A Continental couple describes how the company’s culture has enabled their success during the pandemic
Jay and Leticia Arnold met as student workers at the Oakland Community College bookstore in Michigan in 1995. Decades later, they are colleagues again – this time at Continental. They share what it’s like to work at Continental as a couple, how it’s been to work from home during the pandemic, and how Continental’s culture has enabled their success.
Leticia: I’m a Senior Forecasting Analyst in Marketing and Communications. I joined Continental in 2012.
I’m originally from Venezuela, but moved to the U.S. when I was 17 to live with my aunt and uncle. I met Jay a few years later in college, and the rest is history as they say. I’ve always been in the automotive industry. I worked in logistics early in my career, then I was with JP Morgan Chase after they acquired a logistics company that supported a car maker.
Jay: I joined Continental in 2017 working on our HR Immigration team, then moved to my current role as Talent Acquisition Operations Supervisor in mid-2021.
Shortly after I graduated from Oakland Community College, a full-time opportunity at the school opened up and I ended up working there for 20 years before coming to Continental. I worked in accounting, finance, business operations and some human resources. I was ready to move on and wanted to work for a large global company that was quick to market.
Jay: Every now and then over dinner, Leticia would talk about how Continental’s leadership was handling certain decisions.
She is a big cheerleader for Continental. I heard her talk about the flexibility of working from home. “Jealous” isn’t the word – I was just impressed by what I was hearing. So, I began looking for roles here.
Leticia: Since the pandemic began, we’ve been 100 percent remote.
The company recently shifted to a hybrid model. We’re starting with one day a week in the office. We go in on different days – Jay on Thursday and me on Friday. Early in 2022, the plan is to have people go in 50 percent of the time.
Leticia: Flexibility has been a big theme for our household.
We’ve had to change our mindset knowing that we need to be flexible and adapt to the constant changes, which were mainly driven by our kids’ school situation. It was extremely challenging. We just knew it was out of our control; we just trusted things would work out in the end if we did our best.
Jay: We really feel like we have the freedom to act, which is one of Continental’s core values.
This mindset that you have an 8-to-5 job no longer applies. We were able to push pause on our work to help our kids with what they needed. One thing we tried to do as often as possible when the kids were home was to all have lunch together, at least a few times a week to provide structure, a break and try to enjoy moments together during a challenging time.
Leticia: Continental is a great company to work for and Jay and I are fortunate to have not just great managers – but great leaders.
You can have companies with great policies and open minds, but there are always times when leaders don’t personally follow them. My manager is a great leader and a great ambassador. It’s important that Continental has people at the top who are doing the right things for their employees. I think a lot of the things we’ve been able to accomplish during the pandemic have been because we have leaders who look out for us.