Working Day: Blanca Chavez, Talent Acquisition Specialist

Blanca Chavez studied a MSc in Human Resource Management at Kent Business School, graduating in 2017. Here, to mark Disability Awareness Month 2021, she shares a typical day in her life as a Talent Acquisition specialist at the Northwest Center, a nonprofit who help people with disabilities find work and a major partner of Amazon.

I wake up around 7am and brew myself a coffee at my city apartment in Seattle..
Food isn’t a huge thing for me in the mornings, often I am fuelled by coffee and plenty of water before lunch. I will get washed and ready for the day, scour my emails and take a meeting online if some early ones are scheduled.

I often take the Metro to work as Seattle is a busy city.

Parking is terrible near to the Amazon campus, where a lot of my work is based.  There are 40 plus offices there.  If I am at our headquarters South of the city, I drive.

My remit is staffing and training that aligns with the Northwest Center remit for Amazon

I deal with interviews, reference, and background checks, hiring manager partnerships and am a primary contact for candidates. I normally schedule around five interviews a day. Our company work with individuals with disabilities and offer them the same opportunities to grow, contribute to our society and enjoy a fulfilling life as everyone else. Interviewing candidates who often feel disregarded in terms of employment is both important and rewarding.

As a social enterprise, our mission is to provide services to people and adults with disabilities. We do this as an organisation through a variety of ways from birth to adult. The organisation two early education schools where all children eat, learn and grow regardless of disabilities. Early on, children are learning about disabilities and normalising it instead of a child being removed because they have a disability or eating needs. We also have a program where adults with disabilities are paired with a job coach and are reintegrated into the workforce with assistance from the Job Coach through our Employment Services team.

The scope is changing as we continue to partner with different organisations locally in Seattle and throughout the country.

As I feel like I function better in the morning, I usually schedule all my interviews for first thing, take a short lunch break and save my afternoons for admin tasks.

At lunch, I will either have something like hummus and veg or I will grab a takeout sandwich

Luckily, my employer is happy for me to manage my own schedule if the work is done. There’s a lot that goes into talent acquisition – from vetting and running background checks to collating and reviewing competitive job packages and I will attack these tasks all afternoon. This role is also all about communication and I try to answer every query I receive from managers and candidates.

I am a great believer in the work-life balance

I always leave the office by 5pm. I love to read, so on the commute or when I get home, I will be delving into a book, a habit I picked up in lockdown as I had a lot more time to relax. My twin sister lives close by, so she often comes over for a bite to eat and to do a puzzle or watch some TV together, the best meals are when my mum comes along and cooks her famous Mexican dishes!

To operate well at work, I need 8 hours sleep. I am usually tucked up by 10 or 11am relaxed in the knowledge I work for a company really making a difference to a community who are often underrepresented. I love my job and that is the most satisfying feeling.

Blanca studied a Masters in Human Resource Management and graduated in 2017.

Click here for more information on the Northwest Center 

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