Going ‘glocal’: Sheila Victorino unites her worlds
It is not everyday that you can describe someone as glocal — global yet local — but 28-year-old Ana Sheila Victorino is an exception.
Glocality has been a central theme in Victorino’s life — from early childhood when her mother, an elementary school teacher from Mexico City was chosen to be an exchange teacher in Chicago, to her college days at Stanford University where she majored in international relations, minored in modern languages and picked up Italian along the way while studying abroad in Italy.
Now, the Los Angeles resident is keeping it local but border-less with a job deeply intertwined in the World Wide Web, the tech world and as a volunteer for national nonprofit organizations.
“It is really important for me to find ways to bring people together,” Victorino said.
And Victorino is — at a corporate and community level. Victorino who grew up in Chicago and Riverside California is working relentlessly to create an impact in and out of work.
For the last two and a half years, Victorino has worked as a product manager at Little Black Bag, an emerging social e-commerce website where customers trade discounted women’s accessories from each others virtual shopping bags. When Victorino started working for Little Black Bag in 2011, she was one of four employees. Now, she is one of thirty five.
Victorino works on several elements of the site that include designing the website’s user experience to drive engagement — in other words, making sure the site keeps the attention of visitors from the beginning to the end of a purchase.
“When I’m thinking about website features, I think about the value users are going to get out of it and what we [Little Black Bag] will get out of it,” Victorino said. “What I love about it is that it’s a very creative job where you still have to be very analytical.”
Victorino’s analytical skills and creativity have gotten her far in the corporate world where she has worked for Facebook and Kayak.com. Yet, not surprisingly the young professional always seems to find a way to apply the skills she has gained in her career to various community service projects.
For that reason, Victorino is the latest LAM Network Member of the Month, presented by Ford.
Victorino serves as board member, regional lead and mentor for several nonprofits including Latinos on Fast Track (LOFT), a national initiative under the Hispanic Heritage Foundation focused on creating and cultivating Latino leaders throughout the country, where she brings her techie and organizational skills to the table.
2013 New Leaders Council Fellow and currently serves on the governing board in L.A.
“I use an analytical framework for everything that I do,” Victorino said. “As a product manager whenever we are launching new features, we run tests or have different variations … we do analysis then try and make improvements based on that research. I use the same analytical framework when working with nonprofits.”
As the regional lead for LOFT, Victorino is making it a priority to launch a program in May for Latina high school students in Los Angeles interested in public service.
“I am in the early stages of building an advisory board and the structure,” Victorino said.
Victorino is working hand in hand with Former Candidate of Los Angeles City Council District 9, Ana Cubas, to create the program that will encourage young Latinas to pursue a career in public service by teaching them how plan a campaign and pairing them up with mentors. Victorino is also taking on building online application tools to facilitate the application process for students.
Other projects Victorino is working on for LOFT include organizing charlas, Spanish for “chats,” for field leaders to speak to and train members of the community on specific topics or skills such as coding.
“We are currently working on initiatives to increase minorities in technology,” Victorino said. Most recently LOFT worked with a group of underrepresented individuals who created an app and were selected to go to the White House to receive a stipend to continue their work.
But the community work does not stop there for Victorino.
Victorino takes it a step further by volunteering for organizations that are not just targeted towards the Latino community.
As a board member for COLAGE, a national nonprofit that works with kids with LGBT parents, Victorino is reaching out to families for support and growth of the network in Los Angeles.
“In April, I am hosting a retreat for parents and kids,” Victorino said. “ [This is] a community that really needs that network, a community that is not often targeted.”
At only 28 years young, Victorino’s list of academic, professional and community service achievements is close to endless. Despite taking on various projects at once, Victorino possesses the ability to intertwine her knowledge and experiences to manage her commitments and create the change she wishes to see in the world.
Although Victorino is naturally ambitious, she describes herself as, “very shy, but very social.”
“I am naturally very shy, so that’s something I’ve really worked on,” Victorino said.
Victorino overcomes her shyness is by challenging herself. “One way I motivate myself is thinking of how I am going to feel after I push myself,” Victorino said.
By her direct and confident tone, one would never know that Victorino has had to overcome shyness. Did we mention she plays the trumpet to jazz and mariachi music? Victorino wants to play mariachi music with a mariachi band one day, but for now her focus is on her career, community and family.
“I want to continue to have an impact beyond my local community,” Victorino said.
In the future, Victorino plans to continue her focus on technology, education while keeping it “glocal.”
“I would love to start a company with a Latin American component and beyond,” Victorino said.
Although it is uncertain what exactly Victorino’s future company would focus on, she hopes to combine technology with education. “I would want to design a product focused on helping teachers teach more effectively,” Victorino said. “An online toolkit for teachers.
Whether it’s in the corporate world or in the community, Victorino will continue to make an impact in our community and beyond.
“I want to be known as someone who really helped bridge the gap to success for communities.”