A Journey To CLA Global: Julian Zambrano’s Story
This month, we sat down with Julian Zambrano, HR Manager extraordinaire here at CLA Global Inc, to discuss business strategy and passion. Born and raised in Colombia, Zambrano moved to San Francisco after graduating high school at the young age of sixteen. Zambrano joined the CLA Global team in December of 2018 and has been absolutely instrumental in the creation of our strong, growing team. Read more about his background and future goals within our organization in this exclusive Q&A.
What was your childhood dream job?
“Early on, I wanted to be a marine biologist. Then, I think I wanted to be a professional fortune-teller. Eventually, I went to school for communication and journalism.”
How would your parents and peers describe you?
“I think they would see me as someone who’s outgoing and friendly. Peers always saw my organizational skills, and friends tend to mention me as someone who is always involved in party or event planning.”
Were you in any sports or extracurriculars?
“I played volleyball for a few years but was never super into sports. However, I was into theatre and involved in all of my school’s productions, as well as student government. I was student body president during my senior year.”
How did that team environment help develop you?
“I always want to be better. I did it back then and still does now. I see my peers at work or my friends outside of it as a starting point. I like to see them grow and will always help in any way I can.”
What were childhood experiences most influential in your life?
“I’d say my high school experience was pretty memorable. I was always involved with teams of all sorts. Drama club, student government, prom court…I liked interacting with different groups and always wanted to share what was on my mind.”
Did you have any idea you would end up in the human resources field?
“I always knew I wanted to be in an environment where I can interact with people. I’m a people person, so working by myself, not talking to anybody, or just doing one thing over and over wasn’t what I wanted to do. This job allows me to meet new people every day, and that makes me excited to come to the office each morning.”
Tell us about your college experience.
“I got my bachelor’s degree in communication and journalism from Sergio Arboleda University back in Colombia. It was a great experience seeing it from all different aspects. I ran my school’s radio station for a whole year covering morning news and briefings, as well as entertainment segments in the afternoon. I worked on photography and editing for the monthly magazine covers during my third year, pushing me to explore photography as both a hobby and a job. I also got a BA in Dramatic Arts from the Los Angeles Theatre Academy Conservatory. I was there for four years and it really shaped the way I am today. I was a part of ten different productions, went on tour with three shows, and got a nomination for a Kennedy Center Award for my participation in one of my favorite plays, ‘Our Lady of 121st Street’.”
What is one life experience that you feel has shaped you?
“I took a year of boarding school right after I graduated high school, and it helped me become responsible and independent at the age of sixteen, which is the year I graduated high school.”
What is something we might not know about you by just looking at you?
“I’m really into horseback riding. My family has a country house, and we have stables that I love to visit when I’m back home.”
What would you consider to be your greatest skill, quality, or asset?
“My organizational skills. I like to keep everything where it belongs, labeled and clean. This also helps for fun events. I’m usually the person in my friend group who is either planning or hosting parties.”
What were your first thoughts when starting with the company? What was something
unique that you noticed?
“The atmosphere and office culture. I remember walking into the office and hearing music blasting in the back and seeing people playing games. I knew I was in the right place because I value a good sense of community, and this place had a great one.”
How would you describe the culture at your company?
“Energetic and caring. We all have fun and enjoy working and spending time with each other.”
What has been your best memory with the company?
“Probably one of our trips. We go on many business trips, but also just rest & relaxation trips. We’ve been up to Big Bear a couple of times, and it’s always a blast.”
What is something you’ve learned through your work that you didn’t know before?
“How to effectively communicate with people in a business setting and manage a group of people with a purpose.”
How has this career changed you as a person?
“It’s now easier for me to see things from the business point of view, and I’ve learned to go past what we can see and see how things can change if we work hard for them.”
Give an example of a time you exercised leadership and drive.
“I do it every day. If I’m running one of our morning meetings or if I’m having a one-on-one meeting with someone about a problem they have, I’m able not just to be a leader, but more of a mentor, who can help them grow.”
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
“Having my own business and still being business partners with CLA and other companies.”
How would you describe the culture to a prospective job candidate?
“Not like any job you’ve had before. You will make close friendships and have exciting mornings every day.”
What qualities do you look for when recruiting?
“People who are good with customer service and customer satisfaction. Someone who is good working with others as part of a team and someone who doesn’t want to be stagnant and wants to grow within the company.”
What resume advice do you have for candidates?
“Keep it short and simple. Always add your two most recent jobs, and your education as well. I want to see your favorite parts about each one and what you’re looking for next.”
What’s one tip you wish more people knew when coming in to interview?
“Just be yourself. We want to get to know you on a personal level.”
What are your goals with the company?
“I want to see the company grow and become a bigger organization, helping others achieve their goals and maximum potential.”
How do you personally plan to contribute to the company’s growth?
“Always giving my 110%.”
Any business books or podcasts you recommend?
“Simon Sinek’s Start with Why.”
What do you do for fun when you’re not working?
“Photography and theatre are my two passions. I’m either taking beautiful photos with interesting people or out seeing a new play or an old favorite.”
What is your favorite part of being a leader in the company?
“With total confidence, I can say that the best part is seeing my team grow and develop. Yes, it’s cool to have success and to grow as an individual, but seeing someone you trained accomplish their goals and get success- that is a priceless experience that I will always look forward to.”
It’s no secret that the CLA Global team will be forever indebted to the hard work and dedication of Julian Zambrano. We are thrilled to continue working alongside him and watching him reach his full potential. One year down, many more to come.