Sandra Ponce

Sandra Ponce

Associate Manager, Human Resources


Taco Bell

Irvine, CA USA


I believe in giving it my all, and taking all that I can from every opportunity I have. If we enter everything we do with that mentality, we’re going to be successful and we’re going to grow.

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By Roadtrip Nation

Sandra Ponce

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InterviewThe Interview

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
When I was a senior in high school, my parents told me they didn’t have enough money for my prom.
I didn’t want to miss out on any senior-year activities, so I decided I would pay for them myself.
To earn money, I took an entry-level job at my local Pizza Hut restaurant.
I was promoted to crew trainer, and I realized I loved coaching and helping my team members.
I originally wanted to be a teacher, but that job showed me there are many ways to educate people.
I decided to pursue human resources; I completed a degree program while also raising my family.
While in school, a friend recruited me to work at Taco Bell, so two years after leaving Pizza Hut, I was back at Yum!
Keep following my journey

Education

High School
Bachelor
Human Services, General
University of Phoenix
Bachelor
Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration, General
University of Phoenix

Career

Associate Manager, Human Resources

I facilitate a four-day leadership development session for our managers and area coaches called The Mark and The Quest.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Business
Education
Teaching / Mentoring

Day to Day

Most of what I do from day-to-day is communicate the business impact behind attending our leadership development sessions. This entails everything from talking to interested franchisees about why they should send their managers to our programs, to leading registration for the sessions, negotiating contracts, and scouting event locations. This year alone, we’ve led eight sessions here in Irvine, put on another six or seven on the road, and trained over 1,000 leaders through our programs.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

I think that having some behind-the-counter and managerial experience definitely lends me the credibility I need to be an effective instructor. I have to be able to stand in front of a group of restaurant general managers and say, “I’ve been there—I know how difficult your job can be,” and the only way to say that honestly and confidently is if you’ve had those experiences.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

Stay in school: I prioritized everything else over my education, but I sometimes wish I had focused on school. It took me 15 years of work to get to a place where I was ready to get my degree, and while I figured out what I wanted to do through those work experiences, I think I also could’ve found my passions while I was in school. And as hard as it was to get through school while I was raising a family, I still enjoyed it and loved learning from my professors and my peers.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

undergrad
Bachelor
Human Services, General
undergrad
Bachelor
Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration, General

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Peers:

"Your role has been eliminated."