Natalia Cardenas seeks balance in all aspects of her life—both in her career as an Associate at Your Part-Time Controller, LLC and outside of work as an avid yogi.
In her career specifically, Natalia’s traveled far and wide for this sense of balance. She was born in Quito, Ecuador, and attended business school before emigrating to the United States in 2008. When she arrived, she knew that she wanted to pursue a path with passion, which led her to accounting. She returned to school, sat for her CPA exam, and began work with a small firm in Rockville, Maryland.
From there, she began to flourish within the field—she moved into payroll accounting, then general ledger, and finally graduated to a management position. While her path continued to move upward, Natalia began to crave something more, both in her career and outside of it.
“My experience with all of these jobs was that they were very demanding—work-life balance didn’t really exist. I got to a point where I was really, really tired,” Natalia said about the most significant driving factor behind her career shift.
Her search for a new, more enriching position took months, but the draw was immediate when she happened upon YPTC. While exploring Staff Testimonials on the YPTC website, she felt genuine happiness emanating from the words of those working at the company. That, paired with an interest and some previous experience with nonprofits, convinced Natalia to apply.
After receiving a call from YPTC’s Talent Acquisition team and subsequently going through the interview process, it was apparent that Natalia was not only an excellent fit for YPTC, but YPTC was an excellent fit for Natalia and what she saw for her future. In April 2019, she started her Associate position at the Washington D.C. office.
Over the last almost three years, the things that Natalia loves the most have found a place back in her life. “Having a work-life balance at YPTC has allowed me to have the time to go to the gym daily and take time off to travel,” she remarked. Work-life balance is engrained well within YPTC’s culture and is shared by all staff; it’s also one of the many reasons they continue to vote YPTC a Best Place to Work.
Aside from taking time off to explore her interests, Natalia has had opportunities also to share them during the workday. During YPTC’s Fall Fitness Challenge this past October and November, Natalia extended her expertise on yoga and taught a class for colleagues. Regarding this experience, Natalia said, “I enjoy working out very much. It helps me reduce my stress levels and contributes to my overall well-being. We need to remember that physical fitness also translates to mental fitness. That’s why I participated in the Fall Fitness Challenge. I wanted to share the benefits of breathing exercises, and simple back stretches with my colleagues. I was happy to hear that they felt more relaxed after the yoga session.”
Natalia equated the above opportunities with YPTC’s Culture of Support, specifically where advice and coaching are always available. Her mentors, found through the YPTC Ambassador Program, have also inspired Natalia to become a YPTC Ambassador herself. Being an ambassador is a rewarding experience that allows seasoned YPTC staff to connect with new coworkers and be a guide for the YPTC Way and culture. This commitment to her colleagues led to nominations for Mentor/Ambassador of the Year at YPTC’s 2021 Annual Awards, and her winning the Champion of Culture Award in the category of Building Strong Relationships.
Washington D.C. Associate, Ana Garcia-Noya, said, “Natalia is always available to help me! She is wonderful! Since I started working with YPTC approximately three months ago, Natalia has always been supportive and available to help me. Whenever I have a question or am unsure about a certain subject, she is my first to-go person. And best of all, she is always smiling, patient, and makes sure that I fully understand the answer. She is always there for me when I need her.”
Dina Ramirez, another Washington D.C. Associate added in her own nomination, “Natalia has been an amazing colleague. We established great communication after being introduced during a “Latinas at YPTC” meeting. When I have questions, I reach out to her, and she always makes time for me. She is a great supporter, colleague, and friend.”
Through her abilities to grow in a career with a purpose, cultivate her passions, and continue valuable mentor-mentee relationships, YPTC has proudly been able to help Natalia finally achieve the balance for which she had been looking.