Steventh, James, and Jarvin graduated from Year Up South Florida within a year of each other and have been promoted to IT roles at the same time at Amazon.
“Give it your best.”
“I’ve got your back.”
“Hey, what are you working on?”
Those phrases sound familiar between students in the Year Up classroom, but Steventh Cordero, James Delgado, and Jarvin Gutierrez have the benefit of hearing them elsewhere: their full-time jobs as IT Support Engineers at Amazon. The trio graduated from the desktop support training track at Year Up South Florida in 2019, 2020, and 2019, respectively, making their mark during their internships at the tech company and going on to permanent roles.
“Working at a leading tech company like Amazon is still mind-blowing to me. The more I progress within the company, the more I realize I can network around me and build my career.”IT Support Engineer I, Amazon
“Once or twice a week, we have lunch or call each other,” Steventh said. “We have that relatability, and it’s great to see how far we’ve come. Even though we’re in the same position now, we always try to push each other so we can be even better.”
Steventh, a Miami native, learned about Year Up after high school and decided to apply. He wanted to gain skills beyond just a job — he wanted a career. He found the same spirit in James and Jarvin. James found out about the program from a Year Up staff member as he walked to the gym at Miami-Dade College; after a week of research, he decided it was his best chance to kick-start his career. Jarvin, who moved to Miami from Honduras when he was 9 years old, had seen other friends benefit from professional experience during Year Up internships. After three months of not hearing back from job applications, he had hopes for the same opportunities.
“I’m the first in my family to graduate from college, and I wanted to show that I’m worth it. I’m capable of doing amazing stuff.”IT Support Engineer I, Amazon
Putting in the Work During Desktop Support Training
All three showed their capabilities and attained even more during the Learning and Development phase of the desktop support training track. Projects like working on a business proposal taught skills in accountability, public speaking, networking and teamwork, and the three found mastering those elements translated to success at their Amazon internships.
Networking played a major role for Steventh. He divided his desktop support job internship into two three-month segments, which would support both Amazon and his personal goals: for the first three months, he focused on meeting people in the warehouse to learn about what people operationally needed. Creating and nurturing those connections allowed him to focus on solving challenges his colleagues brought to him during the final three months.
“They would ask me to fix computer and network issues because they knew me, and they knew I was willing and able to help and build camaraderie,” Steventh said. “People saw my willingness to help out the customers and do everything in the warehouse, and they saw the potential in me.”
“Everybody here is so focused on improving, and I had that innovative mindset. I like to think outside the box and find new ways to help the company.”IT Support Engineer I, Amazon
Jarvin had always been studious, and he took that quality to the next level during his time at Year Up. He sought opportunities for leadership and responsibility, encouraging the other students along the way.
“If something caught my attention, I let my mentors know that I was interested. I was always trying to exceed expectations,” Jarvin said. “And I always remembered my why: to be the best version of myself, for my family and friends and those around me.”
From Desktop Support Training to Desktop Support Jobs
Thanks to their motivation and drive, all three were hired full time at Amazon after their internships. Since partnering with Year Up in 2016, the company has hosted nearly 300 Year Up interns. And, earlier this year, Steventh, Jarvin, and James were all promoted to the IT Support Engineer I role.
“It’s incredibly rewarding for me personally to see these three young adults thrive under our team at Amazon,” said Ryan Fulton, an Amazon IT manager. “I am extremely proud of their performances, their effort, and their drive to constantly improve. I look forward to continuing my professional career alongside such amazing individuals, and I can’t wait to have the opportunity to witness more Year Up candidates shine at Amazon.”
Even with the career growth they’ve experienced, Steventh, Jarvin, and James still lift each other as they climb. All three have set goals to be promoted to the next level of IT support Engineers and expand their range at Amazon. James has assisted in building about 10 Amazon sites and helped orient new hires. Steventh is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science and hopes to become a software developer. Jarvin, as he puts it, wants to “learn everything to the max,” all while mentoring others joining the company. He recently went to Mexico to help multiple Amazon teams launch sites there.
Fortunately for everyone, the friendly competition continues.
“I tell people, work all the ways you can and the best you can, and you’ll see the benefits at the end. It’s about honesty and a bias for action; about never giving up and meeting goals,” Steventh said. “You have one life, and you have to make the most of it. If something positive like this interests you, just do it.”