Fatherhood, El Salvador and OSI
In recognition of Father’s Day, which is celebrated on June 17 in El Salvador and June 20 in the United States, we wanted to turn our attention to one of OSI’s many hardworking and dedicated employees who’s also a dad. The following is a Q&A with account manager Williams Abarca, who’s married and has a two-year-old daughter and a dog.Williams has worked at OSI since November 2019. His duties include recruiting, managing staff, monitoring team goals and serving as a liaison between clients and staff.
Question: Tell us a little bit about where you are from and how it shaped who you are today?
Answer: I’m from El Salvador. Born and raised. I was raised by my two parents. I’m lucky to have been raised by both of them and to have a solid family foundation. I learned from their examples.
This upbringing shaped who I am. I’m a family man.
I look forward to spending all the time I can outside of work with my family. That’s what I value most.
Q: How did you learn English?
A: I learned it in school. That gave me the basics of the language.
That allowed me to interact in English.
But to be able to work in a call center, I had to improve my English.
I practiced a lot. I watched movies and listened to music, and that helped with my pronunciation. Then I got a job in a call center. Working there, I was able to get to a level where I was comfortable having a conversation in English. And it just kept improving from there.
Q: You have a music diploma from Instituto CanZion. Tell us more about that.
A: It was a weekend course I took more than ten years ago. It was every weekend for two years. It gave me a strong foundation to have a career in music. Of course, I didn’t go that route, but it was a great experience.
I learned how to read music. I learned about harmony and different music styles. We practiced singing in a choir. The course had a little of everything, but it focused on harmony, reading music and playing the piano.
I like music production and music. It’s still a big part of my personal life.
Q: You also have a bachelor’s in legal sciences from Universidad Centroamericana José Simeón Cañas. (UCA) has a good reputation. What was that experience like?
A: I have the qualifications to be a lawyer, but I’m not certified to practice law in El Salvador.
I considered becoming a certified lawyer here. I chose that major because I’m interested in law, but I wasn’t planning to become a lawyer. I wanted to be an entrepreneur and to be familiar with business law.
I liked the school itself. It was challenging, but it wasn’t too difficult for me. I really enjoyed the experience.
Q: How’d you end up at OSI?
A: When I worked in the call center, I had the opportunity to grow within that company. I moved over to the operations side and found my passion.
I really like dealing with a lot of different people and personalities.
But after several years, I left that company, and, at the time, my daughter was about to be born.
I waited to look for another job, so I could enjoy parenthood at home. When I started looking for work again, I was blessed to find OSI. I was on Facebook and somebody shared that OSI was looking for a supervisor. I was familiar with the company and its culture, so I didn’t hesitate to apply.
Q: What has been the most surprising thing about working at OSI?
A: A lot of things, but the main one is the trust and respect the leadership has for the employees. You don’t have a boss who’s always around asking how this person or that person is performing. They hire well, then trust their employees. That was surprising to me, coming from a call-center background. Usually it’s the opposite. In a call center, you’re constantly reporting to the bosses.
Of course, if you need help or have a question at OSI, they’re there to support you—and it’s not seen as failing. It’s seen as learning and growing and getting better.
Q: Father’s Day is this week. What does being a father mean in El Salvador?
A: To me, it’s everything. Even at a very young age, I knew I was born to be a father. I was looking forward to it for a long time. My wife had trouble getting pregnant, so when it finally happened it was a blessing. It’s always a blessing to be a father and a parent, but it was especially so for us.
Q: Describe a typical Father’s Day in El Salvador. How is that day celebrated here?
A: I’ve only been a father for a few years, so I’m not sure. Usually we went out with my dad to grab something to eat. You see a lot of posts on social media about it, too. People thanking their fathers and stuff like that. That’s a typical Father’s Day here. It’s pretty casual.
Q: What’s the best thing about being a father and working at OSI?
A: Whenever there’s a family emergency, if my daughter is sick or something, OSI is flexible and allows me to be there for my family. That’s important to me.
Q: What’s one thing we didn’t ask you about that you wish we would’ve?
A: A good chunk of my free time is spent on an interior-design blog. My wife and I have a blog and we share our experiences as a couple and our love of interior design. We have been building a following for five years, mostly on Instagram, sharing what we like and what works for us. Hopefully other people are finding our experiences useful.
To learn more about Williams and his wife’s interior-design blog, visit www.nalaandcosv.com or @nalaandco.sv on Instagram.