Women with Cool Jobs

Site Manager Driving Change in the Transportation Industry, with Lindsay Cordova of UPS

June 14, 2023
Women with Cool Jobs
Site Manager Driving Change in the Transportation Industry, with Lindsay Cordova of UPS
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Lindsay Cordova, a site manager at UPS Integrad, is responsible for the overall operation of the McKinney, TX, facility that trains both new and experienced truck drivers who deliver and pick up UPS packages. The overarching goal of the training is to keep drivers and communities safe.  

From overseeing the overall operations and logistics at the facility, to cultivating strong relationships with peers and colleagues, to rapping about safety, get a glimpse of what it's like to have a leadership role in a male-dominated industry.

Lindsay has been with the company for 20 years and has held a variety of positions, including: driver, supervisor, and trainer.  

The McKinney, TX, site  is one of 11 Integrad sites across the United States where they incorporate cutting-edge tools (like simulators and virtual reality) and techniques (to accommodate different learning styles) to train individuals.

We also explore Lindsay's passion for training, how she earned her undergrad degree in counseling, and how she balances her work and family life as a mom of three. 

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Speaker 1:

One of the daunting things was riding with a driver who you know. Hey, how are you doing, chris? They've been there driving for 29 years and that's how old I am. That was daunting, but I leaned back to what my strengths are, which is people I wanted. My background is in counseling and speaking with people And I just would get to know my driver group And they knew I took safety serious and they knew I cared about them and their wellbeing And I had one of the best groups that there were best relationships because of that. It wasn't about hitting numbers or making sure we meet production It's important but they knew them as a person. They came first. No, i did that for a few years and that my manager that I worked for noticed the passion I had for training And when this undergrad site was built, they asked me if I'd like to come here as a trainer.

Speaker 2:

Hey everybody, i'm Julie and welcome to Women with Cool Jobs. Each episode will feature women with unique, trailblazing and innovative careers. We'll talk about how she got here, what life is like now and actionable steps that you can take to go on a similar path or one that's all your own. This podcast is about empowering you. It's about empowering you to dream and to be a better person. It's about empowering you to dream big and to be inspired. You'll hear from incredible women in a wide variety of fields and hopefully some that you've never heard of before Women who filled robots and roadways, firefighters, c-suite professionals surrounded by men, social media mavens, entrepreneurs and more. I'm so glad we get to go on this journey together. Hello everybody, this is Julie Berman, and welcome to another episode of Women with Cool Jobs. So today I have a really, really cool guest who has a job that involves teaching, training, facilitating safety and transportation. Her name is Lindsay Cordova and she is the site manager at UPS Intergrad in McKinney, texas, which means that as the site manager, she is responsible for so much of basically ensuring safety while on the road, and that means that people are coming to her facility in Texas and they are training on how to be safe drivers. They are doing the initial training of people who are new, right and who are delivering the packages. They're also doing train the trainers. So for people who are basically becoming master certified trainers, she is doing that there and she does everything that it involves, from the coordination to the operations to the actual training and facilitation. She is in charge of it all at her site. It is one of 11 sites throughout the country. So she is a woman who has a really big role and responsibility within her organization and it's a huge organization where she is in charge right of this really integral part of serving people, serving the community through what she does. And I love that she's a mother of three, because I am two. I love that she has gone on this path where she talks about how she originally wanted to be a ballerina when she was little and she didn't even know that this career, that this career path, existed. So this is just one of those really cool jobs that you know there's so many opportunities in the world and oftentimes we just don't know to know about them. This is the perfect example of that And it was so much fun to talk to her, hear about what she does, hear about some of the details and some of the cool tools and technology as well, and I hope that you enjoy this. And it really goes to show that, even though a lot of times we know about these big companies, we don't know about all the particular roles, that people have, all the particular jobs and that you know we may think of a company for a particular thing, for a particular industry, a particular job, but there are all these surrounding jobs. There's all these people who help make the big things happen right and they're doing these integral roles and she has one of them. So I hope you enjoy this episode and you get to learn about this type of job that has to do with training, education, facilitation and transportation. And please make sure that, if you loved hearing about this, if you feel like, oh my gosh, someone may enjoy listening to this, please share it with at least one other person. That would mean so much, because that is how we let other women know about what is possible, about, you know, sharing these voices and sharing these stories of what women are doing right now. Thank you, as always, for being here and taking time out of your busy day. I appreciate it so much. And here is the conversation with me and Lindsay. Hello Lindsay, i am so excited to have you here today. Welcome to Women with Cool Jobs.

Speaker 1:

Hey, thank you. Well, the honor is mine. I am very grateful to be here and be a part of this great thing that you're doing to help other people find cool jobs that they love.

