in college. I was working in another call center when some people who worked with me heard about this company called Sitel; they were recruiting in the small building next door. So, I decided to give it a try and I went to their website where I found out SITEL was indeed a very big Company. My first impression was that the company was truly Worldwide and that in itself ignited my drive to give it a try and gauge whether or not I had what it took to be part of it.
Which are the biggest challenges that you have faced?
The first challenge that I had to face was English. When I started here seven years ago my English was not at the level it is now and we didn’t have the Free Language Improvement Program that we have now, so I had to just practice on my own.
The second challenge was working for a Worldwide model. I came across a whole new world of rules, regulations and procedures which are set by the company and that each employee has to adjust to. This was completely different as compared to the Nicaraguan traditional organization; just to give one pure example is the fact of not having a weekend off like most people do in this country, but it just take a little time to adjust to that.
The third one, when you move on in the company and start dealing with people, I had to learn to deal and manage many personalities because everybody is different and the company itself is a small world, so not everybody can be treated the same way.
How Sitel has helped you to grow as a professional?
My major was business in la UCA, so you see a lot of things like human resource, psychology, and economics. When you are there you don’t really know if you are going to use everything, but Sitel gave me the chance to work in everything that I learned in my major, especially in dealing with people and conflict resolution in the business realm. Sitel gave me chance to go beyond answering phone calls which it’s how everybody started. And it gave me the chance to apply all my knowledge and grow along my journey performing on different positions.
How did you become a site director?
I started as an agent in April 2008 and it was the second wave, Sitel was very new here and after that I decided to apply for coach position, but I was very new so I was rejected, after that I stayed on the phone, then I moved to the mentor position. As a mentor, you are still an agent but you are helping others and then I did apply for supervisor again, and guess what, I got it this time. I did that for about a year and then I started helping my Operations Manager with additional tasks. Then, there was an opening for an Operations Manager position so I applied for that position as well and I got it and then learnt a lot and move to the next level which is Senior Operations Manager. In this position, I overlooked an entire account and then thanks to my performance I got promoted to Site Director and now I have responsibilities over both floors at Invercasa, currently 2 campaigns but soon 3.
What would you say to Sitel´s employees or people who want to apply at Sitel?
1. Don’t be afraid and that goes for speaking English, not everybody is perfect and people will correct you but you need to appreciate it and learn from that, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and don’t be afraid to take chances. I don’t think I was ready to be a manager but I still went for it and learned from it, and did well.
2. Always be on time something that for me is extremely important. When a person arrives late, it affects the whole team. So always be punctual!
3. Always try to have fun, when I started here I got that advice from someone who is now the vice president of operations in Colombia and he said ‘always try to have fun’. As you grow in the company, the tasks and responsibilities might sometimes get stressful and that is precisely why you need to try to have fun, look at the bright side and try to enjoy things and so you can pass that positive vibe not only to the customer but everybody who surrounds you.