Brian Garcia (he/him), Team Lead for Latin American (LATAM) and Enterprise Customer Success, has been with Branch for over three years. In his time here, he’s grown personally and professionally and has been a builder of Branch culture. An avid gym-goer, hot yoga enthusiast, and runner, Brian is always achieving great things in and out of the workplace. We’re excited to tell Brian’s story and share his unique perspective on people management and career advice.
What made you choose to work at Branch and what makes you stay?
Not everyone has the luxury of this background, but I came from another deep linking company, so I had an idea what Branch did. However, when I was interviewing, my mind was blown. The portfolio of products we have at Branch is so much more than just deep linking.
What made me choose Branch was the hiring manager herself. I completely credit her with swaying me to choose Branch. Despite crazy schedules and hiring during a busy season, we had a memorable interview in a coffee shop. She shared feedback on my interview openly, and I realized I could have a great working relationship with her because of her communication style and passion for the business.
What keeps me at Branch and what truly excites me most is that the ecosystem is ever-changing and no two days are the same. So, as someone who enjoys learning quite a bit, I’m constantly learning — even when I’m not doing so intentionally. That keeps me from growing complacent in my role.
What does a normal day at Branch look like for you?
I started in May of 2019 and it’s been a wild ride. I’ve seen a few managers in my time here, seen countless team members move overseas or across teams, and people get promoted and move on to other career opportunities. It’s been a rollercoaster for sure.
I’m very much in a player-coach role right now, where I manage a handful of accounts as well as employees. The folks reporting to me oversee our Spanish and Portuguese speaking business.
It’s been great, because in my time here so far I’ve moved up from an individual contributor role to this coach role. Managing people, especially internationally, has opened my eyes to a wide variety of things and brought an exciting level of complexity into my role. Whether it’s cultural differences or anything else, I work to be a cognizant manager. Luckily, as part of the Latinx community, expectations of our customers in the LATAM market resonate with me and I feel comfortable operating in those business conversations.
For example, our customers in Latin nations really value in-person time. So making sure that we have team members who can satisfy varied cultural needs is essential and makes us much more effective.
What do you love about your job?
When I first joined, I was a customer success manager (CSM). Then I was promoted to senior CSM, then team lead.
As a CSM, I really excelled as an individual contributor: I had never churned a single dollar in my three years here, but I quickly came to a crossroads in terms of what I wanted to do next. Because I was doing well in my bubble, I was cautious and wary of taking the next step into management. If it hadn’t been for people at Branch seeing the potential in me and giving me that nudge to push myself in my career, I very likely would still be an individual contributor.
Luckily, I had a few leaders at Branch huddling behind me and supporting me to take on a team lead position. Then I heard a compliment that solidified my desire to move into management: someone on my team said that they couldn’t imagine having a better manager than myself. I’m so appreciative of those leaders and my coworker for supporting my growth, and I’m happy to say I now love working in management.
How would you describe your management style?
There’s still so, so much for me to learn. But as a manager, I think it’s really important to be a dependable person for your reports. Not only in a professional sense, but supporting their person as well. I make sure to prioritize both of those things with my team. Asking them how their day was, remembering little things and following up to check in on them, and so on and so forth.
When I first joined Branch, I had the great fortune of having a manager who was not only a manager, but also a confidante and a mentor, and so many other things for me. She modeled exactly what I wanted to be. So often I would leave our one-on-ones and almost feel like I had gone to therapy. So that’s what I strive to be for my reports. Not only giving them advice and instilling in them the expertise I’m lucky to have built, but also making sure that I’m asking about their day and supporting who they are in and outside of work.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received in your career?
Ask for forgiveness, not permission. One of the core values at Branch is working with urgency. If you’re asking for permission, very often you’re putting up a roadblock or slowing yourself down. In the Branch environment, we don’t have that luxury. This team moves fast, and we work better when we are quick to make decisions. Most of the time, we end up making the right one when we trust ourselves and our teammates.
How has your diverse background shaped what you bring to Branch and your career at large?
Being a queer, latinx person has shaped everything I do. I wear both of those badges on my person with so much pride. I find it very important to represent both of the communities that I’m part of. It has shaped my time at Branch simply because I’m very loud about it. What’s nice is that it’s welcome here.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I love running. It’s the one time that I can truly shut off my brain and enjoy true silence. Apart from working out at the gym, hot yoga, bootcamps, or a spin class, my weekends mostly look like this: 20% sleep, 70% time with friends and family, 10% TV. It’s called recharging.
Who is your most inspirational coworker, and why?
Two people that come to mind are Brianna H. and Mike H. They are generally amazing humans and incredibly hard workers as well.
Brianna is a work horse I look up to. She brings intelligence and diligence to all she does, putting 150% into every effort. She’s worked her way up in the company with that intelligence, work ethic, and technical aptitude. It’s baffling in an inspiring way.
Mike is so easy to work with; he’s responsive, he’s helpful, and he’s great at what he does. We had amazing chemistry working on accounts together, and he’s been a great example of what it means to mold your working style to suit various stakeholders. Everyone enjoys working with him, and I do too.
What role do culture and connectivity play in your work experience?
It’s important to find people who care about you holistically: professionally, personally, mentally, every way in which you are a human. It’s also important to balance, recharge, and focus on yourself in this world that is full of stressful distractions.
Finding people who are your home in all corners of your life, and loving yourself enough to take time for yourself, are key components of making it through difficult times in a healthy way. If I didn’t have people who cared for me personally and professionally, and if I didn’t set boundaries for myself that fit my needs for work-life balance, the last few years would have been much tougher.
Marrying those things together: people who care about me holistically, people who help me put the world in perspective, and taking time to recharge are key to being a healthy person and professional.
Want to join Brian in making a difference in mobile? Check out our open roles now!