Speaker 2:

Thank you so much, and you have such a cool and interesting job, and so your full name is Lindsay Cordova. You're a site manager at the UPS Integrate in McKinney, texas, and I think you have a really interesting job because you're responsible for the overall operation at a huge facility that trains new truck drivers for UPS, and the really interesting thing about that, and why I thought it would be so fun to talk to you, is because I think a lot of people we think about okay, we want to be a teacher, right Like we love helping people, we love educating, maybe training people But we think of oftentimes like a K through 12 environment with kids, and there are so many opportunities that actually don't involve working with kids. Your job is one of them, and yet it's something that I don't think would have ever dawned on me to consider, and you do so much work as far as making sure that not only the drivers themselves are safe when they're delivering packages, when they're out on the roads, but also making sure that the communities and the neighborhoods they serve are safe as well, which is such an important thing. And here you are doing that in one of 11 places around the country for the United States for UPS, so I am really excited to dive into. You know what is your job. Look like, what do you get to do? How did you get here? And for people who are listening, like, how can they do this? and maybe be part of this type of role where they are helping people learn, where they're teaching, but in a really different way than we often think about. But thank you for being here.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely Thank you, julie.

Speaker 2:

So I want to start off and just have you describe in your own words, like what is it that you do?

Speaker 1:

Sure. So what I do now, what I'm currently doing and I've been doing this for about five years now is actually managing this corporate training site, which, like you said, we have 11 of them, and when you think about a corporate training facility, a lot of times it's hard to imagine everything that goes into it. But there are so many people that come through our doors, so many people that we have to invest our time and our training into to help set them up to be successful, and that's what I oversee. We bring in not only package car drivers that are new to the company, but we also bring in current UPS management employees and make sure that their training is and their understanding of the method is up to par so that they can reinforce what we're building into our package car drivers. So I coordinate all of the classes that come into my site and we bring in students from across the nation. We have people that might come from Mississippi, louisiana, even California, that travel in to go through our classes, and we UPS takes care of their travel, their lodging and their food, and then, of course, as soon as they step foot into our site, we are responsible for all of their training, and there's a lot of preparation that goes into their readiness for the job. It's not just a hey switch, flip a switch. You're hired and come on to the site. There's material that needs to be reviewed and pre-course work to very similar to what we do in school. There's information that they study prior to coming to us so that there's a foundation that we can build on. And I oversee the classes that are taking place at my site and I have a team of supervisors we call them facilitators and I validate that they are training to the level of what our CEO and our corporation is asking of us. It is a very high level expectation because there's a lot of money that's invested into it, these classes and I validate that we are training at the same level that my facilitators. I mean they each have different personalities and they each need still need to train the same thing and the same method. So I oversee all of that and the best part of my job is just seeing people step out of here successful with the opportunity, have an amazing career, because I didn't expect to be with UPS for 22 years, but I am so grateful for everything it has allowed me to do And that's what I want people to have is that same opportunity And ultimately that's what I get to see weekend and week out.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's amazing, i mean, in the fact that you've been there for so long. I know you're also a mom of three, which I am as well, so I love that. And here you are, you know, in a really big leadership role, and so I appreciate that really great explanation and overview of what you do. And I want to go back and talk about, you know, because you definitely, because of your longevity with the company, you've worked your way up And I want to talk about what are those other roles that you've had within the company. What was that like in each of those roles that's really allowed you to get to this level and to this place where you are? And like if you can kind of shed some light on, like, how you got started and what that trajectory was.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely So. That's you. Just steer me back if you have a question about any step of the way there. I mean, funny, funny story is you? we always look back and tend to look back and like what if we want to be? when we grew up, what did we used to say? My first thing was always I'm going to be a ballerina, right, we just had lofty goals and where we'd say we're going to be, we're going to go to the moon. And you know, some people make it. But there are so many things that I had never considered, and UPS was actually one that I had not considered because I you would you think of a package truck driver and they're, they're out in the truck. And I remember, at 10 years old, i would see our UPS man and he come to liver and he's just walking up to the door and he deliver the package And I'm like, well, that must be fun. He gets to drive all day, that must be easy. Like that was my perspective.

Speaker 2:

I didn't know any better, of course. right, you're 10 and you don't know how to drive yet either.

Speaker 1:

Exactly. I'm like that must be easy. Oh, i just it was. I had no concept understanding of really what went into that job, so it wasn't on my radar, but I can tell you it quickly grabbed my attention because at a very young age I met my husband. I was 19 years old and we met and 10 days later we were courting and 10 days after that we were engaged. Wow Yes, 10 months after that we were actually married. So very quick process there And we had to come up with you know what are we going to do? How are we going to? we're going to be married. We need to have an apartment insurance. Like that was a wake up call. I did not understand everything that went into having a family And my husband brought it up His dad was actually a UPS driver And he goes. You know what? They've got great insurance. So, with that being said, i we looked into UPS as an option and I was a college student at the time. So we I started out part-time, went to school full-time And then I went to UPS every afternoon after school and I would work four to five hours And you know it didn't make a lot of money in the beginning, but that 100% coverage of insurance was amazing And that's what kept me there through college. That and the fact that they actually reimbursed me for some schooling. They have a earn and learn and education assistance program that I applied for And anyone that works for UPS is eligible And I was getting over $2,000 a semester back for school And that was again when I we were newly married. That was a lot of money.

Speaker 2:

Yeah So.

