Working at Nava

A day at Nava as a business operations specialist

Paola Valdez, a business operations specialist, describes her integral role in helping Nava’s processes run smoothly and her work with the Juntos ERG.

It’s hard to describe what a typical day at Nava is like because no two days are ever the same. Every day brings new projects, challenges, and opportunities. So we’re sharing just a glimpse of what work is actually like for different people at Nava. Here’s what Paola Valdez, Business Operations Specialist and Juntos co-leader, has been up to lately.

Paola Valdez is a Business Operations Specialist at Nava.

Tim Coburn

A typical day at Nava

As the BizOps specialist, it’s my job to help all of our processes run smoothly, from budgeting to engaging employees to event planning. I ensure that our office spaces and virtual spaces are taken care of, whether that is at the employee level or at the vendor level. I help with coordination and logistics of events like our 2022 offsite, while also trying to come up with creative ideas to engage employees at Nava. I research different processes to help ease business needs and handle administrative items such as expenses and timesheets. I also co-run our Juntos Employee Resource Group (ERG) for Latinx, Hispanic, and Latinx-Luso.

Before joining Nava

I used to work in the sports marketing world, which was a very odd way to get here. After COVID sent sports into a whirlwind, I ended up at Nava. I really enjoyed the sports marketing world, but it's very different and very cutthroat. I like that [at Nava], we're actually helping people.

On the Juntos Employee Resource Group (ERG)

Juntos is a community of Latinx, Hispanic, and Latinx-Luso [employees]. But honestly, I don’t love labeling it. We're already pretty divided because we all have very distinct cultures. I think these kinds of labels—Latinx or Hispanic, what are we, who are we—it really doesn't matter. At the end of the day, we all have a shared bond. 

I'm from Venezuela, and if someone asks me 'Oh, what are you?' I'm not going to say I'm Latina; I'm gonna tell them, 'Hey, I'm Venezuelan.' I identify with my culture and I'm proud to be from there. I was born there, whereas someone else that's first gen might feel a different connection to their country. I think labels just make you feel a little bit more insecure about who you are or how you identify.

Our biggest Juntos events are during Latinx month. We’re hosting a live virtual podcast with Plurawl and a conversation about identity with Odalys Jasmine. Otherwise, we support our members attending events like the Latinas in Tech conference. The goal is for our members to attend these events, feel more connected to the community, and learn something new.

On Juntos and DEI at Nava

With Juntos, we're very outward and prideful, and we want the ERG to feel like a safe space. That's also how we want Nava employees to feel in regards to DEI. Even if you don't think you belong, we can help you feel like you belong.

It’s also important for us to help bring more Latinx into tech. That's why I share conference opportunities with Juntos. Instead of us having to use our professional development funds, why not use our Juntos budget? Our members can advance at Nava and then make room for other Latinos to come in once they’ve been moved up. 

Outside of Nava

Using my professional development funds from Nava, I’m taking a business leadership and management certification course. That takes up a lot of my time because it's three college classes. I’ll finish the course by next year, and then I'll be certified in leadership and management. Besides that, I really just like to hang out. If I had free time and a lot of money, I'd be traveling everywhere. I just came back from Europe and every time I leave I want to go back. 


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