When Alyssa graduated from the University of North Carolina Wilmington with a degree in International Studies and a minor in Security Studies, she had hoped to put her education to use by launching into a government career in international security. But without a master’s degree or the appropriate work experience, she quickly realized that there was more work to be done before her dream could become a reality. “A girl working as a bartender part time doesn’t look too good for that position,” Alyssa admitted. “I wanted to find a job that could get me into office work instead of service jobs.”
A relative had successfully sought support from StepUp when they’d lost their job last year due to COVID, and when Alyssa found herself struggling to find an office position that would give her experience for government work, they recommended she give it a shot. “I just decided ‘why not?’ Thankfully y’all were doing a Jobs Week right when I needed it!”
After starting Jobs Week, Alyssa found that the mock interviews were among the most enlightening workshops for her. “They made me reevaluate the interview process and how I presented myself. It just showed me how to market myself better. They taught us how to give an elevator pitch. And taking the class made me realize how much more capable I was than I thought. After getting rejected, you start to think maybe you’re not as good as you thought you were… but the class makes you take a step back and learn to not second guess yourself.”
Alyssa continued. “When you’re applying to jobs, it’s kind of a lonely road, especially without a support system. So having the mentor relationship with my Talent Manager, it brought me out of a negative headspace. They showed me ‘this is how you do it.’ That was really nice–a non-biased mentorship. When you go to your family, there’s a bias. But StepUp was constructive; they brought me into a more stable, neutral space.”
During and following her time in Jobs Week, Alyssa applied to seven different jobs and was made a promising job offer as an Administrative Sales Assistant within two weeks of completing her time with StepUp Wilmington. “I was like, ‘are you sure you want me?’ [Laughs]. I had no experience in this kind of industry. But they gave me a chance, and that’s all I needed from someone. I’m very smart, very driven–I just needed an opportunity to step out.”
After giving StepUp Wilmington a shot for herself, Alyssa recommends their services to anyone else also struggling to find their first step to their dream career. “It’s easy to get discouraged, and I know as someone who internalizes a lot of failures. It’s not you. Sometimes these jobs don’t see your potential or skills, but don’t take it personally. Know yourself, and be confident in your skills–even if you don’t yet have the exact skills needed. If you’re confident and know your worth, it’ll work. Believe in yourself.”
If you have a dream job or career, believe in yourself! Contact us at StepUp Wilmington today and let us support you in making your dream a reality.