Speaker 1:

I got yeah, at 19,. We got married and I started doing part-time work in the hubs. But when I graduated college and again my degree was not in the realm that really would typically you would think would be suitable for UPS, i had a bachelor of science and counseling and clinical counseling And then my minor was speech communication And I was thinking about going into that counseling realm or maybe even HR. I graduated college and started asking around. you know, hey, do you think maybe there's a full-time opportunity in the HR department? And that's really where I was geared to go. And the gentleman I interviewed I was talking with he goes there's nothing right now, maybe in six weeks. But I can tell you we have a full-time driving position available if you want to try that out. And so in my mind I'm like, okay, six weeks. Well, six years later I was still driving And I just think that better the pay was, better It was too good to leave. To be honest, it was hard work because we can get into what the training looks like. But I was a management. I went into part-time management when I was in college and was actually started some training there and applying my speech communication really started to grow up, honestly, at UPS because I started stepping up in different roles early on, teaching classes and training. So when I went into the driver position there was a lot of pressure because I was going from a management position into a union position And there was back then this was a long time ago, way back in 2004, the opportunity to go back to your part-time management position if it didn't work out was not there And I this, we needed this job. So there was a lot of pressure to be successful that I put on myself but I made it through And the training that I went through is not what we have today. We have advanced so far what we give our drivers and how we train them. And looking back at what I went through and what we have now, i'm just. I'm grateful because we set people up for success with everything that we've done in our training department, but I drove for six years and I loved it And I was in the Dallas area, downtown Dallas I was. I would go up to 250 stops a day, but what that meant is I was incredibly in shape and I could eat nachos for breakfast, lunch and dinner And that's probably one of my favorite things. I could eat whatever I wanted.

Speaker 2:

I love it.

Speaker 1:

Never, i, never. No, you take things for granted, right, right. Yeah, i was like this is fantastic. You lose weight when you're in the hub, you get, you know you have to muscle tone because you're, you're loading on, load to trailers And then when you got on a package car and you're putting all these miles, you know, and walking to and from, i was like I had my first baby, even as a driver. And when I came back after having my first baby, i had gained 70 pounds. So I came back and I had to get a whole new set of uniforms, but within six weeks all of it was gone. I just it all. just you get back into the swing of moving And it was amazing. Again, i took that for granted. I did not have that same opportunity with my second, third kid. At that point I went into management. Some of the walking was not all there But, yes, i was a driver for six years and I loved it. And after the first baby I started transitioning into the on-road supervisor position And it allowed I started to transition into that because of the involvement that I had with my safety committee as a driver And we talked about this a little bit earlier. but I really started to come out of my shell as a driver And in the safety committee I had a district president challenge the group, make safety fun, and I just clung to that. I started writing safety raps and I would do jingles and I took Saturday night lives kits and I would just rewrite those And I started yeah, i even got a few of the drivers in my group to kind of participate And we would just do these for our driver groups and even our manager meetings, just to keep safety on the forefront and make it fun. And it was one of the best times I ever had in my career with EPS. So when I started really getting involved with safety and started having kids, i was invited to apply to be an on-road supervisor And at first I was hesitant. Can you know, i'm just so. I'm a creature of habit, which is why I love driving like the same methods. you do the same thing every day. You just might be going to a different stop, but it's. I love routine. So it. UPS has helped me get out of my comfort zone, which is why I'm here today. I keep stepping out. They just they'll train you, they'll give you the support you need and you You surprised yourself. So I did go into. I went into the safety training. I did that for about a year and a half. I was an on-road supervisor, so I trained drivers for a good. It was about three years and that was probably about 29 at that point.

Speaker 2:

Okay and it's that the most. It's that we're actually sitting like in a vehicle with them, when you say on road, okay, mm-hmm.

Speaker 1:

Yep. So we, we get on car and if you've ever seen the UPS package cars, you might need to take a second look, because we have those seats that they just pop right down And it's just like a little bench and we do, we ride along and we observe, how do they deliver, how are they driving, and we, we know whether they're using the methods and we, we coach and train them to make sure that they are, because it has to be a conscious effort. We've got people that come in and they're like I've I have never had a crash. I've. I have a safe driver in my own personal car. Well, that you might be safe by luck. We're gonna make you safe by choice. It's gotta be in and you have to have an intention of knowing where you're looking, what you're doing. So I was an on-car soup and I would have to sit down and and the one of the daunting things was riding with a driver Who you know. Hey, how are you doing, chris? They've been there driving for 29 years and that's how old I am. That was, that was daunting, but I leaned back to what, what my strengths are, which is people. I wanted my. My background is in counseling and speaking with people and I just would get to know my Driver group and they knew I took safety serious and they knew I cared about them and their well-being and I had one of the best Groups, that there were best relationships because of that. It wasn't about hitting numbers or making sure we meet production It's important But they knew them as a person that they came first. No, i did that for a few years and that my manager that I worked for noticed the passion I had for training and when this integrat site was built, they asked me if I'd like to come here as a trainer and that was in 2015 and, of course, it was like ultimate dream job and I just left at it. So I got to come to McKinney from Dallas and I transitioned over here as a Corporate facilitator and I trained for several years and Again, same thing, similar to what I'm doing now. I had to know the curriculum, teach it and I ate, slept and dreamt about these classes. I had a short cent where I left integrat and I was preload manager in Dallas and Again. Just, it may sound like I'm hopscotching, but honestly, what this does and what it can just show all your listeners is how many different jobs there really are at UPS. You're you're not paid to hold, there's no, there's no feeling you could go anywhere. And I was the promoted as the preload manager, which means I now ran the operation that loads all of our package cars. Okay, that's responsible for organizing it and making sure that everything gets out on the right package cars. So that was. I did that for just over a year, and that one is that that was a daunting again a daunting task, just because of the sheer volume that we bring into the hubs and the number of people that it takes to get that job done.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, like I and I could say I mean, i could see that, because I can only imagine just the massive amount of Packages that you guys must get and then to figure out what trucks they go into, and like I'm sure you have a system for how They're loaded. So it's like not only learning all of that but then teaching it and then Getting people to the point where right things are done safely and quickly. You know all those sort of factors. That's really interesting that you do that part of it as well, because it makes sense, right, that that would have to do with actually driving the vehicle, but yet it's. I guess it's something that I never really thought about. You know, like how do you load the vehicle And like all the packages are gonna be different sizes and shapes and weights every time. So yeah, how interesting.

