For me, Year Up was the connection that made me see how I could make the career I wanted a reality. I had always had an idea of what I wanted to do with my life, but never planned out how to get there. I was really interested in computers, and had wanted to work in technology since I was a little kid. But here I was instead, working in a pizza shop at Six Flags, putting in long, hot days, and having no direction or plans for any kind of career. That’s when I looked at myself and decided I was better than this.

I had graduated high school and taken some college classes, but it was really hard for me to focus on my schoolwork. As Year Up would teach me, I had career goals but no career plan. I lost focus, I started failing my classes, and eventually dropped out of college. I felt like my dreams were just sitting there, so far away, and I had nothing to show for myself.

Year Up changed everything; it was exactly the first step I needed. I knew a lot about computers, but I had none of the professional skills I would need to break into the field. After the program, I realized how important the basic things were: speaking professionally, approaching people, learning how to write an email. Finally, I felt prepared to start a career path, and I couldn’t ask for a better environment than Salesforce. On the first day, my manager, also a Year Up graduate, told me that his goal was to get me hired. At first it was difficult, and most things went over my head, but the company provides amazing opportunities for growth and development. The ramp-up was extremely quick, and it was a little frightening to take on so much responsibility at once, but I felt like everyone at the company wanted to help me out, and would go out of their way to help me succeed.

Thanks to Year Up, I came in to Salesforce ready to work hard and prove myself. I’ve earned two certifications: Certified Administrator and Certified Advanced Administrator. As a business analyst, I feel like the work I do has a big impact for my teams. I evaluate problems, allocate resources, and develop solutions that make the company run better and more efficiently. I recently learned that I am going to be converted to full time, and could not be happier about my future there.

*Bryan Goodson is featured in the “A year in this program offers path to success” in the CNBC special.