As Advantage Solutions and its HOLA employee resource group (ERG) celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and the theme of “Poder together” — empowerment through unity — we are shining the spotlight on team members of Hispanic and Latine backgrounds and sharing some of their stories.
Viviana Jacquelyne Sanchez, or Jackie, is a talent advisor for Advantage Solutions’ Home Center Division. The recruiter will celebrate her sixth year with Advantage this month. Born and raised in McAllen, Texas, in what she calls the deep south — “I’m literally 10 minutes away from Mexico” — her husband and the maternal side of her family are from Monterrey, Mexico.
As part of Advantage’s Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, Sanchez shared some thoughts on HOLA, Advantage Solutions’ Hispanic and Latine employee resource group (ERG), and what’s important to her as a Mexican-American.
What aspects of your cultural heritage are you most proud of?
One thing my grandma instilled in me is community and helping each other out no matter what. My great-grandma had a little house in Mexico, one acre. But my great-grandfather built little huts behind their house for people who needed a place to live.
My grandma really instilled in me that you need to help your neighbors. You need to help other people because you don’t know their situation, and that’s a dominant theme in Hispanic culture. That everybody is here to help each other out. The good thing is when you start helping your neighbor, they become family. So the community grows, becoming a bigger family.
How do you celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month?
When I was younger, I was not interested. I was like, I’m not Hispanic. I’m not Mexican. I’m American. I don’t celebrate this month or my roots. Why I was like that I couldn’t tell you, but when I got older and realized the community that we had, the openness and care that we had for one another, it was an eye opener.
I’m not one to go all out, but Septiembre diez y cinco is a day for us to showcase our community and our love for family. My husband and I usually do very traditional Mexican cuisine. That day we’ll do menudo, a soup, and we’ll eat a lot of pan dulce or sweet bread, and it’s just us and our three kids.
What led you to take part in HOLA?
I started hearing about the ERG at a point in my career when I needed to gain more skills, especially time management. I needed to learn how to work on that. So, I decided to join HOLA because I’m Hispanic and around that time I was really trying to learn more about myself and my heritage, be more accepted and show that we are able to work together and thrive. The relationships I’ve created with other members, I would not have them if I did not join HOLA. I can count on them if I’m having a hard day, or if I’m having a good day, and I truly appreciate and love that.
How can non-Latine coworkers show support and appreciation for Hispanic Heritage Month?
Be a community. Be helpful. If you see anybody struggling, be that support system. That’s what’s going to unite us and make a community and an extended work family.
Hispanic Heritage Month is not just about one country. It’s about all of them. There’s so much diversity, but at the end of the day, we’re united as community to help each other out. That’s all we can ask of others — just help us out.
My experience with Advantage and HOLA has been phenomenal. I love the community that we have created, and I hope that we’re able to provide the support that other associates may need, Hispanic or not.