Per Scholas Ambassador Blogs: Vanessa Brown

Per Scholas ambassadors exemplify what it means to be a Per Scholas alumni. These blogs are a way for the ambassadors to share their story in their own words. 

Vanessa Brown

Vanessa shares her journey since graduating Per Scholas and some helpful job tips she learned through her training.

“My name is Vanessa Brown, originally from Long Island, NY, but currently reside in Lawrenceville, GA. It is a suburb approximately 30 miles outside of Atlanta. I was one of the first graduates of the Long Island class sponsored by Per Scholas in 1997. My very first job after graduating was with IBM in Melville, where I was able to secure a position on the much coveted NASA help desk. I have made great strides in my career from not knowing what a floppy drive was, to now working for Wrigley’s in Flowery Branch, GA.

What I enjoy about my current job is the freedom and flexibility of moving about the building. I have met some of the greatest people along the way. My past job, I was on the help desk for a major healthcare system and that was high paced, high energy, and very demanding of my knowledge, skills and abilities.

A challenge I’ve had to overcome time and again was proving to employers that I’ve done what my resume states. I will never inflate, because one day you will have to perform a duty you said you have experience in. I’ve used patience and [my] personality to get past that. Per Scholas helped prepare me for this by holding mock interviews that would prepare us for a face to face with potential employers. I knew employers had my resume, and the rest was up to me to be personable while detailing the technical skills I had written on my resume. Those three things are what employers tend to look for: writing abilities, verbal capabilities, and being able to communicate with others outside of the screen and keyboard.

Every interview I have had has asked me to think of a difficult situation that I’ve encountered and how I managed to handle it. I’ve learned from Per Scholas to be honest and to turn the negative into a positive. Use an experience that was recent so you don’t have to think hard about the answer. Also, pay attention to your posture and body language, including facial expressions when interviewing and speaking with people.

At work, I usually make friends pretty easily, mainly because I go in eager to learn and not eager to tell people what I already know. No matter what you know, each environment will be different and you will have to make an adjustment. Learning your environment will be key to your success. Ask questions, take notes, and be positive in your personal energy.”

To help support 1,000 new students like Vanessa in 2017, consider checking out the #Ajobchangeseverything page to see how you can make an impact.

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