I learned such an incredible amount at Year Up in a short period of time, that after I graduated I hardly recognized myself.
When I first moved with my family from India at the age of 19, things were very difficult. I wanted to go to college and complete my education, but I was also working two full-time jobs to support myself and my family. I had to drop classes and I couldn’t keep up with the homework – plus I messed up my credit trying to pay for all of our expenses. I ended up dropping college and moving to San Francisco to support my sister, a full-time student. I was not sure if I would ever be able to graduate.
I was determined to keep trying, however, and enrolled at City College. On the first day of class, I met a Year Up staff member who changed my life. Her description of the program seemed to fit so perfectly with my goals that I decided this had to be the right thing for me.
Now, I am working at one of the biggest and most exciting tech companies in the world, and I think I owe 80% of it to Year Up. They taught me so many of the skills that I use on a daily basis in my work: professionalism, communications, business skills – how to be comfortable and thrive in a demanding office environment. The staff at Year Up helped me understand myself and find my strengths and my interests. They guided me to the perfect internship, at Facebook, where I could make the most of my abilities, landing a full-time position in six months. I work as a Telecommunications Expense Management Analyst there, saving money for the company by managing its wireless contracts. I love my job, but I also feel like I am learning the skills and connections to be successful in any department.
My parents still cannot believe that I am working full time at Facebook. My sister tells me that I have grown in ways she could not imagine. And I feel like I have the confidence and skills to pursue any career I want.
At some point, it is my dream to enroll in Stanford and finish my BA. I want to join the fencing team! But right now, I’m concentrating on learning as much as I can at Facebook. I have a long way to go, but thanks to Year Up, I have no doubt that I can get there.