They say home is where the heart is — and for eBay’s Susy Presedo, that has meant finding it wherever she goes.
Born in Nicaragua, Susy spent the majority of her life in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, before moving to the United States in the mid 1990s to attend college in Louisiana.
Today, Susy lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son. This year marks Susy’s third anniversary as an executive assistant at eBay, supporting several vice presidents and senior leaders in managing their daily work schedules.
Throughout all of her travels, Susy has found a sense of home through a variety of communities, including eBay’s own administrative assistant community. “I really enjoy the people I work with and the values eBay stands for. My experience has been that the company is very family-oriented so that's always been important to me,” she said.
As National Hispanic Heritage Month in the U.S. comes to a close today, we spoke with Susy about her journey to eBay, community, culture and the importance of family — at home and at work.
Can you briefly describe your journey to eBay?
I officially moved to the United States in 1995, and in 1997, I moved to California, so I had never really worked in high tech until I got my first job in the Bay Area. Within my own family, I’m the first to work at a Silicon Valley, high-tech industry. Back then, I landed an administrative assistant job thinking that I would continue going to school. But then, I realized how much I love the work. And it became my career, now to this day at eBay.
What does your day-to-day work usually look like?
There are a lot of meetings and emails — so a lot of communicating. I’m constantly checking Slack and email to see if there are any messages from the people I support. Then, after doing that, I start going through my mail, meeting requests and invites. I’m also following up on other requests I’ve sent out, making sure people have replied. Or I have my own tasks. I also am involved with helping schedule team gatherings, including sessions with musical guests, virtual fitness classes, online cooking classes and many other exciting activities for our community.
Community is an important cornerstone of eBay. What do you value about eBay’s administrative assistant community?
You can say we are pretty close. They are all very helpful. When somebody has to go on vacation, or needs time off, we cover for each other. I appreciate that element of community at eBay. At the end of the day, aren’t we all here for each other?
You mentioned that one of the things you value about eBay is that it is family friendly. Can you share your own personal experience with that?
My boss is very involved with his family so that's one quality that I really admire about him. He has always made it a point to block time on his calendar to spend with his family and to help his children with their lunch, or take care of them when needed. When I’ve had to take time for my son, they’ve never had an issue with it. I’ve never felt I had to miss out on things with him like a school performance. And if I have to take time off, because he is sick, it’s never an issue. I love that eBay supports this kind of flexibility.
How would you describe yourself?
I really enjoy spending time with my son and husband. I love animals, a lot. Any kind of animal. I was a vegan and only recently, because of health reasons, I started eating fish. I strive to be a good friend and be helpful to everyone. I love my family, and I'm very close to them. We communicate every day through an online messaging app.
You’ve shared that you’ve visited many different places, from Honduras to California. Where does your family reside now?
They're all spread out. I have a sister in Canada, a brother in Honduras and my mom is in New Orleans, so we all keep in touch through messaging apps. Pretty much every day I talk to my father in Honduras. My dad is really cute, he sends me a “Good Morning” message every day. My brother is visiting now, and I am enjoying his company.
Sept. 15-Oct. 15 marks National Hispanic Heritage Month, and this year’s theme at eBay was, “United, Anything is Possible.” What does this month mean to you?
It means we can bring awareness to Hispanic issues. What excites me is getting to learn about all the great things people from Latin American countries have done. This year we brought in a NASA astronaut from Mexico who had dreams of going to space since he was a child. He shared his story about his family as migrant farm workers and how he had been inspired by hearing about another astronaut who came from Costa Rica who was chosen to go to space.
Years later, despite a lot of hard work and perseverance, our speaker said he kept getting rejected by the program. So, he asked himself: “What do these other candidates have that I don't have?” He said the rejection motivated him to gain other skills. He got certified in scuba diving, learned Russian and became a pilot. After getting rejected 11 times, he got into the program. Amazing. I was so impressed with him and his story.
You also helped host a samba music event for Hispanic Heritage Month at eBay. What got you interested in samba?
I’ve always liked percussion. It’s something I played in high school and in the marching band every Independence Day down the streets of San Pedro Sula, my town in Honduras. Years later, at a jazz festival in San Jose, California, I saw people performing samba and knew, “Oh, I want to do this!” It’s all because I love the music and the culture. I just really love the sound, and playing it is even cooler.
How does your love of learning and interest in trying new things transfer to your life outside of work?
I'm always open to learning new things and bettering my skills, either in the workplace or in my own personal life. It’s also true when it comes to my own crocheting. I make dolls and toys. I used to not want to make them because they were complicated to create, but now I love it.
I like paddleboarding, I like knitting and I like to crochet. I love the Caribbean and warm beaches. If you asked me, my dream is to live in front of the ocean with warm water, so I can go paddleboarding. We try to go to places like harbors where the water is pretty calm. I’ve even taken my inflatable board all the way to Honduras. My husband and I also love to go sailing, and we often go to the San Francisco Bay.