Susan is the Executive Director at Wide Angle Youth Media. Her interest in art began at a young age. Once she graduated college she started testing out different jobs and trying to find something truly fulfilling. She tried work in many different fields like curating and film. Susan developed skills in all of her prior jobs that helped her along the way. She learned how to communicate with strangers and talk to people in all different positions. Susan noted that one key to her success was saying ‘yes’ to any opportunity to learn new skills. She said this was how she got involved with youth development, education and media. As someone who hires employees, she offered some great advice to our clients like to do your research when writing cover letters so you truly understand the position and organization. She also reminded our clients to be cautious and respectful when talking about past employers.
Grace’s career journey began after she graduated from college and joined the military. She worked in the medical department and served for over twenty years. She had many different positions with the military, and she took every opportunity to take classes at night to learn more and further her professional development. At one point in her military career she taught at the academy. While she had a wealth of knowledge about the materials, she was not that confident in her public speaking abilities. She accepted the challenge as it gave her the opportunity to work on her communication skills and eventually people noticed, and she was offered to be a recruiter for the military. Grace said she found her two most recent jobs through networking, and reminded us to not burn bridges with previous employers. She told us to “do your best at whatever you do, and people will notice.”
Anne is an artist and supported herself with “really good regular jobs.” After she graduated from college she took a job in a health related field with the government. This experience perked her interest in being an advocate for low-income individuals and families for healthcare. As a result, Anne began her career in the non-profit world and worked for a health clinic for women and children. She told us to “never give up, solve problems for your organization, and do whatever you can to make yourself shine.” Through her experience at the health clinic she learned how to make formulas on spreadsheets and how to manage money. She has used these skills in many other jobs later on as a consultant for other non-profits. Anne needed a way to pay the bills while she pursued her interest in art, and with her ambition and her ability to accept open opportunities, she found a career that she loved.
Greg works in the personal development field as a life coach, and is also an author. He has worn many hats and showed us how he changed his career path multiple times and how he learned important skills from each field. At first he worked in the hotel industry, then he worked for the NAACP in Baltimore, followed by the Black Enterprise Magazine, next he perused a career in real estate, and then found his interest for helping people and joined the non-profit world. Greg got involved with a non-profit in Baltimore by stopping by with the intention of donating some shoes. However, he became interested and started volunteering and working with the population that the organization served. He developed close relationships with the staff and clients of the non-profit. His enthusiasm and hard work shined, and he was offered a full time position in the workforce development program. Greg told us to “never give up when someone says no.” He faced many obstacles when he was changing careers, and people didn’t believe that he could succeed, but because he didn’t give up at the first rejection he was successful.