Speaker 1:

It is a science. I can tell you that my first day on the package car I watched and I just I was observing and I watched this driver Run his route and every time he'd open up the door I'm like, are the packages having babies? It just looks like there's more. It's because I didn't understand how they were organized. There is absolute there. There's a very organized way in that you load them and when you run out of space There's an alternate place you put them and we have to make sure that our, our see each operation supports the other and Our preloaders can make a driver's day and how well they load that back to car Organization, everyone would think maybe it's being fast or athletic or driving fast, it's gonna help you get your job done quickly, but it's. It's being organized. That is where you get things done and where you are able to work and have a great day staying organized.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, though.

Speaker 1:

Yes, there was a great opportunity. I knew the value of a preloader and, if that, unloaders as well. We've got sorters and unloaders. They're all just the biggest support and they set our on-coatings up to be successful. So I did that for just over a year back in Dallas again, which is a huge hub over here in the Metroplex, and Before I got invited to come McKinney undergrad as the site manager, and I've been doing that for five years now.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's amazing and thank you for going through sort of that career path. Can you explain a little bit about the details of your day-to-day as a site manager, whether it's who you're working with or Or perhaps like systems that you need to know how to do, what sort of tools things like that that you're, that you know you're using to do your job? because I think there's so many jobs And that's why I love doing what I'm doing is there are so many things that Just happen right and like I I know, okay, if I order this package or if I ship out this package, it's, it's going to get there. I have no clue what the details are right, but I can check in a few days. That it's a pride. But it's interesting because we sort of take all those little details for granted. We don't realize how many people it takes to go from A to B, and whether that's in this role or in so many other jobs that I've talked to people, it's just so fascinating to see how does something happen, what is the process. So I'd love to hear that in those nitty-gritty details from you a little bit a day in the life, or a week in the life if you will.

Speaker 1:

Sure, well, i can go from both perspectives. You've got the operations which you just touched on. I tell drivers when they come to our class if this job is not about getting a package from point A to point B, anyone can do that. I said this job is about being a strategist. They are paid to overcome obstacles because we have to get the packages there on time. And you would think in the best-case scenario the package car would be loaded great and the weather would be fantastic and there'd be no delays on the road And you wouldn't have any road closures or your dyads or you wouldn't have any issues. But there is always something. So there's a lot that goes into the transition of a package, when we pick them up And we have to be very conscious about where our drivers are When they're delivering. I mean, that's the end of the road. So, yes, they need to get the packages delivered by the end of the day. When they're done delivering all of our package car, drivers have to then go make their pickups And that whole cycle starts again. They have to be back into the hub by a certain time so that our hub sort which would normally be twilight night that they're there ready to catch all that volume. If we have package car drivers out too late then the volume is missed And there's a whole day delay in that package getting to where it needs to go. So we have a lot of timing that we as management have to manage and make sure that our teams are staying in line with the timing. Once it gets into the hub whether it's going to be in the air system or in the ground system, it's just, it's almost like ants And you can imagine. We've got conveyor belts and chutes and slides. You walk into a hub and it's just inspiring. There's a million square foot hub even in the Lone Star Arlington area here, tech Group. That's just massive so that we can bring in and handle all the volume that we process.

Speaker 2:

Wow.

