My year up happened at Year Up, even though I wasn’t a student in the program. After earning a degree in Film Studies and working on documentary projects with nonprofits for a year, I decided I really belonged in a social enterprise working on marketing/communications. But I didn’t know how to get there, and many people I asked about it told me I should reconsider because my resume didn’t show the right experience.
Eventually I was introduced to Jay Banfield, Executive Director at Year Up Bay Area, who agreed to have coffee with me. I didn’t know how to do an informational interview. Halfway through our chat, Jay gave me some feedback on how I could better conduct future informational interviews, and I knew I’d blown it. One thing he told me was that the most important part was to follow up afterwards, and I decided at least I could do that part right. So I followed up, several times.
A few months later Jay brought me on as a communications intern. I gave it my all, and today I work for Year Up’s national office as Associate Director of Marketing & Communications. Every morning as I walk to the office, I think about how lucky I am to be on my way to a job I truly love, that allows me to contribute in the best way possible. I’m deeply grateful to Jay for giving me a chance, and to so many others here who have guided and mentored me since I started. I’m determined to pay it forward to the best of my ability.