Application Operations Specialist at GE Digital

Year Up Bay Area

Class of July 2016

After graduating high school, I took the traditional route and attended a 4-year college. I worked full time, while trying to manage the workload from school and the expectations of my parents, but with no guidance or support, I quickly fell behind in my studies and dropped out.

My family came to the U.S. from a refugee camp in Thailand with the clothes on their back and hopes for a better future. My parents sacrificed so much for me to have a future, and I felt like I didn’t do my part. I felt like a failure.

Over the next few years, I finished my general education courses at a community college, while working a variety of jobs to make ends meet. I felt lost and confused. I didn’t want a job, I wanted a career. That’s when I heard about Year Up.  I thought it sounded too good to be true, at first, but after attending the info session, I knew it was exactly what I was looking for—an opportunity to learn and grow personally and professionally. When I received my acceptance, I did two things: I called my mom and I made a promise to myself, that I would excel and have a career by the time I graduated.

During the learning and development phase, I struggled with the technical skills. I had no prior tech experience, so I was determined to learn whatever I could, whenever I could. One of the most important lessons my instructors taught me was to know when to ask for help. I was surrounded by a network of people who wanted me to succeed. We all started out as strangers with different personalities and backgrounds, but by the end of the program, we were family.

When I went on my internship, I was surprised to learn about the digital nature of GE. I quickly learned how to use and support multiple applications. GE serves a global audience, so I interacted with people all over the world. The experience taught me patience and self-motivation, and helped me learn more about which career path I want to pursue. My internship was incredibly rewarding, and it is something that I will always remember and look back on fondly.

Following my internship, GE hired me full-time. Currently, I work with a team of people from all different backgrounds, the majority of whom also came to the company through Year Up. They understand where I come from, and are always there to help. We respect each other and communicate well, living the ACTS values without even realizing it – helping us work efficiently to manage the 400-500 tickets we receive each month. We hold ourselves and each other accountable. If something comes along that one of us can’t do individually, we work together. I love my team, and because of them, work doesn’t feel like work

Going forward, I plan on finishing my degree and growing within this supportive company.  I have so much to be thankful for. All my hard work has paid off. I didn’t do it on my own – I had my team at GE and Year Up – but now I am proud to tell my parents that I have a career and am making something of myself.