Speaker 1:

So once, yeah, we have to use and we have automated buildings now that help When they scan the packages. You've got mechanical arms that'll sort it to where it needs to go. But the process starts as soon as that driver gets back and we unload the volume And again, whether it's loaded onto a train or a feeder trailer or an airplane, then we have to get it to the next person Because, like you said, there's a lot of hands. These packages go through a lot of hands before it actually gets onto the final delivery driver's package car. So it is an extensive process and hard to explain if you don't get to see it from you and all of the machinery and the infrastructure that we need to process and organize and sort all of the volume. Now, when it comes to my job, it's a little bit easier to explain. It's all here in my site And we've got some of the most fun training tools here. We have simulators that have been designed in-house at UPS. There's patents pending on these things. We have a package car that has been built out and turned into simulators. We've got two of them And we have these huge TV screens that wrap the package car. So when you sit down in the seat and those screens are on. We have video that rolls of driving seats And it allows the student to feel like they're on the road without ever having to actually be behind the seat driving. So that's one of our newer additions to our training sites And we even have them out in the districts buildings. But the simulators are a great opportunity to really get that practice of how to drive defensively without being behind the wheel. We have virtual reality And we have headsets that we use that will take the students through a driver's day getting in, what's your morning routine, picking up your dyad or making sure you have all your supplies And they get to walk through these things without actually being out in the centers. And we even have on-off car. We have scales that help demonstrate why it's important, when you get off the package car, to use three-point contact, and that one is a lifesaver. If you can imagine, you're getting on and off the car hundreds and thousands of times And it's not always empty-handed. You've got weight and force that's going into your joints and your knees And there's a right way to do it to make sure you don't wear down your knees and your hips and all of your joints. And we train them by showing them what the weight impact is on their body when they get out, and using three-point contact or when they just step out of the vehicle without touching or folding. So we've got a lot of visual tools here to help make it personal to them. We also use a teach me, show me, let me method, because we understand everybody learns different. Some people need to read it, some people need to hear it And some people need to do it. And we touch all those bases here so that you don't just see something once or hear it once. You're going to go through all three of those, so that we are reinforcing getting the methods down right Now. It's not about getting it done fast when you're here with us, because it's slow and smooth, so that you build a habit that's going to be good, instead of taking short cuts or skipping through a process. We really emphasize the importance to go slow and smooth, get it right And then, as it is with anything, the more you do something, quicker you're going to be at it, but at least they'll be doing it the right way. So there's a lot of things that we do here. We've got tablets that all of the drivers work from and our management work from. So, really, technology, wherever UPS can bring in technology, we plug it into our training because it's really something that catches the attention of the newer generations and it also just reduces a lot of the paper And it's just a great way to help build up the training and make sure it's the most effective that it can be.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, i love that you talk about how you have different learning styles that you teach to and that you purposely address. I think from my experience I actually worked in higher ed and then I also was a facilitator for adults myself I think that's so key, right. It's just that acknowledgement that people can learn so differently and that having all those different ways not only like reading it, hearing it, doing it, like combining all those things and to do so in a way that creates habits versus speed and creating that idea of safety is so cool that you guys have that in mind. And then it's really interesting to me, too, that idea of having so many different like the virtual reality and then like the truck where you can actually physically sort of sit in. I'm imagining, are you steering in there? You're like steering the truck as you have these big screens, like that's so cool because you get like the most realistic feel for something. And I think it's so interesting. It's always so different sitting in a classroom, right, like thinking about, okay, well, how is this gonna work or how am I gonna do this, versus actually, right, being out in the world and doing it, whatever the field is. So I love that that there's that in between step to help people. That's super cool And for you. I'm curious to ask you, because you are at this point in like such a big leadership role, are there a lot of people that you work with that are men and women? Is it mostly men, and how do you feel about being a woman in this leadership role?

Speaker 1:

Oh, that's a great question. And the industry that I'm in it is there are a lot of men They're. Especially when I first started, there weren't very many women. There were maybe three drivers in the center that I drove it, but there were 80 total drivers, right. So, yeah, i did stick out. I was with the ponytail and I was much shorter and smaller, but things have started, really started to change And what I love and I'm excited about is how much support there is for women in this company. There's women initiatives, women in operation initiatives to help give women the connections that they need to know. Hey, this is something that you can do. I had to go seek it out and I can tell you when I went into management that's what I was nervous about. I had to. I didn't have anyone saying hey, come on, you can do it. I went to one of the female managers and asked is it possible to have be a management? Is it possible to still have a life? I didn't know that side of the job but, UPS and I love our new CEO. I mean, they've been really putting in some programs to help build those connections with women, So we're starting to see more. We have, like, right now, I've got three women here in our management class and the support and the outline of what they can do in their career is being put right there in front of them. So I'm really excited about that. We still, of course, there's it's not something that there's an equal balance, but it's again just one of those where I don't think women may not think about this as being as an option, And it really is. It's doable, it's fun, it is absolutely rewarding, And so that's why I'm grateful to be here, because if more women do, hey, there's gonna be some support and there's opportunity and ability. that's huge.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. And I think that's great to hear that there are more women that you're seeing coming in and that they're starting to implement these programs specifically to help sort of women connect the dots, Because I think to your point of going to a manager who's a female and saying, like is this doable? It helps so much to see other women doing it and seeing that example of like okay, if they can figure it out, like I can figure it out too. And the more that we see that right, The more examples there will be for for how to go about that. So I love that. And for you, because you are a mom of three, like how have you managed sort of that? And I don't like to use the word balance, but like how have you sort of managed the idea of like, yes, I'm this working professional in one sense And I'm also a mother in another sense and navigating that, especially because you are moving up in management, in leadership roles? How have you done that?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, So I have to. It's really about the perspective that you have And I can't take credit for this. My husband is my number one cheerleader and really drive this for my family because you know it's not the normal nine to five that we have here And we've come a long way. And work life balance It's absolutely a priority at UPS, but everybody knows it gets really busy at Christmas And there are some whoo. There are some weeks, even in the summer when we've got vacations, that we're gonna have some long work days And whenever we get to that point where I am more at work than I am at home, it's coming back to what we have in this job and reminding them hey, you know, we've got this and we're able to do this And remember that vacation we took. We're able to afford it because of the job and just keeping a grateful perspective of what we get from the job. That's really what's helped is keeping that mentality, because there are tough days but there's so much more to be grateful for and so much more good that I get from them along long days.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that makes sense.

