The String and Key Crew: Carlos Garcia
As part of our ongoing employee spotlight series, we’ll be profiling colleagues who inspire us. Today, meet Carlos Garcia.
Company Role: Talent Acquisition Specialist
Most likely to: Get free cake by telling a server it’s a friends birthday
Secret talent: Master organizer (like Marie Kondo)
The latest addition to our S&K team has had many career aspirations. As a kid in the Boogie Down Bronx (where he still lives), he had dreams of becoming an anime illustrator, inspired by classic series like Sailor Moon or Dragon Ball Z. In high school, he wanted to join the NYPD after being involved in the 49th Precinct’s Explorer Program. As an adult, he did everything from human resources, to education, career counselor, and other industries that all tied back to working with people. Finally, earlier this year, our Head of People, Alex Tull, reached out to him via LinkedIn and he joined our team as a Talent Acquisition Specialist in June 2021, and the rest is history!
Let’s get to know a little more about Carlos.
What do you do, and what does your typical workday look like?
My typical day consists of connecting with talent or researching new ways to connect with individuals in specific sectors. Recruitment has changed drastically due to COVID-19, so it’s all about being creative when networking. I’m constantly on LinkedIn, reaching out to members and trying to get them interested in our open roles or responding to candidates who applied on their own. Besides reviewing resumes, I also enjoy an occasional chuckle from the messages posted on our Slack #random channel. There’s never a dull moment!
What’s your favorite part about working at String and Key?
The culture and collaboration. It feels like you’re a part of something special, and you can see the real impact people make here through their hard work. When I connect with candidates, I express to them that our company culture is that the people here are like a close-knit community, which is something I admire. Employees genuinely like to work with one another and it’s great to see their big smiles captured in the photos of company events. Plus, I love hearing the many fun stories of past gatherings and celebrations.
What excites you about your job?
I have the opportunity to lead diversity and inclusion initiatives that oftentimes get overlooked. It’s one of my core values and it’s amazing to have aligned with a role where I am conscious about certain biases that exist in some workplaces so I try to make our company inclusive. Additionally, it makes me feel accomplished when I get to extend an offer and make someone’s day. I can definitely empathize with our candidates because I know what it feels like to be excited about a new job opportunity, so it’s amazing to be able to make a difference in someone’s life.
What do you find most challenging about your role?
Getting ghosted! People complain a lot about recruiters disappearing on candidates but we get ghosted too. I’ll have great conversations with a candidate and then they’re a no-show to the interview or follow-up. I look at recruiting like online dating — sometimes I’ll find a great resume or profile and get super excited, with the understanding that not every person will be a match. Sometimes you’ll shoot your shot and get rejected too, which is okay and I don’t take it personally. Like Jay-Z says, “on to the next one.”
What are the values that drive you?
Definitely my upbringing. I come from a neighborhood where opportunities for advancement are limited, which has been my experience and reality, especially as a man of color. I’ve always been driven by not wanting to be stereotyped because of my heritage or where I was raised. I worked hard to get to where I am today, and it’s been a combination of faith, ambition, support from loved ones, and dedication. Those are the main values that drive me to be successful, and I put effort into everything I do so that I don’t have to struggle like so many before me. I want to be a positive influence in my community and that value will never change.
How do you stay on top of your game?
By being honest with myself. I’m human, so there are times when I’m going to jump for joy and times when I’m going to roll my eyes and close my laptop. I allow myself to be present in the moment so that I can move forward, because if I suppress my thoughts or emotions, it’ll negatively affect me in other ways. So hey, if I need five minutes to have a dramatic episode of frustration or panic, then by all means I’m going to do that privately and then bounce back stronger. The hustle never stops.
What drew you to tech and what excites you about the industry?
I say this all the time: if COVID has taught me anything it’s that the tech industry is definitely booming and growing. The world saw many companies in the tech space launch to record heights and it was amazing to see. I knew that in my next endeavor I wanted to be connected to an industry that has opportunities for growth and longevity. It was scary seeing so many people laid off in numerous sectors, so I knew it was smart to strategically align myself with an industry and a company that is moving in a positive direction.
What’s one thing — either industry-related or not — that you’ve learned in the last month?
To put it simply, to be kind, not only to myself, but to others as well. Nothing is personal and we all go through our own silent battles. Sometimes those internal emotions are projected onto others, so I’ve been intentionally self-aware in identifying opportunities where I can show grace and kindness instead of reacting with a negative thought or emotion.
If you could swap places with anyone at String and Key, who would it be and why?
I would swap with none other than our Founder, Alex Matjanec. I want to boss everyone around for a day (J.K. — only partially.) I hope to be an entrepreneur one day, so I admire Alex’s drive and dedication to have founded String and Key. I think he has such a huge impact on the culture here, so it would be awesome to be the big boss and tap into those qualities that make a great leader.
What unexpected subject could you give a one-hour presentation on with no advance prep?
Anyone that knows me would agree that I could give you a whole hour presentation on why Nicki Minaj is the queen of rap, hands down.
What keeps you busy outside of work?
Being a dog daddy to my two miniature schnauzers, Cosmo and Luna.
Can you list five hashtags that describe your personality?#CalmCoolCollected #FlyGuy #Where’sHappyHour #WhereDidIPark #I’mDown
Coffee or tea?
Winter or summer?
Movies or TV shows?
Hip hop or R&B?
Comedy or thriller?
Interested in working at String and Key? Join us!