Take Advantage of Every Opportunity

Growing up in a low-income Vietnamese family, as a second-generation immigrant and a millennial, I’ve always had a lot of pressure to go to school, work hard, and get a good job. My mom raised me and my brother as a single parent; she didn’t speak English and she has worked as a janitor practically her whole life. She never had the opportunity to go to school because she was taught to work early, as a young child in Vietnam. She told me and my brother that she wanted to work really hard so that she could provide a better future for us. While growing up and even now, I’ve always had to help her translate and do most of her billing paperwork, and I help her in any way possible with her daily tasks. Watching my mother struggle motivated me to continue my education and establish a successful career for myself.

After hearing some success stories from other friends about Year Up, I decided that I was finally ready to go back to school to continue my education and pursue a career. At first it was hard for me to believe that there’s a program out there that’s willing to pay for me to go to school while providing the utmost support in helping me find a really good job—that could even possibly lead to a long-term career. I mean, 6 months of free classes and 6 months of an awesome internship experience? Why not? I’m all in! They like to say that the first 6 months of Year Up is pretty much a 6-month interview to see where everyone’s professional development takes them, how well this person will work in a specific environment, where their skillset would fit at one of the partnered companies, and so on. The Year Up program has partnered up with some of the biggest companies, like Microsoft, Expedia, Amazon, Google, Facebook, Projectline, and more.

In the first 6 months of the program, I managed to get an A+ in all my classes such as Business Data Management Tools and Web Essentials, and walked away with a 4.0 GPA.  I was very proud of myself because my previous experiences at Highline Community college were very different due to having a lack of direction and motivation. Year Up was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I wanted to take full advantage of it. I made sure to avoid any distractions, and to focus primarily on school and my career. What can I say? This was for my future and my efforts have a lifelong impact. I had to make some sacrifices! No biggie. After 6 months of schooling, I learned that I had been selected to intern at Projectline. I was excited to start the next chapter of my life! I wanted to make sure that this experience was well worth it.

I have to say, I love Projectline! My experiences so far have been nothing but remarkable. I work with some of the most driven, inspirational, and talented individuals. What I love about this company is that they really care about their employees. They are big on being anti-bias with their staff, clients, and candidates. They are also very supportive when it comes to events! I’ve had an opportunity to volunteer for an event hosted by Future for Us  and it was a phenomenal experience. When I found out that I was selected to work with Projectline, I received messages on LinkedIn from multiple staff members welcoming me to the team. This was amazing because no other companies did that for their interns. Right away I knew that this company was the one for me!

Now I’ll tell you a little bit more about my day-to-day life as an intern here at Projectline. I am interning as a Recruiting Administrator and the main manager that I report to is named Gino. He works remotely, literally around 2772.7 m away (yes, I looked that up). Since I can’t see or interact with him in person, we set up meetings virtually through video chats. This was something new to me because I usually see my managers in person. But it wasn’t a problem at all because I got used to it right away. We communicated frequently about what kind of projects I’m assigned to do, we follow up with each other whenever we have time, and we have weekly one-on-one meetings. Gino is amazing! He is always there for me whenever I have questions and gives me some of the best feedback. He is very hardworking and still manages to make enough time for me during the busiest season.

I usually start my day off with a cup of coffee, check my email, communicate with my manager, communicate with the team and start working on my projects. I can’t really list out the projects that I’ve worked on here, but I want to mention that the team has always been very supportive of my work. Throughout my experiences here as an intern, I’ve learned how to be more professional and how to operate some beneficial tools like Textio, Salesforce, and OneNote, have built a stronger skillset, am more confident speaking up during meetings, and the list continues. Looking back at my journey, so many doors have opened since I started the Year Up program. My life has turned around and I am forever grateful for the experiences I’ve had. Everyone deserves a second chance! No matter what obstacles you go through in life, there’s always something to look forward to. Take every opportunity you get and never hold back. Always believe in yourself and continue to work hard because it will pay off in the long run. I’m excited to say that I am graduating soon and ready to start the next chapter of my life.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story, I hope this inspires you to challenge yourself to work hard and achieve all your goals. ????

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