Drive Your Growth is Uber’s unique approach to development, designed to motivate and inspire employees to take the wheel and navigate their own personalized career path at Uber. Below we chat with three Uber employees from Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia who’ve learned by doing, maximized their strengths and resources, and used feedback to uplevel their careers and grow into people leaders designing the future of Uber.
Tell us about yourself.
Bruna Andrade: “I’m a Brazilian living in Osasco, a metropolitan city of São Paulo. I’m the Senior Manager of Analytics and Insights in Latin America on the Community Operations team. I come from a very humble family and I started working at the young age of 16. Technology has always been my passion, and this led me to explore a career in IT and complete my Bachelor’s in Computer Engineering. From starting my career creating reports for small teams to more recently doing performance analysis of entire regions, I have always loved working with data. I recently completed my MBA in Business Intelligence and today, I live with my two cats who love to sit next to my keyboard while I work.”
Gabriel Garay: “I started my career at Uber in 2016 as a Greenlight (GL) Expert and contingent worker. Since then, I have been promoted five times in six years! I’ve had the opportunity to go through all operational positions and am currently a Senior Greenlight Manager. Outside of work, I like to play soccer, run, and play a variety of sports.”
Viviana Villamiza: “I was born and raised in Colombia and received my degree in International Trade at the University of Santander. After graduation, I worked for an air and ocean freight forwarding services company for 5 years as a supply chain customer service manager and customer service team leader. In 2020, I joined Uber as Senior Team Leader, and then in 2022, I had the opportunity to become an interim Greenlight Manager for PACA. Last month, I accepted a new promotion to become the Greenlight Manager for all of Central America and the Caribbean. I am motivated by exploring new methodologies and tools that improve customer understanding and enjoy developing personalized solutions that exceed their expectations. I am always committed to working hard to achieve significant results.”
What is Community Operations at Uber?
Gabriel: “Community Operations is the team that interacts with and supports all of Uber’s customers. We are the face of any issues that customers may have. We strive towards developing a world-class support organization that scales effectively, is reliable and consistent, and provides unmatched service to our Uber community.”
Bruna: “Community Operations is also the voice of the customer within Uber. We receive all kinds of user interactions and user feedback about our service and all of this information is used to inform the strategy of other areas of the company and ensure continuous improvement for the entire Uber platform.”
How have you driven your own growth at Uber?
Bruna: “I started as a Data Analyst for the Brazil Center of Excellence in 2018 and after several projects with the local team I started to support the Latin America region as a whole by learning how we could improve the performance of our service agents. A couple of years later, the opportunity to manage the team I was a part of came up and I was promoted to be the manager of 8 incredible analysts. In this new role, I discovered a new passion of mine: people management. Today, we are a diverse team with great talent and we love all of the challenges we get to solve daily.”
Gabriel: “I have driven my career path prioritizing my professional strengths and weaknesses to identify how I want to improve in areas of opportunity. Still, I’ve always focused on the role expectations that I want to achieve. I’ve been aware that the effort and dedication of my development comes from me, but I’m taking advantage of the development tools Uber provides for all employees.”
Viviana: “At Uber, I have always looked for opportunities to participate in initiatives and tasks outside of my core responsibilities that allow me to broaden my scope, learn from others, and gain experience in different areas of the company. This has given me a more complete view of Uber’s operations and has helped me develop a more holistic perspective on my own roles. I also like to build strong connections with a variety of colleagues and leaders at Uber. Networking has allowed me to expand my network and learn from other successful professionals in the company.”
How did Uber support your transition from individual contributor (IC) to people manager?
Bruna: “I have always had incredible managers who trusted my work, supported my goals, and encouraged me to drive my growth. This has continuously motivated me to take on new challenges that have greatly shaped my career development. I also always had great examples to follow. At Uber, I am inspired daily by everyone I work with and they, in turn, inspire me to go get it. I would also like to highlight the amazing female representation in leadership here, which I believe is so rare to find in the technical world. Their support encourages me to give my best each and every day.”
Gabriel: “Uber is a company that prioritizes internal development, providing multiple tools and programs focused on employee development needs. In my own transition from IC to a manager, I was supported by my personal managers, who guided me on the expectations of the new manager role and encouraged me every step of the way. I am excited and motivated every day to work hard to achieve my new goals.”
Viviana: “I have always received support from my managers and colleagues at Uber. They provide me with invaluable guidance in navigating new roles. During my transition from IC to manager, I looked to the support and experience of my “godmother” Yami as I became familiar with the responsibilities of a manager and faced the challenges inherent in my new role. She is someone who came from a similar background as I did, so she understood my struggles in the beginning. I really appreciate the kind of programs Uber has, where you are assigned a “buddy”, “godmother” or “someone” special during the transition period of becoming a manager. We left the program both learning a ton of new skills and growing more confident in our roles.”
What are some key lessons that you have learned along the way?
Bruna: “Knowledge is something that must be shared. You need people to look up to, to learn from, and to share with, so always be networking, building relationships, and helping others.
Gabriel: “Uber is a company that provides unlimited options for developing your career. However, the key to success is to own your own hands. Always ensure you invest time in your continuous learning, raise your hand and ask for opportunities, and say yes when someone asks for help! You never know where an opportunity will lead.”
Viviana: “The value of resilience when facing new obstacles and changes. At Uber, I have learned to always stay flexible. For example, during my year as an interim manager, everything was new and constantly shifting. However, this year of constant change ended up being the year that I learned the most and discovered what I was truly passionate about.”
Why do you love working in Community Operations at Uber?
Bruna: “I love working in Community Operations because I know that my work makes a difference in the lives of our customers, in the lives of my family who use Uber daily, and in my life as a loyal user of the platform. I also know that my ideas will be heard and that they will be used to change that platform for the better.”
Gabriel: “We solve customer issues daily, but we aren’t solving them just to solve them. We are, at the heart of the matter, changing lives by providing an opportunity for people around the world to change their lives.”
Viviana: “One of the reasons I enjoy working in Community Operations is the chance to make a tangible difference in people’s lives. Every interaction with a customer is an opportunity to resolve their concerns, provide support, and exceed expectations. I love being part of a team that helps create positive experiences for Uber earners at our Greenlight Hubs and building a trusting relationship with them.
In addition, working in Community Operations allows me to develop key skills in customer service. Through problem-solving, empathy, and effective communication, I have improved my skills in managing difficult situations and finding creative solutions. This enriching experience has allowed me to grow both personally and professionally.”
What advice would you give to someone looking to join your team?
Bruna: “Be curious and always try to learn how everything works and connects.”
Gabriel: “Community Operations is a place where people prioritize growth, development, and knowledge development. If you want to invest your time supporting and helping others, connect to a variety of stakeholders, and be focused on our customers, this is your place.”
Viviana: “We value people who have a friendly, patient, and customer-centric attitude. It’s important to show empathy, demonstrate a willingness to help others, and be committed to problem-solving. Community Operations can be challenging, especially in high-demand situations or when our customers are experiencing complex issues, but enables you to work effectively under pressure and grow your skill set in unique ways.”
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