The Year Up Greater Atlanta alumna gained technical training in the program and turned it into a full-time position at Cox Automotive.
Micah Lundy’s path to a successful career in business operations started with an old-fashioned technology: the radio. She was in the car with her mother, juggling two retail jobs, when the pair heard an ad for Year Up Greater Atlanta.
“I thought, ‘No one pays for you to go to school,’” Micah said. “That was really intriguing. I investigated more and found out it was a technical training program, which matched up with my hope to get into the IT field. I realized this was perfect.”
Thanks to her diligence in the program’s learning and development phase and her drive during her business internship at Cox Automotive, the Year Up graduate earned a full-time role as a technical client service representative at the worldwide automotive leader. In that role, she supported the company’s dealership inventory on websites such as Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book. Cox Enterprises, which includes Cox Automotive and Cox Communications, has hosted more than 320 Year Up interns since the partnership began in 2011.
“From the very beginning, Micah entered into her internship experience, having a focus and dedication to being successful,” said Andrea Jones, Supervisor, Customer Care at Cox Automotive. “Since those days of humble beginnings, Micah has blossomed into a confident and efficient high performer with a plethora of opportunities ahead of her. Micah's development has translated into an ideal journey that encompasses leadership ability, emotional intelligence, and a strategic mindset that has set the path for upcoming interns to follow. Micah's story is one that I look forward to watching unfold.”
Micah also appreciated that the program offered training in a variety of technical fields, such as cybersecurity and software engineering, and specifically focused on soft skills like communication, presentation, and networking. Year Up’s learning and development phase helped her build courage in communicating with people at all levels of corporate America — a major step, considering she detested public speaking.
In professional settings, I felt like I had to be perfect. That made me nervous. Now, I have the confidence that I can speak in front of anyone and hold my own.Customer Care Specialist II, Cox Automotive
Those skills came into play when she was placed at Cox Automotive for her business internship. She had heard from Year Up graduates about the positive culture there, including the company’s 34 by 34 initiative, a social impact program that aims to remove obstacles and expand access to programs to help 34 million people live more prosperous lives by 2034. Given that context, Micah was hopeful her time at Cox would turn into a full-fledged career in business operations. She doubled down on networking across departments and regularly checked in with her manager, Patt Jones-Sox. When she neared the end of her business internship, that supervisor gave glowing recommendations to another department that was hiring.
“She had witnessed my work ethic and went to bat for me,” Micah said. “I was really confident going into the interview because she said it was a great role for me. I knew what I could do and what I could bring to the role.”
Micah’s interview ended up as a panel interview for three roles at once. In a testament to the strong reputation she built during her time at Cox, she received calls back for two of the roles and was able to negotiate for the position of her choice.
At Cox, I haven’t come across anyone who wasn’t willing to answer questions, speak with me about what they do, or lend a helping hand. Whether it’s for a direct project, learning more about the business, or helping to propel me forward with advice about my career, everyone is super helpful.Customer Care Specialist II, Cox Automotive
For Micah, working at Cox has built more than her technical skills. She’s developed as a leader on her team, along with gaining conviction in her career path, her contributions to the company and her future. Since formally joining Cox in 2019, Micah has developed an affinity for training and teaching. Her supervisor has encouraged that interest by allowing Micah to assist in training new hires, a skill she has leveraged to help incoming Year Up interns and hopes to pursue as a potential career path.
“Year Up was one of the most challenging times in my life, but it was the most pivotal and helped propel me to where I am now,” Micah said. “When you’re going through a struggle, you don’t see until you’re on the other side how much it helped you grow. I’m grateful for that time, no matter how challenging it was.
Micah’s diligence and hard work at Cox continues to pay off: in June of 2023, she was promoted to Customer Care Specialist II.
“I have three nieces, and I want to be a role model for them,” Micah continued. “I wanted them to see that if you don’t go through the traditional route, there are still options for you. You can have a career and have a great life if you don’t go to college. That’s been motivation for me to move forward and show them what they can do.”