From deciding which passions to pursue to finding your first internship, launching your career is no easy feat.
But like any other skill, the ability to successfully navigate the world of work can be learned. Year Up, an organization dedicated to closing the Opportunity Divide, and one of our community partners, knows this well.
Through a rigorous curriculum, Year Up provides young adults with the professional and technical skills they need to launch successful careers. To highlight their ongoing and important work, we’re proud to share stories from our Year Up interns and alumni as they share the impact great training has had on their careers.
“Prepare as much as you can.”
During my time at Year Up, I was assigned to lead a group project. As the team leader, I was supposed to take charge of the presentation. The problem was, I’ve always had a fear of public speaking.
I remember being so stressed out and actually asked my teacher to assign a new leader. Stepping away from that role made me feel like I had let my team down. So the next time an opportunity to lead a group project arose, I knew I had to give it my all.
With practice, I was able to present successfully. Since then, I’ve kept at it. The more public speaking I do, the more confident I have become. And now when I present to my team at Highspot, I’m not anxious anymore. I’ve overcome my fear.
For anyone who wants to get better at public speaking — or anything else in your career — the solution is to practice. Prepare as much as you can and work with your team to take on new challenges.
– Denitsa Stankova, Quality Assurance Analyst
“Be kind to yourself.”
After finishing a job with AmeriCorps, I found myself struggling to determine my next move. Though I was interested in tech, I worried that I wasn’t smart enough to get a job in the industry.
So when I was accepted into Year Up, I was nervous. I was going to be taking technical classes and placed into an engineering job at a company. I realized that I had to muscle up, and just do it to get to the next level of my career.
By training through Year Up, I discovered not only a career that I was passionate about, but also how to be kind to myself and get the support I needed to achieve my goals. After all, it’s human to make mistakes; it’s not a sign of being weak. Asking questions, being kind to yourself when you don’t have answers – that’s how you keep growing.
– Wilhelm Lau, Quality Assurance Analyst
“You get as much as you put into it.”
Since I was a teenager, I’ve always had a passion for technology. Prior to my role today, I had done a lot of entrepreneurial work repairing phones, tablets, appliances — but I’d never worked with software before.
But I knew that was my next step for me. Not only was tech a great opportunity for my own career, but an industry that could provide more for my daughters.
Pursuing this goal wasn’t easy. The training with Year Up was intense — a heavy course load, and with the pandemic, the challenge of remote learning. On top of that, I had to juggle being a parent to two young girls.
These challenges reminded me that you will always get out of an experience as much as you put into it. I will carry with me always the tenacity it took to get through it all, which will push me through future endeavors. With training for a new career, there will always be things that deter you. But if you push yourself, you’re going to be able to achieve more.
– Salee Savitz, Quality Assurance Intern
“Lift while you climb.”
When I first moved to the U.S. from Eritrea, I thought I was going to go into the hospitality management industry, or maybe the medical field. But when my original plans didn’t pan out, I took a chance on Year Up.
At first, it was overwhelming. I had to learn how to write code and how to dress professionally. It was all new to me. And there were definitely times when I wanted to quit. But I knew in my heart that wasn’t an option. Instead, I focused on learning how to build a supportive community that could hold me accountable.
By the end of my program, I came to appreciate the challenge. The training experience taught me not only the technical skills I need for my career, but how to ask for help and rely on my team. Now, I try to find ways to support others – to lift while I climb.
– Diyana Yosef, Quality Assurance Intern
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out in your career, training is core to achieving your goals. That’s why we’re proud to partner with organizations like Year Up that ensure that driven people get the resources and training they need to realize their dreams.
Now it’s your turn. Share your stories of grit and victory and the lessons you learned on social media with the hashtag #WhyWeTrain — and keep on training.