Doug is the CEO of a gaming company he started 16 years ago. Breakaway Ltd. designs computer games that train people how to do their jobs. They have created games for doctors, nurses, medics, etc. Doug attended college to learn programming but in a difficult economy he found it too hard to pay and ended up leaving to get a job. Doug was a good programmer, but without the credentials, he worked a number of odd jobs at restaurants before eventually landing a job at a financial firm that gave him the opportunity to program. The firm started Doug off in a temporary position but he worked hard and made himself valuable and was promoted to full-time. This job lead to more programming opportunities for Doug, who had always been interested in games and designing systems. He was designing and promoting his own games on the side and people noticed. He was later offered a job by a software company that had seen his games, and was put in charge of building America Online. He worked at AOL and other gaming companies before founding Breakaway. Doug urged clients to find volunteer and internship opportunities and to prove their worth to employers.
When Shvilla moved to Baltimore in 2009 she had nowhere to live, no job, no degree, and no transportation. She slept on a friend's couch with her young daughter, but was eager to follow her passion of nonprofit service and held numerous internships and volunteer positions until she got work. Shvilla now owns her own business. She is married and has her own home. Shvilla came from difficult circumstances, but chose to not to let that define her future. She urged clients not be afraid to put in the work and to follow their passion, whatever it may be. She was able to turn her internships into jobs by going above and beyond. "It is our purpose to live with purpose," she said.
Stephanie was the first in her immediate family to go to college. Her father was a plumber and her mother worked two or three jobs at a time so she could send her children to a good school. Stephanie attributes her success to having great role models like her parents who used humor to overcome difficulties and worked hard at what they did. Stephanie loved writing and theater in college and her first real job was working in a summer theater in North Carolina. After that she worked at Port Discovery Children's Museum, in various capacities, pushing for better jobs, even those she wasn't always qualified for. By following up and connecting with the interviewer for a grants management position, Stephanie got into development work and continued to work in fundraising. She got into her current business of recruiting by networking and being inquisitive. She has been at Career Profilers for 7 years now and enjoys working with her team members, clients, and candidates. Stephanie gave clients the advice to take initiative, be reliable, show persistence, problem-solve, and learn to take criticism. All of these things helped her be successful on the job. "Think of yourself as a business," she said, and ask for what you want.