Work Diaries: Ricardo Fernández's worklife, from empowering media partners to celebrating Latinx Heritage Month
We’re peeling back the curtains with our series, Work Diaries, where you can experience the inner workings of YouTube. How do decisions get made? What goes into a product, feature or policy? We’re asking YouTube employees to give us the low-down during a five-day period.
Featured today: Ricardo Fernández, who works in the YouTube TV Operations team as Partner Engagement Manager, is focused on empowering Media partners to deliver great content and operate smoothly. He's also Bay Area Site Lead for Familia@, YouTube’s Latinx Employee Resource Group, and is leading Latinx Heritage Month programming efforts.
Outside of work, Ricardo is an endurance sports enthusiast, currently training for his second Half Ironman this fall. He is also a volunteer educator and board member of Junior Achievement.
8:00am: Week Prep - Still questioning how the weekend went by so fast... My first meeting is at 11:00am, so I have time to catch up on emails and take a look at my calendar to plan the week ahead. I brew some coffee while my wife, Anik, makes some delicious Arepas (Venezuelan traditional food).
11:00am: 1:1 with Liza - I enjoy catching up with my manager at the beginning of the week as it’s helpful knowing what’s top of mind for her, and making sure we’re on the same page about top work priorities. I share updates on a few projects I’m working on and get thoughtful feedback. I’m currently defining a process for keeping internal documentation accessible and up to date.
1:00pm: XFN Bi-Weekly - Meeting with Cross-functional teams to share partner updates and check the status of different projects. A big component of an Operations team is to constantly look for ways to improve our processes and make our partners' lives easier.
Today’s Highlight: Monthly check-in with my mentor, Lena! - Having a mentor not only has helped me grow both personally and professionally, but also has made me recognize what I’m looking for and the steps I need to take to get there. Lena’s feedback is always on point and it makes my day catching up with her.
7:00am: Swimming time! - With just a few weeks away from the Ironman 70.3 Barcelona race, I’m at the peak of my training, which mostly consists of a lot of swimming, cycling, and running. Today, I jumped into the water for an early 1.5 mile swim and I felt great and ready to start the day!
9:00am: Partner Engagement Weekly Team Meeting - Barry, our team lead, starts the meeting with management updates followed by team highlights. Today he shared news about our Return To Office plans. We use the remainder of the time catching up on other topics including new home projects and what everyone’s watching.
2:00pm: CUJs revamp kick-off - Productive meeting with my colleague, Rachael about YouTube TV Ops Critical User Journeys. We are taking the lead on validating that the CUJs are up to date, which means checking that all the possible interactions a user has on YouTube TV are still relevant. This requires us to conduct research sessions with multiple teams, where we ask if there have been any process changes, and if any, making sure we have the latest information. We split tasks and define action items for our next sync.
Today’s highlight: Venezuela won 2 gold medals at the Paralympics! - I’m a huge sports fan and enjoy watching pretty much any sport, but watching the Paralympics is the very best. The perseverance of these athletes inspires and motivates me so much! Today, Linda Perez and Lisbeli Vera won the first two gold medals for Venezuela and it was incredible.
10:00am: Partner meeting win! - We have been working on expanding our Spanish offerings on YTV for some time, and one of my partners is almost ready for launch! Jumped into a call with them to check on status and everything is coming along nicely.
1:00pm: YTF sync - As part of Latinx Heritage Month, Familia@ is planning a special event to celebrate the Legacy, Present, and Future of our Latin culture and highlight the great work our Employee Resource Group (ERG) is doing to empower our community. This year, we’re organizing a Fireside Chat with one of our top Latinx creators during YTF (YouTube’s weekly meeting). Today, we met with AJ and the YTF team to go through logistics and timelines.
6:00pm: Easy 4 Mile Run - Going for a run to clear your mind after a day of back to back meetings is a great antidote for your well-being, totally recommended!
Today’s highlight: Familia@ Summit Swag! - Every year, the YouTube Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) team organizes a summit for Familia@, which is happening in a couple of weeks. Today, I received a package with swag that all participants of the summit will get and it’s pretty neat. I’ve made my first ever unboxing video to show you what I’ve got, take a look!
9:00am: Work time! - Taking advantage of a light morning with no meetings to respond to emails, and make progress on a Help Center project I'm working on.
3:00pm: 1:1 with Joe Intern Mentorship Program - For the second year, I’m the mentor of a MBA Intern at Google! This time I’ve got the opportunity to support and advise Joe during his 12 week internship program. We connect on a weekly basis and talk about how to navigate challenges and make the most of opportunities coming his way. Joe is working on his final presentation and I gave him some feedback on the slides format.
5:00pm: Cycling day! - 30 miles at a steady pace with a stunning sunset!
Today’s highlight: Facetime with family and friends - I generally don’t like spending a long time on the phone, but given the circumstances and the fact that everyone now lives in different places, catching up with friends and family over video calls is the way to go. It was nice seeing both of my grandmas on the other side of the screen with a big smile :)
9:00am: Familia@ Leads Bi-Weekly - It’s always fun to catch up with my Familia@ co-leads. With Latinx Heritage Month around the corner, most of the agenda is centered on discussing LHM events and logistics. I take the lead on kicking off program updates – everyone is organizing amazing stuff! Nicole reveals the LHM logo, Dani talks about a Product Inclusion initiative, Isa shares about a Community Service opportunity, and others work on Career Development and Social activities.
4:00pm: Wondering how the week went by so fast! - Crazy having the same thought from Monday morning, right? I guess it happens when you’re enjoying your work. Sending a few emails before calling it a day and getting ready for a fun weekend.
Today’s highlight: Rest day & Pizza night! - We have a tradition of making (or ordering sometimes) pizza every Friday and today is no different. Anik made our all time favorite pepperoni with corn pizza, and we sat down to watch some TV with a glass of wine.
It was fun documenting my week and sharing with all of you, if you are still here, hope you enjoyed it!