Daisy Cardenas

Daisy Cardenas, principal supervisor at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, is a take-charge person who oversees 43 employees in the Dining Commons Cafeteria; 15 of those employees are under her direct supervision.

Why Selected?

Annie Hilliard, principal food service manager at UCLA Medical Center, says: Daisy oversees 43 employees in the Dining Commons Cafeteria; 15 of those employees are under her direct supervision. Besides being a joy to work with, Daisy is a take-charge person who presents creative ideas and can communicate the benefits. She was instrumental in streamlining our new POS system. Her long hours and patience make her an ideal employee.


Principal Supervisor, UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Age: 27
Education: B.A. in criminal justice from California State University, Los Angeles
Years at organization: 7

Get to know

Q. What has been your proudest accomplishment?

I was a cashier when I started. I was promoted to supervisor and I brought a lot of organization and structure to the unit. Most importantly I gained the employees respect. They had been my coworkers so it was really tough.

Q. What would you say you excel at over more seasoned colleagues?

Having motivation and energy to bring innovative ideas to the workplace.

Q. What's the best career advice you've been given?

“Why be miserable or unhappy in the workplace or your everyday life? It’s not going to change your situation. You have to make the best out of it.”

Q. What's been the biggest challenge you've had to overcome?

I was promoted and I was now responsible for all 12 cashiers who were my coworkers. I was happy that I was growing and learning, but I was also nervous. Looking back it wasn’t anything to worry about. I just had to share my ideas and problem-solving techniques to help them succeed.

Q. What's been your most rewarding moment?

I helped a friend’s sister find a job here. My friend wanted his sister to be responsible and prepared for the real world because she was graduating high school. The economy was going down, but a position opened in our foodservice department. I coached her and she did the rest. She was offered a permanent position and she’s still here today.

Q. What's been your funniest on-the-job disaster?

When I was a cashier we had a power outage and we still had a lot of customers in our lines. We had to ring up everybody manually using calculators and we had to log all of our sales in a notepad. It wasn’t funny at the time.

Q. What can you look back at now and laugh at?

When I had just begun as supervisor an employee gave me a hard time. My supervisor at the time told me “you’re not here to be liked. You are here to do a job.” I now understood it isn’t about being liked. It is about doing your job and being firm but fair.

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