Speaker 1:

That's what's worked in my family. I know a girl that I started with actually at UPS way back in 2001,. she is still with the company here in the DFW area And just last year she started to go driving. So everyone's career path is different. She stayed part-time while her kids were small and now everyone's in school, pretty much self-sufficient, and she's like I'm gonna go driving. So it's really dependent on what's gonna work for your family. what can you handle? and whenever it does get rough, just remember all the good stuff.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, no, that's wonderful. I think there's something to be said for the power of appreciation and just that mindset of sort of stopping being where you are and like focusing on that. That's something that I'm trying to do myself as well, because especially, it's like life with kids and work and the family. It's like things just happen, like the time flies by and I swear it's like the more kids I had, i feel like the quicker the time goes. I don't know how that magically happens, like time condenses or something, but yeah so, but it's like that. The idea of stopping, like taking a minute and being like I'm here because of this or I'm able to do this because of this right, and seeing that there are opportunities. That is such a beautiful thing that you mentioned, so I love that For you, like when it comes to other women who are in this industry, mainly like in the transportation industry, have you found that there are other women within your organization or outside your organization even that you've been able to connect with? that you found, like as sort of support and kind of seeing also that like this is what I'm doing, like what are you doing, and kind of connecting and sharing in that way?

Speaker 1:

Absolutely, and what I love is that I've been able to just pull from them things that they're good at. I have strengths, i have things that come naturally to me, and other people have strengths that have made them successful at UPS. I know there's one person that I work with that is the most probably the best demonstrated maintenance of relationships and following up with people and communicating, and it's that's something that I am driving towards making sure I'm always just keeping in touch and connecting because, like the connections make such a big difference when we work in such a large company and making the impacts on those people individually, you never know how it can change the trajectory of their career or even their life. So I've been very grateful to be in either workshops with other women or I've been able to get to know them when I'm in the operations that they're working in, about some of them that are just brilliant at itself and different functions that they need in the operation side, with all the reports that we have to cover and really track. So, yes, it's been great. They've made me better and it just encourages me again to step out of the comfort zone. And you know what? Let's keep moving forward.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I love that. That's like a theme for you that you've recognized is just like that. You do really like the consistency. But on the flip side, you sort of have pushed yourself to get outside of your comfort zone and it's led to all these really cool positions that you've been in and you know it's like there's still this right, that possibility that like what are you gonna do next? or like where might this lead? So you know for you in your current job, like because you are the site manager, how many people are at that site or how many people come into it. If you could kind of share, what does that look like for those of us who are not familiar?

Speaker 1:

Sure. so it depends on which classes we're running and, to be honest, how many drivers we need to train. Back in 2019, we were running two classes a day at my site and we would have a class of 30. We went all the way up to 60 drivers at one point and there was a day class and we would do the same thing at night, And that was one again during a very busy peak season where we needed to train that many people. So my classroom is set up to train right now, set up to train 32 people at a time. Right now, i have a management class that's going on and the facilitator to student ratio is gonna be a little bit smaller. So we have 12,. we're set up to have 12 supervisors for four facilitators. Of course, if we go up to 32, we increase our trainer staffing, but it's set up right now to hold 32 students.

Speaker 2:

Okay, yeah, that's really interesting to hear like that level of details, because I think especially that there's different groups of people that you're training at different times. And I know we talked a bit about before we were recording, like about the idea of training the trainer, which I thought was so interesting, and I was curious if you could speak a little bit more on that, because I think a lot of times we might think of oh well, there is a new driver or something that comes in right And they're first learning how to drive, but you also are training the different groups of people to then go out and do different things to increase safety, to help maintain safety. So if you could speak on that, that would be cool.

