Part of what makes eBay unique are the mosaic of voices that contribute to our overall culture, from various backgrounds and walks of life, that lead to a better customer experience.
Combining a decade of higher education experience with her passion to help others, Itza Sanchez came to eBay to develop innovative programming for our technical teams. Reporting into the People Team with a dotted line into Product & Technology, Itza develops curated programming to help new technical employees integrate in their teams and influence their decision to stay long-term. She also leads eBay’s Community of Inclusion UNIDOS, which supports and celebrates employees of Hispanic and Latinx descent.
In her life outside of eBay, Itza moonlights as a professor at San Jose State teaching a first-year experience course out of the Department of Education and also sits on the Board of Directors for San Jose’s School of Art & Culture at the Mexican Heritage Plaza.
We spoke with Itza on her role at eBay, and here’s what she had to share.
On what it means to bring your whole self to work: “I think that's a great question, particularly because I work with our cultural-based Communities of Inclusion. History reveals that people of color are traditionally told that ‘you leave your personal self at the door, and you bring a different self to the workplace.’ So what happens is that you end up growing up with this feeling of inferiority, starting in the classroom and into the workplace, where your success is measured by your ability to leave your cultural self at the door.
When immigrants and people of color realize the power that they have and utilize their true selves and voice in the workplace, it helps them excel in ways they didn't think was possible. I absolutely bring my whole self to work. I bring the trauma and the struggles of my immigrant grandparents with me every day, which inspires me to give back and contribute to this company. A company that, in turn, is making groundbreaking changes to families around the world. I absolutely carry that with me.”
On enhancing eBay’s onboarding process: “With every new hire, we have the opportunity to explain who we are as a company and challenge them to bring their unique perspective into the business. At eBay, we have lots of resources to onboard an employee into our company, but depending on the organization, employees might need a deeper dive into their functions and roles. By designing programming specific to different organizations, we make it easier for new employees to find the hidden gems of technical information that they need to drive their careers at eBay.”
On how she got involved with UNIDOS: “I’ve been an eBay buyer since 2002, so I was familiar with the eBay platform as a consumer, but my introduction to eBay professionally was by way of attending a Hispanic Heritage Month event hosted by UNIDOS, the Latinx Community of Inclusion, in 2017. I was hired that December, and the rest is history. I made it a point early on to join UNIDOS as their event was fundamental in my decision to invest my career at eBay, and seeing eBay as a supportive and inclusive place to work. For me, joining UNIDOS was a must.”
On her proudest moment at eBay: “My proudest moment at eBay was the launch of my first program, Excellerator. I launched it six months into the job to support Recent College Graduate new hires in the Product & Technology space. The reaction was so positive, that in my second year, we scaled it to create a new program, called Tech Start, which supports our more experienced technical new hires. Between both programs, I am supporting every technical new hire in the Americas market.”
On her biggest role model in her life: “My mom! She immigrated to this country when she was 13 with her mother and six younger siblings after her father died. A high school counselor took her under her wing, helped her apply to take the SATs and then apply for college. She graduated from college in four years with a double major, earned her master's degree and retired as the department chair of the Counseling Department at City College, San Francisco. She’s now the first Latina on the Board of Trustees for the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District. She came to this country at age 13 without speaking any English, and yet accomplished so much in her life.”
On how she manages work life balance: “For a team that supports the business globally, I really appreciate how flexible my team is. Whether it's super-early or late in the day, we meet the business where it needs us. This creates the space to manage my time and make room for life outside of work.
I also enjoy the flexibility of being able to work from home as I need to. I live in the East Bay, where the commute can be an hour and a half to two hours one way, so having that flexibility is paramount to me being successful in my job. eBay provides me the tools to be accessible when and where my partners need me.”
On why she chooses to stay at eBay: “A couple of reasons! First, I'm challenged daily by the work that I do. While my focus is to create and implement new hire programming, what I'm really doing is facilitating a cultural shift within our corporate culture on how we support new employees in the most technical roles. The impact my work has is far-reaching. The challenge excites me and motivates me.
Another reason I love eBay is the unwavering support that I receive from across the business — from the highest levels of the company to the newest of hires. Our executives and internal technical experts provide my team with their time, fiscal support and expertise because they believe in the shared vision of what this work means for our business. When you have the support of your team, you’re inspired by your leaders, and you work in an inclusive environment, the choice to stay is easy.”
On the advice she would give to someone looking for a similar role: “Keep your eyes and ears open. You never know when the opportunity of a lifetime will pass in front of you! Be brave and put your best foot forward. Have the confidence that you can do it, and that you can do it well.”
Whatever your specialty, eBay has many opportunities for you. Explore our different teams and roles here.