Kenneth Patrick 1

Business Analyst at Salesforce

Year Up Chicago

Class of July 2015

 

As a student at DePaul University, I had to work 2-3 jobs to support myself. This affected my academics, causing me to drop and fail several classes. When the grocery store that was my primary source of income shut down, I couldn’t keep up with my rent payments and got evicted from my apartment. Eventually, I could no longer afford school. I lost direction and didn’t know what to do. Then, I heard about Year Up from some friends who had successfully completed the program and started their career as a result. I decided to apply because, at that point, I had nothing to lose.

Year Up’s training phase taught me the basics of Information Technology and helped me improve upon professional skills like punctuality and personal accountability. I was humbled to learn that, although I had some college experience, I needed just as much refining with my professional attire, as many of my peers. With this realization, I became more receptive to what the staff had to teach me, and those lessons helped me succeed in my internship at Salesforce.

The most important thing I learned as a Professional Services Strategy and Operations Intern at Salesforce is the power of networking. I made many connections by simply introducing myself to everyone. I offered to learn and help wherever I could and participated in social outings. What surprised me was how friendly and curious everyone was to learn about me and my experiences. My coworkers were willing to give their time and attention to help me learn about the company and their roles. As my internship came to an end, my manager helped me secure a six-month contract position. During this time, I also managed to get back into DePaul and graduate with a bachelors in Business.

Now, I work as a Business Analyst at Salesforce. What I love about my job is that it challenges us, as a team, to take a set of problems or requirements from a customer and solve it with our expertise and understanding of Salesforce. It’s exciting because every day and every client is different. There’s always a new and unique problem to solve. Going forward, I plan on continuing with Salesforce and finishing the MBA program I started in January.

Had I not participated in Year Up, I’d still be struggling to find a fulfilling career. Because of this program, I have a great career at Salesforce and am privileged to be an example of how an opportunity can make a lasting impact on one’s life and the lives of those close to them.