Speaker 1:

Sure. So when we talk about train the trainer, it's bringing in those supervisors that are gonna be responsible for our drivers and making sure that they know how to train and what they're supposed to be training on. So currently we're running an MDST class, which that may just sound like a weird word, but it actually stands for Master Driver Safety Training, and what we do is we bring in again. There's a lot of prep work before this class starts. A lot of things they have to study and learn And when they come into our class, we, by the end of the week, we make them a master trainer Based on what their level of demonstration of the methods on road, about their certification that they do in class. There's 10 different certifications they do in the classroom And then we train them on road as well. And that to make sure that our supervisors are qualified to reinforce the training that we're giving our drivers and uphold it. If the supervisor didn't know the methods and they didn't know what we were training here at undergrad, then when we send our new drivers out to them, they would lose it. That's why you don't use your lose. And it's been great. We've had just over well over a thousand management trained already this year, wow, and the Master Driver Safety Training, which is very intense. There's a lot of work to it But, again, what I value about that is the fact that these supervisors are not paying for that. Ups is investing in them And I remind them it's a lot of work on their part. I will give you that. It's a memorization, making sure you prepare for class, but UPS brings them in the travel, the lodging and they pay them. While they're here in class There's nobody in there, out there delivering packages or being in the operation. Ups is investing in them and it will last them. I mean, it could last them a lifetime And, depending on how personal they take this information, it could change their family's life. It could change their kid's life And right now I'm training my 15 year old daughter. She's driving, i'm teaching her this And one of the best stories that came out from a driver that came through my class and it just goes to show how everything that UPS pours in to our people, i mean it can benefit anyone. And there was a young supervisor that came through our class and his wife was helping him study and memorize our defensive driving program, all the methods, and he ended up getting the job. He passed class and he's out delivering already And she goes into labor and she's in a panic and starts driving herself. But on the way to the hospital, when she's going through an intersection, everything that she was quizzing her husband off, she's just doing it because she just learned it herself. And she looked left, right back to the left and saw a car speeding too fast. So she slammed on her brakes and that car took off the front license plate from her vehicle.

Speaker 2:

But it was because she used.

Speaker 1:

She was looking left, right, left to see if there was any coming, because that's what she was helping her husband learn in order to come through and be a driver.

Speaker 2:

And.

Speaker 1:

I love getting stories like that about how you know, i learned this, i used it, i saved a life, i saved my life, and we hear those all the time because it's just, it's useful for everybody not just our drivers, not just for our supervisors.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, wow, what an incredible story. It like literally gave me goosebumps, i mean, but that's, yeah, i mean, but that's, i mean. It goes back to like driving. I mean, especially in some areas like I'm in the Phoenix area, we drive a lot here. So those skills safe driving skills are definitely helpful and necessary. So I love that And what a gratifying thing to have happen. You know where people come back with those experiences. That's incredible. I wanna ask about you know, if people are listening to this and they're like wow, like this is amazing. I never understood that there were these kinds of opportunities for me. Like how would you suggest that people either learn more about what you're doing, what opportunities exist? And is it like within this question, i guess I'm curious in order to be a trainer like you or you know now that you're a site manager as well like do people have to go through the same step-by-step process of becoming a driver first, then a facilitator, in order to move up? So I'm curious like that's my second part of the question but how would you advise people if they're thinking this is super cool?

Speaker 1:

So you can always go on the internet and look at what jobs are available. There's greatemployerupscom that you can go and look through And of course, you can find us on Twitter as well My UPS Integrate site has a page there or just reaching out to see what opportunities. When it comes to the actual position I'm in, or in being a supervisor, the process really has changed, which opens up even more opportunities, because back when I first started, it would typically take three to five years to be eligible to be a driver, because UPS promotes from within. They offer the opportunities based on seniority. But with so many jobs that have been created positions and of course we've just been growing as a company that really has that timeline has shrunk down quite a bit. There's more opportunity quicker. So you might even find positions for a full-time driver job posted on the UPS Jobs website. I've seen it because of the volume and what we've been doing. Those have been coming up more and more. But if you choose to go the part-time route, you can either start inside the hub working hourly and get that fantastic insurance or you could even go into a part-time management role. Those new positions have come in. We've got part-time on-road trainers and again, ups is gonna equip them for that. You come through our undergrad classes and we train you about the driver job and how to do it. You get familiar on a route. It's typically about a 30-day process there to do the job and the training continues from there. There's management classes, supervisor classes that are all designed to help equip supervisors. So you can go either the hourly route or you can go part-time management And if you find the right spot and the right time, there's even full-time driver jobs that I've seen just come up come open. So a lot it's been great.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's awesome that there's so much opportunity, in different types of positions too, to sort of suit whatever you're looking for. I think that's really great because it's interesting. Sometimes I think, like for some fields I'm loving that I'm finding out there's all these different avenues in and it's flexible, which is great. Sometimes for other fields, like you kind of have to follow a specific trajectory and it makes it a little bit harder as someone who's maybe done different things before and wants to make the shift. So that's really cool to think about and especially for people who are interested in getting into the transportation industry in some way. So very cool. And then I wanted to see if you could share. I know as part of your previous jobs you had sung some songs and I would love to see if you could share just a little bit, because I thought this was such a great piece that you talked about, that you loved training so much that you would come up like with all these different creative ways to help people essentially learn what they're supposed to know and have it really stick. And I would love to hear if you could just share a little tidbit of just a peak preview of what you had done, Because I think these are the examples of when teachers and facilitators you can just tell that they're not only that they really are invested in, that they care, but that they're also so good at what they do. It's like this is the extra mile, So I love that.

