Mayra has been in banking for quite some time. She has sat on the front lines since she was in school. Now she has graduated, been promoted, married to the love of her life and has given birth to her pride and joy. The one constant in her life in the past decade has been serving the communities of Orange County, focusing on finding solutions to help them succeed financially. So what motivates her?

Well setting and achieving goals has always been a fundamental part of Mayra’s knowledge of success. Being the oldest child in her family her parent expected Mayra to set the example for her siblings. College seemed to be natural progression in her life, not really a choice. During her time at CSUF – Go TITANS!!— Mayra was a criminal justice major and it seemed law was calling her name. Little did she know through a serendipitous opportunity would she end up in break room of a bank branch in Orange talking to that pesky teller of hers about her life.    

 While in a class she happened to meet someone who worked for the bank. As she learned more about the financial industry and her desire to help her community and mentor confused kids much like herself Mayra applied to the bank and became a teller. Her mother supported her decision because of the independence that she would have being a woman in a respectable occupation. Her father on the other hand worried as most fathers do about balancing the responsibilities of working and school. Yee of little faith sir, thought Mayra as she not only graduated with a degree in Finance but also with a minor in Criminal Justice but was also promoted in her company to management.

What’s Mayra’s success? How has she learned to balance the multiple realities of motherhood, her professional career, mentor and being a wife? With a silent smirk she simply says every day is a new challenge.

“Honestly, it’s all about learning to adapt to change. We are part of system and we don’t do our jobs correctly or with enthusiasm we can all be easily replaced with someone willing to do the work. As new generations of tellers have come through the bank it seems they feel entitled to their job, pay and opportunities. Little do they know that it is only through their efforts and dedication will they get the respect that they demand. Now as I personally have gone through this profession I can see what kind of attitudes fly with management and our customers and what doesn’t and I think for anyone who considers employment in the a service based profession that it is necessary to align their expectations with their corporations. Now that I’m a mother I have considered taking time off, but I have dedicated so much of myself to building my career. I don’t how I could let it go at this time. My family strongly urges that I stay home. I love my son more than anything so we’ll see what happens.”     

Education and opportunities had brought Mayra to the financial Barrio. Coming from a background of high expectations and integrity Mayra now tries mentor her team to have the same goals. Even now as a wife and mother her life revolves around serving her customers and fellow employees. Why? Why does she deal with the pressure and unbelievable stress that she does? As Mayra spoke her teller about her life and her confessions about pride in her work the teller had come to understand things about his manager that he had never considered before. This branch had been his home, just as it had for Mayra. Together they had seen the members of their barrio go through many blessings and tragedies. They had seen births, marriages and deaths. Not just with their banking peers but with their customers. This was home.    


About ocbarrios

Professor for Cal State Fullerton's Barrio Studies class for Fall 2011 semester

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