Celebrate Hispanic Heritage month with us! We asked our Hispanic and Latino team members to reflect on their careers, accomplishments, and what Hispanic Heritage month means to them. Throughout September and October, we’ll be highlighting their answers on our blog and social media channels.
Sandra is a Service Agent III for Amplify and has been with the credit union since 2018. She has built up considerable customer service skills over her career, using those skills to help Amplify members and her community. She loves teaching, whether it’s small children or adults who are looking for sage advice. She learned her patience from her father, and combined with her teaching skills, Sandra uses her extensive financial knowledge to help everyone she talks to. With her positive attitude and her passion for teaching, she loves helping people to make the best decision for themselves.
She moved to Austin from Colorado, where she enjoyed hiking. Sandra is passionate about walking, jogging, and running: she has completed fifteen to twenty 5ks, two 10ks, the Cap 10k here in Austin, and one half marathon. She loves spending time with her two adult children, taking pride in being their mother. Her daughter D’Andra is working to become a teacher; she has the same spirit of teaching that Sandra has. Her son Ramon is an inspiring musician, inheriting his talent from several other family members who are musicians; he is self-taught and has been playing since he was fourteen.
We asked Sandra some questions surrounding her career and her thoughts on Hispanic Heritage Month.
Why did you choose your profession?
I have noticed these days they are less and less younger Hispanics who want to speak Spanish or learn it, and not because they are embarrassed—it was brought to some families that they NEEDED to speak only English to get better jobs. I believe we were one of few Hispanic families that were “forced” to speak and understand the Spanish language. My dad, who spoke Spanish and broken up English, taught me that—no matter how much he practiced his English. I needed to be there for not only him but for other Hispanic families that need assistance – not just basic help, but the best help.
I can honestly say when I started working at Amplify I was taking about 80% of the Spanish calls and then at one point I was taking 100% of the Spanish calls. Every single call, I can say they were very thankful that I spoke Spanish. I picked my profession because I love to help all people, but it gives me great pleasure to be able to speak Spanish and help the Hispanic world.
What do you love most about what you do?
I LOVE educating people and assisting them. I love to be able to help all who come across my phone, emails, or chats. Being able to assist them on what they need and educating them on the issue they may be having. I honestly, truly care about those who I speak to. I will toot my horn a bit—my work speaks what I say!
“I honestly, truly care about those who I speak to.”
What brought you to Amplify?
I love the company I work for and the people. When I moved back to Austin, I briefly worked for another credit union (which I will not name) and honestly did not approve on how they treated members. I disliked it so much that I searched online and came across Amplify, and I read about how Amplify gave back. I knew I had to take a chance and apply—but at the end of my interview it wasn’t me choosing Amplify, it was Amplify and I choosing each other. I felt like this was a great fit. The company values reminded me of the company I worked for in Colorado and the people I worked with, we meshed so well. Even now that I cannot see my co-workers and only speak to them over the phone, it’s amazing, same aura. Great people!
What’s your favorite Mexican restaurant in Austin?
In Austin, Dos Salsas or Lupe Tortilla. In Temple, where I live—Taco Bell. I’m kidding! In Temple, Tres Magueyes Cantina & Grill.
Tell us about someone Hispanic you look up to and why.
My dad! If it wasn’t for him I would not know our first language. When I spoke to him in English, he would say to me “No, no te entiendo” (He totally understood me). So I would have to talk to him in Spanish. Funny thing is, I couldn’t use that on him—when he spoke to me in Spanish, I couldn’t say “No, no dad, I don’t understand you.”
I give my dad ALL the credit for being able to speak Spanish and he was ALWAYS so helpful. He also tried to help people however he could.
Do you have a mentor?
I did, my dad was my mentor. He passed away two years ago this month. He was always trying to guide me the right direction: in life, career, relationships.
What do you wish you could tell your younger self?
This is actually a difficult question, if you really think about it. Well, I would dislike saying that I would change certain things, because then I feel like that would change certain things in my life. BUT if I really had to say something—don’t be gullible and continue my college education.
Any advice to young Hispanics who want to succeed in your field, industry, or just in general?
Life isn’t easy sometimes, or fair. Don’t forget your parents’ parents and how hard it was for them to get us to where we are.
“Don’t forget your parents’ parents and how hard it was for them to get us to where we are.”
HARD WORK, NEVER GIVE UP, and be honest to others and most importantly, be honest to yourself.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
If you are fighting to get up to go to work, then it’s not for you. You need to be able to be happy, not only in life but in your career. I AM HAPPY AND I LOVE MY JOB!
How are you breaking barriers faced by Hispanics in your field?
Sadly, I feel like I don’t do enough. I look at some of our Hispanic world and cannot compare an ounce to what Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, and oh my goodness, Ellen Ochoa have done. I just spread my words to those who are struggling as Hispanics (really all people) not to give up, there will always be hills, mountains, and hurdles. The encouragement of positivity and have faith in yourself and God.
What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?
THE ADULT BEVERAGES, GREAT FOOD, dancing. I am kidding! Well, it has some, but most of all to celebrate and recognize the achievements of Hispanic Americans who have inspired us—Cesar Chavez, Sonia Sotomayor, and oh my goodness, Ellen Ochoa.
Supporting Our Team
Join us over the next few weeks as we continue to celebrate and highlight more of our team members. We invite you to listen, share, and support them!