Beyond the headset: My career path at Startek® 

Luis DeCastro
Luis DeCastro

Feb 21, 2024 | 4 min read

In the massive halls of Startek, Luis DeCastro’s journey commenced as a call center agent, a role that little did he know would serve as the launching pad for an exhilarating career expedition. What set his journey apart was not merely the ascent up the corporate ladder, but more about - facing challenges, seizing opportunities and evolving into Senior Manager, Operations for Startek® Philippines that he is today. 

In this blog, Luis reflects upon his progress through various roles, the challenges he embraced and how the experiences he gathered along the way shaped him into the confident professional that he is. 

“Joining Startek as a call center agent marked a significant transformation into the professional world from my initial journey as a technician in a computer shop. While my stint as a technician honed my technical skills, the call center environment exposed me to the dynamic realm of customer service, communication and problem-solving. The call center with its vibrant hum of customer interactions and the ever-present buzz of activity was my training ground. Each call was a stepping stone, an opportunity to refine my skills and understand the nuances of our business. 

As the days turned into months and then years, I found myself progressing through various roles. From a dedicated agent, I embraced the responsibilities of an Academy Bay (ABay) coach.

Luis DeCastro - Senior Manager, Operations

This transition marked a significant step in my career as I embraced the responsibility of imparting knowledge and skills to the next generation of customer service representatives. The role of an Abay coach not only refined my understanding of company processes but also allowed me to contribute to the professional growth of my colleagues. As an Abay coach I became not just an educator but a catalyst for growth, fostering an environment where learning was an exhilarating journey rather than a mundane task.  

Recognizing my dedication and potential, Startek further provided avenues for my career development. I found myself transitioning from an ABay coach to an operations supervisor, managing a team and ensuring seamless operations. The challenges were diverse but with each challenge came a chance to prove my mettle, honing my leadership skills in the process. 

As I continued to prove myself as a supervisor, I was presented with more leadership opportunities within the company where I held the roles of a senior supervisor and manager. The Startek commitment to internal growth and talent development provided me with the support and resources needed to step into leadership roles. Today, I am thrilled to hold the position of senior manager, of operations. The responsibilities that come with overseeing operations on a broader scale are both challenging and rewarding. From optimizing processes to implementing strategic initiatives, every decision I make is shaped by the experiences gained during my time in the call center, as an agent, an ABay coach and in various leadership roles. 

Looking back at my journey, I realize the importance of continuous learning, adaptability and a supportive work environment. I am grateful for the opportunities, challenges and incredible managers that have been a part of my journey. My mentors went beyond mere supervision, they actively invested time in understanding my career aspirations and fostering an environment conducive to my professional development. Whether it was navigating challenges, taking on leadership roles or transitioning to new responsibilities, their encouragement and belief in my potential have been the driving force behind my success at Startek. 

One of the key aspects that sets Startek apart is the consistent emphasis on training and development opportunities. From my early days as a call center agent the company recognized my potential and provided avenues for continuous learning. The training initiatives spanning from customer service techniques to financial management and leadership strategies, all played an important role in my career progression. Undertaking the financial boot camp not only broadened my understanding of the company's fiscal landscape but also equipped me with the skills to make informed decisions in my role. 

I enrolled myself into a coaching program offered by Startek called The Essential Habits of Ideal Dialogue. This communication training program trains and challenges customer experience specialists to become more aware of how they communicate. The course gives associates strategies to use to alter their approach in real-time, enabling them to better anticipate, address and support the needs of the person they are interacting with. 

In my role as senior manager, operations, one of the Startek values- Champion Innovation resonates deeply with my professional ethos. I believe that embracing innovation is crucial for staying ahead in today's dynamic business landscape. In my capacity, I have consistently sought out and implemented innovative solutions to enhance efficiency and drive continuous improvement. In the early stages of my tenure at Startek, I identified a unique opportunity to enhance our operational efficiency by creating a call flow system using Excel. The innovative idea aimed to streamline processes, provide a structured framework for customer interactions and ultimately improve the quality of service. After implementing this approach, our team observed a significant boost in quality scores demonstrating the positive impact of the call flow system. Fast forward a couple of years and the impact extended beyond our company walls. To my surprise and pride, our client adopted a similar call flow system based on the model I had pioneered. This commitment to innovation not only reflects the company's values but also ensures that we remain adaptable and at the forefront of industry trends. 

I am profoundly grateful for the experiences that have shaped my career. Beginning at the grassroots level allowed me to truly understand the intricacies of our operations and build a solid foundation of knowledge. This understanding has proven to be instrumental in my current role, allowing me to make informed decisions and lead my team effectively. Therefore, my advice to individuals who are embarking on their careers is to consider starting as an agent and I cannot stress on this enough. It offers a unique perspective fostering a deep appreciation for the intricacies of the business. The lessons learned on the frontline not only build resilience but also lay the groundwork for future leadership roles. From a call center agent with dreams to senior manager, operations with accomplishments, this is my story – a testament to the remarkable possibilities that unfold when dedication meets opportunity.” 

Startek has more than 38,000 associates in 12 countries across the world. If you’re interested in joining an organization committed to creating opportunities for our associates to learn and grow, explore our open roles.  

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