To conclude our 2021 Hispanic Heritage Month spotlights, #LatinaGeeks is proud to feature Gabriela “Gabby” Baker, Digital Marketer and our San Diego Chapter President.
Gabby shares her career journey with us as a first-generation Mexican-American, and the oldest in her family to experience many firsts. Instead of viewing herself as a “late bloomer” or feeling behind for graduating college and starting her career late, she embraces and appreciates her experiences and sees her journey as a true strength.
Gabby holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from San Diego State University, as well as a Marketing and Media Certificate from San Diego State and a Digital Marketing Certificate from UC San Diego Extension. She started her marketing career 10 years ago at her local YMCA in San Diego as an event planner and marketing intern. Since then, she’s worked in the finance industry, facilities management and higher education.
Her career journey took a turn in 2016 when she was laid off and in the same week found out she was pregnant. With less than 3 months to find a new job, she was in a scramble to land a new job before her pregnancy was noticeable.
Unfortunately for Gabby, she did not find a job within the 3-month time frame, and felt uncomfortable interviewing with a baby bump. As a result, she was out of work for almost a year. Once she was ready to join the workforce, she was hit with the hard reality that her skills were out-of-date. Although she had traditional marketing experience, every company she applied to was asking for digital marketing experience.
To fill the gap, she enrolled in online courses and landed a marketing role with UC San Diego Extension. In this role she met two very important and highly impactful managers and mentors. One of which introduced her to #LatinaGeeks and the other who taught her everything he knew about digital marketing.
She also shares: “I can’t talk about my career journey without mentioning #LatinaGeeks. In 2018 I attended my first workshop and in 2019 I joined the leadership team. I can say, without a doubt, that I stood out as a candidate to Nordstrom because of my involvement with #LatinaGeeks.”
When discussing the obstacles and challenges she’s faced along her career path, she shares “The biggest challenge I’ve overcome in my career was getting hired into my first marketing position and being an introvert. I thought being a college grad was enough to get me a marketing job, however I learned that every company I applied to required experience that I didn’t have; even entry-level positions. Having no one to lean on or a mentor, the journey to landing a first job felt lonely.”Being curious has allowed me to be open to new ideas, ask questions and to keep learning. - Gabby Baker via @LatinaGeeks Click To Tweet
We asked Gabby what advice she would recommend to someone who is looking to grow their career, she states: “Volunteer with an organization that aligns with your career path or your passion. Reach out to someone who holds a position that you wish to have one day and invite them to a conversation. Get involved in your company or organization’s Latin/Hispanic ERG. And most importantly, volunteer for speaking opportunities – don’t limit yourself by staying inside your comfort zone.”
Gabby’s mantra is to “Stay Curious. My curiosity has served me well in all aspects of my life from my profession career, to being a parent, to being a volunteer. Being curious has allowed me to be open to new ideas, ask questions and to keep learning.”
A final note Gabby would share with her younger self is: “Get out of your comfort zone. Find your community and get involved. I wish I made it a priority to a find a community, a group of people/Latinas that I could relate to and lean on for support. I realize now, how important and impactful being around like-minded people can have in my life.”