We are so pleased to introduce Velarie, one of our Talent Sourcers! Velarie joined our team in June, and we can't imagine our Talent Acquisition team without her. Velarie is a Filipina American woman, and since October is Filipino American History month, we wanted to take this opportunity to learn more about her heritage and the role it plays in her life.
MJ: Give us a quick overview of your career thus far and how you got to Simplicity!
Velarie: After starting out as an administrative assistant and doing that for awhile, I started to feel stuck - I was looking for my next step, and more opportunity for growth. Human resources had always appealed to me, but I wasn't sure how to make the transition. I considered going back to school to study human resources, but instead I decided to join the Air Force Reserve - of course, with the goal of becoming an HR specialist. I started by getting more active on LinkedIn. I followed a lot of recruiters, and I would see them talking about their day-to-day responsibilities and how they really enjoy what they do - it sounded like a perfect fit, but again, I wasn't sure how to get started. Fortunately, I found Career Dash, which offers a great recruiting program that covers everything that you need to know, from interviewing to meeting with hiring managers to get experience, and so on. Through that program, I gained the confidence to put myself out there and network! It was in a Facebook group for folks looking for jobs in where I saw a post from LaShunte - Simplicity was looking for a Talent Sourcer! I connected with her on LinkedIn and sent her a message, and from there, it kind of took off.
MJ: Wow, that is an amazing career journey. Tell me a little bit about that first conversation with LaShunte.
Velarie: We met briefly, and she told me all about Simplicity. Just from that initial conversation, I was eager to learn more. I decided to browse Simplicity’s website to learn a little more about the company. The first thing that stood out to me was that a majority of the HQ staff was female, and I found this to be very comforting. In my previous jobs, I felt like I had to hide certain aspects of my life, particularly the fact that I was a mother and that I had responsibilities outside of work because of my children. During my interview process, I met with several Simplicity HQ staff members who are also mothers and I realized that I could potentially be working with individuals that I have a lot in common with. It just felt right.
MJ: Oh, I love that. Going back to your career journey, I know you mentioned being in the military. Are you currently active military?
Velarie: Yes, I am, but I'm not on active duty. I am in the Air Force Reserve. I report to base a few times a year for annual training; I've been doing that for three years and I have a six-year contract.
MJ: Before joining Simplicity, did you know anything about consulting? Or was it a new concept for you when you first joined?
Velarie: To be honest, I didn't really know what it was until I investigated it by researching Simplicity and learned more about the concept. I've done contract roles myself before, but I had never heard of the term consultant. Once I learned about it, the term consulting really started to click for me. There are plenty of people out there who are experts in a particular field, and just being able to join certain projects and get that experience in different places makes sense. It offers flexibility and you aren’t stuck in one place. So, it's a fascinating concept. It's the new world of work.
MJ: I love that you were able to learn about consulting through learning about Simplicity! What's been a pleasant surprise with working at Simplicity? Or maybe something you weren't expecting?
Velarie: I would say the amount of support that everyone gives each other has been the most pleasant surprise. That is something that truly amazes to me. I've never worked at a company or had colleagues where I felt like I had unconditional support. This same level of support is also passed on to the consultants. As a Talent Sourcer, it makes me feel good to know the consultants and potential consultants I bring in will have a great candidate experience meeting with my other colleagues such as the Talent Managers and Client Success Managers.
MJ: So, I want to acknowledge that October is Filipino American History Month and I’m aware you are Filipina. I would love to hear about your heritage and how it plays a role in your life.
Velarie: Both my parents are Filipino and were born in the Philippines. I was born here in the United States, but I’ve always made an effort to stay in touch with my Filipino heritage. My grandparents taught me the language and made traditional Filipino food for me as often as possible. I’ve always known that I want to give that same experience to my children. I hope that by speaking to them in Tagalog, which is the national language of the Philippines, and introducing them to traditional Filipino food, they will form a relationship with the Filipino culture like I did at a young age. I also decided to study aboard in the Philippines during my freshman year of college. During my time there, I was able to truly enjoy the culture and spend more time with my grandparents, who moved back after they retired. It was an experience I will never forget!
MJ: That’s amazing, thank you for sharing that! How has being a Filipino American played a role in your relationship with your work?
Velarie: Throughout my entire career, as a Filipino American woman, I’ve always looked for companies that truly value diversity. That's something that stuck out with me with Simplicity, specifically Simplicity’s Diversity Pledge. I love the overall goal of wanting to close the network gap and the Diversity Pledge is such a great way of doing so. With my role as a Talent Sourcer, we are focused on finding diverse talent, it’s all tied together. I love being able to present opportunities to people with different cultures because I find it to be so important to work with people who come from different backgrounds.