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Marisol Flores is one of the newest additions to the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (IHCC). Her personality transmits energy and a valuable “out of the box” vision that enriches our experienced team.

Her studies in marketing prepared her to communicate fluently and intelligently with the most diverse audiences she serves within the IHCC, providing the technical assistance required by entrepreneurs and small business owners who are interested in doing work with the different transportation agencies in the Great Lakes states.

She communicates fluently in English and Spanish, being a vital link to hundreds of Hispanic clients who require support in their own language.

The best proof that nothing stands in the way of her goals is that she decided to get married in the midst of the pandemic, showing that she is willing to meet the goals she sets for herself, regardless of life’s obstacles.

Following up with the series of short interviews, so our members, partners, and clients can get to know more about the staff behind the daily work of the IHCC, today we present this talk with Marisol, daughter of Mexican immigrants who symbolizes the struggle of the new generations of Latinos to find an important place in this Chicago that belongs to them, too.

Place of Birth and Current Residence
I am 27 years old, born in Chicago, raised in Summit, IL, and currently living in the West Side of Chicago. 

What is your academic level?
I have a Bachelor’s in Science and Marketing.

Who integrates your family?
My family consists of my husband and me, as of right now. But I am also fortunate to have both my parents in a 15min drive. To me, the family is important and the times we spend together are always valuable to me.

How are the family dynamics like in a normal day-to-day situation, and how have they changed with the pandemic?
On a regular day, I would go to work, come back home, and spend the rest of the evenings being with my parents or working out at the gym. It all changed in many ways due to the pandemic. 1) Instead of spending the whole day out, I was now at home all day 2) I got married (was a COVID-19 bride) and 3) Moved in with my now-husband. 

What are your responsibilities at the IHCC?
I am a Project Coordinator for the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), Office of Small Business Great Lakes Region, Small Business Transportation Resource Center (SBTRC). I work alongside SBTRC’s Project Director to help provide technical assistance and bring resources to businesses that are interested in working with the different transportation agencies. The states of Great Lakes Region include: Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.

How is a day at work at the IHCC?
My typical workday consists of answering questions by email, hopping on zoom meetings with our partners from out of state, managing our SBTRC programs, meeting with colleagues, brainstorming, and among that, many more things!

What do you do in your free time?
In my free time, I enjoy doing many things such as: playing the guitar, spending time with my family, watching Criminal Minds with my husband, baking Mexican sweet bread, and now that I am married cooking and cleaning lol.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
What I enjoy most about my job is being able to help others, pay it forward, and learn along the way. I also really love learning from everyone on the team. I am extremely fortunate to work alongside some very smart and passionate individuals and that motivates me to want to learn more.

What are your most important values and strengths at work?
I value the connections I’ve developed and am passionate about hearing what other people’s passions are in order to see how I can possibly help. I also value my patience, listening skills, and the ability to be attentive.

What is your life’s vision?
My vision for life is to continue to grow in my professional career. I am still young, and I want to be able to one day be an example to others.

Did the pandemic change that vision?
The way that the pandemic has changed my vision has motivated me to want to take the next step. With all things practically at a click away, I want to see what I can do during this time to grow professionally, whether take an online course or joining in on a virtual event to expand my knowledge on a subject.

What do you want most to achieve? What are your most important dreams?
I long to achieve a fruitful career where I am happy with the path I choose.

What are the main obstacles you face today to achieve that which you desire?
Finding the time and making the time are my must major obstacle. I am also a little indecisive, so I really take the time to evaluate my choices. 

What important experience has your work at the IHCC brought you?
Two great things that I’ve learned from working at the IHCC have been improving my presentation skills and thinking outside the box.

What do you enjoy most about working with the IHCC?
Learning from everyone, especially from Hispanic professionals. I also really enjoy SBTRC’s world. It has been great working with our different state counterparts and listening to many businesses success stories we have helped achieve.

Which activities at work bring out the best in you?
The activities that bring out the best in me involve independence and creativity. However, I also enjoy working as a team and collaborating to bring a project to life.

How has your work with the IHCC made you a better professional?
Working with the IHCC has shown me I’m able and capable of becoming a better professional. It was hard to recognize this right after college, especially being a woman and a minority. However, I began feeling inspired by the team’s women. Overall, I believe I have gained more confidence and improved my organization skills and prioritizing accordingly.

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