Speaker 1:

Well, thank you. I, when I got more comfortable in my own skin, i was like I don't care if I look silly. The whole point of this especially if we do it in a class, it's to get them to be comfortable and to open up, to not be so nervous. He shows them that you can have fun and it really sets the atmosphere for them to learn better. So it is. it's something I do to help connect to them and just show them that you know, we can work hard, we can play hard. And I guess one of the short ones I had written way back in the day it's regarding backing And that's something I take very personal because of the types of crashes we've seen in backing and what we see in our everyday, you know, in the general public. There was actually someone that we knew who's unfortunately, one of their kids was backed into in a parking lot. I think it's so personal And I wrote this rap, you know, and it's fun, but it's about a serious topic. So what I did is I took Animal House and I rewrote look around. I rewrote it to jump up. It's not jump around, it's look around.

Speaker 2:

I love it.

Speaker 1:

I have no background music but I will do the best I can. So here it goes Back it up, back it in. before you begin You better look around for you and some sin. You wanna tear the block up, we'll go ahead and back up, but play it by the books on Mahogun to act up. Have fun the morning. give some people warning. You'll get the box delivered and you'll be back in the morning. If it starts raining and the road's kind of slick and you drive up by your stop and you wanna back, it's a drive around. Just walk it down. If you have to back and look around, look, look, look, look, look around. So now you're gonna back. well, there's rooms. You gotta follow with all of them. Then somebody hello back to the side because that's the best way, and check all the mirrors So you'll be okay. stay out of driveways because people always slip because you might hit a dog or worse. you had a kid to make your life easy. There's just one rule to know If you're tempted to back, then just say no, just walk around. Just walk it down. If you have to back and look around, look, look, look, look, look around There we go There, we go There, we go, there, we go.

Speaker 2:

Huge class. That was amazing. I love that so much. That was so, so good.

Speaker 1:

I'm not gonna quit my day job, but it is fun. It's a fun hobby.

Speaker 2:

So good. Well, that was an epic version of that song And I appreciate that it was about safety. Yes, thank you for sharing that so much with us. I used to do, as a complete side note, I used to sing like hokey pokey and all sorts of ridiculous things with my students. I used to teach ESL to adults, So I used to. I was in the same boat of like. I definitely did not look cool in front of everyone, but we were having a good time. So you know.

Speaker 1:

That's what's important, exactly.

Speaker 2:

So thank you for sharing that with us. That was amazing And it is really cool to learn about, like not only what you have done and like your path to this job, like the insight into what you are doing, how you help create these safe environments within different communities by having people come to your site, and like what you're doing as a site manager is really cool and just your role as like a leader in that way. So I really appreciate that. And before we end, i also want to ask which is something I have everyone share if you could give us a sentence that uses verbage or jargon from your field and then translate it so it's understandable to us.

Speaker 1:

Okay, let's see. Well, there's so many UPS acronym So I'm gonna throw some of the harder ones out there that we talk about with our drivers. So when they come in and we have drivers in class, we might tell them to go over and get their dyads and they're gonna download ed. And you might hear that like ed. And what are we talking about at the horsewoods? Well, our dyad is called is our delivery information acquisition device. So dyad's a lot easier to say, but that is the tablet that they use to keep all of their route information. It's got MathNAS. It's again how you figure out where your packages are located the back of the truck package car. And then ed is enhanced dyad download. So that is all the information. So we keep it short and sweet, like get your dyad and download ed, so you know what you're doing for the day. Yes, that's what that means.

Speaker 2:

Thank you. That was a great example, yeah, and definitely would not have understood that at all.

Speaker 1:

So If you ever come into EPS, we will teach you what all that means.

Speaker 2:

I love it. I love it Well. thank you so much, Lindsay, for being on Women with Cool Jobs. It was so much fun to have you on, like get a little bit of insight into your world and what you do, And you know, if people want to reach out to you, is there somewhere that they can do so.

Speaker 1:

Yes, so email is great. It's just lcordova at upscom. I'd be happy to respond back and help connect anyone to an opportunity or answer questions, and that would be it. Or you can find me on social media as well.

Speaker 2:

Awesome. Okay, thank you so much. It was so fun to have you as a guest.

Speaker 1:

Thank you, julie, i appreciate it. This was fun.

Speaker 2:

Hey everybody, thank you so much for listening to Women with Cool Jobs. I'll be releasing a new episode every two weeks, so make sure you hit that subscribe button And if you loved the show, please give me a five star rating. Also, it would mean so much if you shared this episode with someone you think would love it or would find it inspirational. And lastly, do you have ideas for future shows or do you know any rock star women with cool jobs? I would love to hear from you. You can email me at Julie at womenwithcooljobscom, or you can find me on Instagram at womencooljobs. Again, that's womencooljobs. Thank you so much for listening and have an incredible day.

Women With Cool Jobs
UPS Training and Career Growth
UPS Career Path and Site Management
UPS Driver Training and Operations
Women in Leadership and Transportation
UPS Training and Career Opportunities
UPS Safety and Jargon
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