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A Day in the Life of Monica S., Regional Lead (Latin America)



As a regional lead, Monica hires, trains, coaches, motivates, and manages a team of Yelp Community Managers in Chile, Argentina, Mexico, and Brazil. She first found her aptitude for leadership on the soccer field. A member of the U.S. women's national soccer team in high school, Monica was recruited to the University of Pennsylvania to play goalkeeper. From this position on the field she learned early how to stay calm under pressure, communicate clearly, see the bigger picture (as well as all the angles), and help instruct her team to be in the right place to make the play. We're lucky to have her skills on our side at Yelp!

If Monica’s role sounds like your dream job, check out yelp.com/careers to see our open positions and get your career started with Yelp.

Monica headshotMonica showing off her ping pong skills

Why do you love being a part of the Yelp team?

Had someone asked me then whether I saw my future self living in Brazil and growing Yelp throughout Latin America, I would have laughed at the outrageousness of it. I joined Yelp as the Philadelphia Community Manager in May 2009 and at the time, I had the coolest job of all of my friends. I threw parties at some of the city’s best businesses and I got to support locals who were making a remarkable difference in the city. From Philly, I got to take on a market triple the size and became the East Bay Community Manager. It was there that I brought 4,000 Yelpers together at Yelp’s Sunset Showdown. In 2011, I got the opportunity move back to my hometown of Miami, FL to be the Community Manager and later Regional Lead for the Southeast US.

I love working at Yelp because 5 years later, I still feel like I have the coolest job ever. It’s given me the chance to reinvent myself while growing personally and professionally. Yelp does a great job at promoting from within and many of my fellow manager colleagues were once CMs like me. We share a bond that’s become really special over time. Today, as I manage a team, having the background of being a Community Manager is priceless. Yelp has changed my life and my goal is to help it change the lives of others.

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What is a typical day in the office like for you?

My home office is in São Paulo, but my time is also spent between Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Santiago, Rio de Janeiro, and some other cities in Mexico and Brazil. When I travel for work, I’m meeting with potential marketing partners, co-hosting a Yelp Happy Hour, or plugged in at a coffee shop collaborating with a trusty Community Manager or Yelp Ambassador. My job is to recruit, hire and coach CMs while figuring out the best way to grow our communities in Latin America. I like to think that I’m any given city’s second-best Yelper – after the CM, of course – and I also never shy away from lending a hand. Just last week, I bartended a Yelp event in Rio, and the week before, I was presenting at a conference in São Paulo.

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What’s your advice for someone who might be interested in working at Yelp?

Write a great cover letter and be your best self. When I’m hiring for my own team, I’m looking for someone who has a voracious appetite for creativity, along with an unmatched work ethic. Someone who’s adaptive, who can think on their feet, who carries a good attitude, and has a hunger for more can go pretty far here.

What’s your favorite thing about living in Latin America? What are you up to when you’re not at work?

Latin America has been an unforgettable experience so far. When I’m not Yelping, I’m trying to discover as much of the region as I can. Since I live in Brazil, I’ve been checking out some breath-taking beaches – the types of places that make you reconsider giving up everything and selling coconut water from a cart. Trancoso is one of those spots. Needless to say, living here is “muito legal” (pronounced le-gau), which is the best way to say, “very nice.” I also made it to the top of the Andes and felt very proud of myself… until altitude sickness kicked in on the 5-mph bus ride down a jagged mountainside! Surfing is my newest endeavor – I just need to conquer my fear of sharks.

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What are a few of your current favorite local businesses?

For the best pisco sour and ceviche outside of Peru, I make it a weekly meal at São Paulo’s Suri. The freshness there is unparalleled and the Argentine bartender, Fabio, always starts my pisco sour when he sees me come through the door. Now that’s service!

I’m also particularly obsessed with the freshly made waffle cones at my neighborhood ice creamery, Frida & Mina. I swear the scent that emits from their petite corner store puts the whole neighborhood in a good mood.

For gifts that keep my stateside friends and family feeling loved, I head to Sou Sou. This jewelry shop is in one of São Paulo’s hippest neighborhoods, Vila Madalena, and all the jewelery is made there. The store specializes in crystals and gems from Brazil and every time I go, I walk out with more than one thing. I love the rough cut minerals that hang from necklaces; it’s very dramatic and chic. Even better, their goods won’t break the bank.

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