Where would Isabella Torres be without Garber?
Well, she isn’t sure.
“It’s hard to say where I’d be,” she admitted. “After I graduated from college, I was unsure about my future. Most likely, I wouldn’t have been in this field at all. It is definitely a case of right time, right place. I feel like I struck gold working at Garber.”
She is now the Biller and Warranty Cancellations Clerk at Garber Chevrolet Highland in Indiana. Here, she doesn’t just have a job. She has a career path.
“I’ve been at Garber Highland for three years in September, which is crazy to think about,” she laughed. “It goes by fast.”
Time flies when you’re having fun.
Word of Mouth
At first, Isabella was just looking for a job.
“I got a degree in telecommunications and a minor in graphic arts, but there was a lull period after I graduated,” she said. “I thought, ‘I’m not sure where I want to go.’ I was looking for a job in order to get some income going, when a friend who was a car salesperson referred me to our lot manager, Steve Carter. After a short interview I was hired.”
In 2019, Isabella joined the dealership team as a porter: washing cars, moving vehicles, and assisting where she could.
“I was nervous,” Isabella said. “This was already a totally different world for me, and then we were in a transitioning phase. I thought, ‘Am I going to stick around?’ I was still learning the previous owner’s way of doing things, and now I needed to learn the basics of accounting under new management. I was nervous it wasn’t going to be a welcoming environment.”
A career path was being paved and Isabella didn’t even realize it yet.
She had officially dipped her toe in the automotive world…and what started as a job, quickly became something more.
From Job to Career
In December, Isabella learned that the dealership’s owners had sold the store to Garber.
She was new to the automotive industry, and now she would work under new leadership. Feelings of uncertainty set in.
“I was nervous,” Isabella said. “This was a totally different world for me, and then we were in a transitioning phase. I thought, ‘Am I going to stick around?’ I was still learning the previous owner’s way of doing things, and now I needed to learn a new way. I was nervous it wasn’t going to be a welcoming environment.”
Isabella’s concerns were quickly dashed.
“I was happy to see it was the complete opposite of unwelcoming,” she said. “I got training where I needed. I got a helping hand wherever I turned. It was amazing. They stressed a team mentality, and everyone worked so well together.”
As part of the Garber team, Isabella stepped out beyond her porter role.
“I’m not from an accounting background at all,” Isabella said, “But I crossed paths with the office manager at the time, and she and I started talking. Soon enough, my work as a porter caught the eye of the body shop manager, who then referred me to the office manager to be a part of the accounting office. That’s where I really started growing.”
Isabella’s perspective shifted.
“Once I got there, I figured, ‘OK, maybe this isn’t a ‘just for now’ place, I can do something here,” she said. “When they had the confidence in me, I had the confidence in myself.”
Once she transitioned into the office, Isabella was like a plant with fresh soil and sunshine and water.
“At Garber, everyone is approachable, and if you ask someone something, they are always willing to answer,” she said. “They give you a direction to go in.”
Isabella said her career at Garber is the complete opposite of what her college professors told her to avoid.
“I tell people outside of work that I feel like I struck gold working here at Garber,” she said. “One thing I learned in college is never let corporate run you. I heard that all the time from professors, and that is what I was worried about. But the more I stayed and learned and applied myself, the more I realized that at Garber, I’m not in a corporate environment. They don’t take their employees for granted. We aren’t taken advantage of or milked for where they are worth. I feel very lucky.”
Appreciation is a key component of work culture, which means a lot to Isabella.
“It is nice to be needed and appreciated,” she said. “The more I stay, the more I realize I am a valuable asset. They made me feel appreciated. I love knowing that when I clock in, I know what to do and how to do it and that it’s worth the time… Even the little things like buying the office a meal is a nice morale boost and a little gesture that means a lot.”
She said that she is proud of her growth and grateful to Garber for the support.
“The growth potential here is amazing,” Isabella said. “ I’d like to think that I’m a good example of that; I started off washing cars and moved my way up. Being a biller and knowing what I know, I’m impressed and proud of myself.”
And she should be.
First concert? Bruno Mars with my sisters and mom
First car? 2021 Equinox, bought at Garber Highland!
Favorite food? I love any kind of dumpling!
Three words to describe your personality? Bubbly, quirky, responsible
Bucket list item? Go to Sweden at least once.