Back to stories

The Power of Persistence and Mentorship with Maygan Hooper

Meet Maygan Hooper: a Year Up Los Angeles graduate who took a new approach to achieving her dreams and currently works at Sony Interactive Entertainment.


Maygan had always been interested in computers. She liked that they were versatile; that they could be built for gaming, or to solve complex problems. Maygan knew early on that she wanted to learn how to build her own computer and software that could solve problems and bring happiness to others. The more she learned, the more she knew that she wanted to make it her career. But landing her dream role proved difficult, and she hadn’t found much success in her job search. 

At this point, Maygan decided to take a pause to rethink her approach – and after months of side gigs and helping at her mom’s hospice business, Maygan remembered hearing about Year Up and decided to apply.

"I’d applied to a lot of jobs, and I figured this was my chance to try a different approach to getting where I want to be. I knew I was interested in the information technology track and was excited by the thought of learning new skills that could help me get there."

Maygan Hooper

Software Engineer in Test, Sony Interactive Entertainment

In the program’s learning and development phase on the information technology track, Maygan sharpened her business communication skills where she worked on speaking with confidence and asking clarifying questions. Despite feelings of imposter syndrome, Maygan continued to show up and challenge herself. As a result of her commitment to learning and growth, Maygan was offered an internship at Sony Interactive Entertainment, a dedicated Year Up partner since 2020.

“I was so excited when I was placed at Sony Interactive Entertainment. I’ve had pretty much every PlayStation console. My mom loves telling her friends where I work.” 

One learning in particular that Maygan took into her internship was the power of networking and relationships. As an intern at Sony Interactive, Maygan was immediately assigned a mentor to help her get acquainted with Python, a new programming language for her. At every opportunity, Maygan cultivated relationships within her team and beyond — and was later rewarded when she secured her current role at Sony Interactive as a Software Development Engineer in Test (SDET). 

“When I started, dealing with imposter syndrome was challenging. Would I even be able to pick up this new role? My manager was really supportive and encouraged me to ask questions — and if she didn’t know the answer, she would help me find someone who did.” 

Today, Maygan continues to stay curious and is excited about the work she gets to be a part of at Sony Interactive. She enjoys meeting up with her team to brainstorm and test features, and she’s proud to have contributed to PlayStation features that streamline the user experience. 

“Maygan works with development and quality engineers to automate python scripts for the PlayStation 5 firmware. She’s highly collaborative and driven, working closely with our partners in India and Tokyo to improve our test automation framework."

Ashley Koyama

QA Manager, Sony Interactive Entertainment

At Sony Interactive, Maygan not only has her manager’s support, but the support of several other mentors as well. As part of Sony Interactive’s mentorship program, staff members can apply to become a mentor or a mentee — and Maygan is both, having recently been recommended to help train the Year Up interns who will follow in her footsteps. 

Her advice to the next generation of job seekers?

“Don’t give up on yourself. All the no’s can be disheartening and can make you question yourself. But if you keep on looking for different opportunities and you’re willing to put in the groundwork, something is going to happen. Even when I took a break from applications, I knew I would get myself back on track. Just keep putting yourself out there. You never know when you’ll meet that person or come across that opportunity that helps you get your foot in the door.”