You know, growing up, it never once crossed my mind to become a real estate agent. I remember wanting to be a teacher.
Both of my parents worked tirelessly, going to work every single work day without complaint. My mom worked in housekeeping at a resort, my dad works in automotive collision repair. They always stressed to get an education, stay in school. That would lead to a good paying job. It was one of the main reasons that they moved our family to the United States from Mexico. Opportunity.
I was a senior in high school when I was offered my first job. The job was working in the marketing department at SRP. Senior year I had class in the morning, went home for lunch, then off to SRP. My mentor there, Margaret Burt, taught me so much about office procedures, office programs, and most importantly, inter-personal relationship skills in the workplace. It was a great place for a first job. It paid more than minimum wage and I got to work in a beautiful, air conditioned building with awesome views of Papago Park. For a high school senior, it was pretty exciting.
Even though it was in an office, the tasks I was given did not have me tied to a desk. Which I later learned kind of drives me crazy…the being tied to a desk deal. They had wanted to hire me on permanently once I graduated from high school. However, my college schedule was all over the place so I had to decline that offer.
My Temp Job Years
I attended Arizona State University in Tempe, not far from where I lived in South Phoenix. My first year I worked on campus with the Hispanic Mother/Daughter Program. This was a great job. We worked to show young ladies that attending college is an attainable goal. Just because their parents had not had the opportunity did not mean that they couldn’t make this a goal for themselves.
This was a very familiar topic. I was the first one in my family to go to college, to even graduate from high school. My parents had to start working at a young age to help their families. And they would remind us kids of that whenever we complained about having to go to school!
I worked a lot of different office temp jobs while in college. My course schedule made it difficult to incorporate a regular work schedule. One job was answering phones in a call center, and oh how I hated it! Even though it was unpleasant work for me, I did my best. I remember my mom saying this to me on several occasions. No matter what your job is, be the best that you can be.
Opportunity at Emery Worldwide
My senior year I started working part-time at an air freight transportation company, Emery Worldwide. I did data entry of domestic airbills that came in every night, generated end of shift reports, answered calls, all sorts of things would come up. It definitely kept me on my toes. I liked the variety of tasks and not having to be at a desk the entire time.
Now, even though I had been in college for a while, I still had a huge, burning question. What would I do with my life once I graduated? Nothing seemed to be calling my name.
I started college with a major in accounting, then switched to engineering….all the while minoring in Spanish. Even though it is my first language, I was not proficient in writing it. And to me, that was just plain embarrassing. To this day, though, if I don’t continue to practice speaking and writing it, I stumble over my words.
When I started at Emery, I still had many courses left to finish my degree. It felt like graduation was so far away! After a few months at Emery, they offered me a full-time position. Swing shift, which worked out great with my class schedule. One of the benefits offered was reimbursement for any college courses that I took.
I was intrigued. See, my tuition was currently being paid by an Academic Regents Scholarship. I earned that by graduating in the top 2% of my high school class. It covered four years of tuition at any of the three in-state universities provided that I keep up my grades. Without it, I would not have had the opportunity to get a college education right after high school.
Now I’m in my fourth year and I’m conflicted about continuing in engineering. I had about three semesters left in my course plan. Plus, in order to finish my engineering degree or any other degree, I would have to start paying out of my own pocket. How was I going to afford that? My parents did not have any money saved for my college expenses. I was not taught to save money, either. It was something that I learned later on.
Finishing college and saying Yes to the class
After finishing my eighth semester, I took some time off. After mulling it over, I decided I really did want to earn a degree, any degree. In my mind I wanted a validation for having spent so many hours in a classroom. I wanted to make my parents proud. With the reimbursement program that Emery offered, I went back part-time to ASU. I elected to switch my major to Spanish with the intent of starting an interpreting/translation business when I graduated. Something that is very handy in this region of the country.
After I graduated, I was enjoying the logistics and transportation line of work so much that I stayed there for a few years. Spanish did come in handy communicating with our branch offices in Mexico.
By now I am in my late twenties, just kind of wandering through life. A friend invited me to join her at real estate school. Something that was not even on my radar. I was clueless about sales and real estate.
I figured, sure, why not? This was in late 2005. There was a lot of fraud and mis-representation going on in the Spanish speaking community in regards to real estate. I thought, well, maybe I can make a difference if I move into this line of work.
Real Estate Agent in South Phoenix
Fast forward to today and I will be celebrating my 13th year in real estate in April of 2019. I can not articulate how much I have grown in this industry. When I started, I made A LOT of business mistakes. It was all part of my learning process. Each day, I continue to grow in my business, self-improvement, and relationships. I have made some great friends, met some amazing people. People that I admire tremendously and that continue to teach me new things every day. The learning process is never ending. Growth and change are constant.
As a result, I have the pleasure of helping my clients through what is potentially the biggest sale or purchase of their life. It’s a very big deal! So far, I think I made the right choice. Who would have thought that saying yes to taking a class would have such a big impact on my future? Not only that, but I feel that all my past jobs have contributed in some way to my success in real estate. All of my past choices have led me to the life I have now.
Is there something in your past that at the time seemed like a small event but turned out to totally change the trajectory of your life? I would love to hear about it.