Data Coordinator at The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)

Year Up New York

Class of July 2017

Before coming to the U.S., my life was all about school. In Guyana, you go to school and live with your parents, without work being a priority. I earned an Associate’s Degree in Communication Studies, so it’s only natural that I wanted to continue college as soon as I got here. However, we don’t always get what we want. I didn’t qualify for in-state tuition or financial aid. I was disappointed, and I constantly worried about finding a job. Then, my aunt told me about a Year Up segment she’d seen on 60 Minutes. It looked too good to be true, but she implored me to give it a try. I went to an open-house session, and right away, I knew this was going to be the start of something great. 

Coming from a Caribbean culture, with a value system that taught me academic discipline and to welcome opportunities, I felt truly ready for Year Up. In the Project Management track, I learned a considerable amount and gained a transferable skillset. I felt as though I would be able to work anywhere with project management expertise. The staff also taught me how to prepare a resume, deliver an elevator pitch, prepare for an interview, and, most of all, be my best professional self. I was well-equipped to succeed as an intern. 

I didn’t know what to expect from my internship at Salesforce. I started out on the sales enablement team, tabulating data and testing sales processes. Then, I transitioned to the workplace services team where I assisted with front desk management, on-boarding exercises, employee support, and  miscellaneous tasks. Salesforce taught me to keep an open mind and make every opportunity count. I spent my downtime preparing for the Salesforce Administrator  certification exam and working on one-off pro-bono projects with nonprofits that needed help using Salesforce. 

Before the end of my internship, I became a certified Salesforce Administrator. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) offered me an ongoing contract position. Now, I’m a Data Coordinator, working largely with our Salesforce environment, which is the source of all of our direct mail fundraising efforts. I’m also attending Empire State College, earning a degree in Business, Management, and Economics. Working and going to school at the same time is a real privilege. Short term, I hope to become a Data Analyst, and long term, I plan to become a Systems Analyst or an Information Systems Manager.  

Without Year Up, I don’t know where I’d be. I did know there would be more opportunities here in the U.S for me to tap into, but the pathway to those opportunities is something I may have had to create on my own. This program enabled me to build a support network that, in turn, helped me build my career. I want to help others join the Opportunity Movement – to create a pathway that affords them the opportunities Year Up and Salesforce helped me find.