We’re pleased to announce of this month’s Handshake Honor Roll 2022 winner: Sharon Garcia, Vice President, Talent Acquisition, Echo Global Logistics 🎉
Sharon has built an incredible career in talent acquisition, her passion and commitment to increasing DEI and recruiting early talent are reflected in her and her team’s accomplishments at Echo Global Logistics. In the interview below, Sharon shares highlights of her role, how her personal career journey and family continue to drive and inspire her work, and valuable advice for today’s recent grads.
⭐️ Bonus! Did you know Echo Global Logistics has been honored as a 2022 Early Talent Award Winner? We’re thrilled to celebrate their win and the strides Sharon and the team have made in cultivating amazing experiences for interns and early talent! Read more about their win here.
What was your first job outside of college and how’d you find it?
My first job out of college was with a boutique healthcare market research company based in downtown Chicago. I was recruited on campus at a career event. I knew nothing about the industry, but a recruiter sold me on the opportunity, the company, and the location. It was an easy yes to the opportunity, especially after I came in for the interview and got a feel for the people and the company.
Why are you passionate about recruiting early talent or increasing DEI?
Increasing DEI and recruiting early talent will shape the future of the workforce, and it’s exciting to be part of ushering in a new wave of talent that is already changing workplaces in so many positive ways. I guess I would say that this passion comes from my personal journey. Being a first-generation immigrant and the first in my family to graduate from college, I didn’t have a lot of guidance or the network to help me navigate or figure out how I was going to land an internship or my first corporate job. The guidance we got from career centers and student organizations I belonged to was helpful, but not as impactful as getting real-time coaching and guidance from someone that’s lived through it nor is it as powerful as knowing a handful of people that can refer you to a job at their company. My passion for DEI and recruiting early talent comes from my own life experiences and understanding that we don’t all start off with the same resources, and it’s important to design recruiting strategies and programs that take those things into consideration and work towards a more equitable process.
How did you land in your current role? What’s your favorite part of the job?
I learned about my role from someone I used to work with. She accepted a new role outside of the company, thought I’d be a good candidate to replace her, and the rest is history.
I took this role because of the opportunity to take our work and our team to the next level. I would say that is one of the things I enjoy most is being able to make a difference in things that matter. Not only do I get to work on fun things like recruiting, but I also get to be part of building and shaping the employee experience through our business resource groups. Whether it’s Women at Echo or Echo Families, I really enjoy connecting with my co-workers on a different level whether it’s connecting on our shared experiences, cheering each other on, or doing the work in making sure all employees feel seen and feel a sense of belonging. I love that I get to work on things that I’m professionally and personally passionate about.
What are some accomplishments you’re particularly proud of this year?
The market has served up challenge after challenge this past year so it’s been tough for the team to have to constantly shift some of the best laid out plans to keep up and compete for talent. I’m extremely proud of what my team has been able to accomplish this year in spite of all the things they’ve been up against. I feel extremely lucky to work alongside a smart, dynamic, and resilient group of people. I’m also extremely proud of my campus recruiting team for all the work they’ve done to win the Handshake Early Talent Award. It’s pretty incredible how much the campus team does to recruit some of the best recent grads and how hard they hustle to get to that end goal, all while making the experience memorable whether it’s through recruiting or as an intern. It brings a smile to my face to see my team level up and succeed!
Who are the people you turn to for inspiration?
This is a tough one for me because my sources of inspiration come from a variety of things and people depending on what I really need. Lately, my consistent source of inspiration comes from my favorite Peloton instructor, Robin Arzon, because she’s a mom who sees and understands parent struggles and she’s the ultimate hype woman! Given the stressful climate that recruiting has been these days, I’ve had to carve a space of daily inspiration to get me through what can be some long and tough days. Not only am I focused on my own health and well-being during one of her classes, but I’m also getting my daily 15 minutes of inspiration through her mental, emotional, and physical coaching. Additionally, I consistently lean on my family and my “cheer squad” as a source of inspiration. My parents worked extremely hard to position me for success in life, and I witnessed them face some pretty tough circumstances and thrive. It fuels my will to overcome and succeed in life. They had it much tougher than I do, and that helps me reframe the challenges I’m against as small resolvable issues.
What advice would you offer to today’s jobseekers? Particularly new graduates entering the workforce for the first time.
Capitalize on all the opportunities to grow, develop, and achieve within your own role before you lay eyes on the next role. The process of growing, developing, and achieving within your current role will help you land your next role and set you up for success once you’re in it. Trust the process.
As early as you can, start building your “cheer squad,” the network of people who will support and advocate for you throughout your career. Get good at forging and building relationships, the return in that investment in others is a gift that will keep giving.
And lastly, harness the positivity and the power within you. Work and life will throw you a lot of curveballs. You don’t have to be a victim of those circumstances. What you do to react to those circumstances will make all the difference. Recognize the good that came from it, pay close attention to the lessons you can learn, adjust, and do better tomorrow.