Waleska’s Story

 “Engineer sees opportunity”

 

Waleska Figueroa
Born: Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Customer Service Representative
Morales Group Inc. since 2010

 

“Before I came to the United States I had been working in Honduras as a civil engineer for 20 years. It was a good job that was very satisfying. My father is a civil engineer so I think I decided to study engineering because of him. My mother is a pharmacist. My family has always been very supportive of me.

A baby will change things in you.

As I grew up, we would often travel between Honduras and California where some of my family lived. Six years ago, my son David was born and like any mother will say, a baby will change things in you. One of the things was I didn’t want my son to grow up without his cousins. He doesn’t have any siblings so he needs more kids around him. So for him I moved from Honduras to California in 2009 and then in November 2010, I moved to live with my sister in Indiana. Here, I want to give my son more opportunity and to grow up with his cousins.

The first winter we were in Indiana it was very cold and it snowed a lot. It was a little scary driving in the snow and getting used to the bad weather. Now I am more ready for it.

Willing to change careers.

The process of finding a job as a Civil Engineer in the United States was going to take too long for my degree to get accepted here. I was willing to change careers and that is when my brother-in-law, Rolando, referred me to Morales Group.

I was happy to hear there’s a company that has a lot of Hispanics involved — even as staff, placing candidates in jobs. It was very appealing and it gave me an opportunity to deal with people and different cultures. I even get to use my French with some of the candidates! It’s very gratifying to be able to help out someone in need.

I first started working at Morales on temporary assignments at some of our clients. Working on the client side gave me the opportunity to see what candidates go through in terms of payroll and in terms of dealing with the client. But also for me to understand the clients’ point of view — what they expect. After a few months I became an administrative assistant for Morales Group, then a recruiter, and now I am a Customer Service representative.

Process similar to being an engineer.

I think I’m more visual. I need to see what’s going on so it’s basic that I go and visit our client’s work place and learn a little bit more about what they are doing. It’s a process similar to being an engineer — understand the situation; make a plan. For me, it’s very important to know everything about their industry, so I want to learn more each day. That’s my goal.

The fact that you deal with different cultures is fun, but it’s work at the same time. Our applicants have different views, and language differences can make it hard sometimes to understand their questions; to fill out an application; and understand their needs. But if you’re an immigrant and you don’t have family here — you don’t have friends or someone to help you out — you need someone to take the time to help you find a job.

Not had that opportunity to show it.

You get a variety of candidates and people that have been struggling to find a job. They’re very good but maybe they’ve not had that opportunity to show it.

We say, as long as they are of working age, we will try to find an opportunity for each person who walks in our doors. I get excited just trying to place that person at the best position possible. Especially if it’s a long term position so they, too, can have an opportunity that they have not had.”