Year Up Delivers a Star to memoryBlue
Year Up is a one-of-a-kind organization that closes the opportunity divide by providing talented young adults the skills, experiences, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through higher education and fulfilling professional careers. memoryBlue is a corporate partner of the Year Up program and works in unison with the organization to offer career opportunities to Year Up participants.
Being a top performer at your job is the goal of most employees. And it takes a strong work ethic combined with a firm commitment to continuous learning and skill growth to reach that goal.
But before any of those elements come into play, many would-be corporate top performers lack access and a clear path to even make it to the starting point of a great career. Fortunately, the Year Up program is making significant strides in closing this gap for talented individuals and forward-thinking companies across the country.
Building a Bridge
At Year Up, young adults with talent and motivation, but sometimes lacking in traditional access to the business world, are put in a one-year, intensive program that provides the coursework to develop business skills and an internship to facilitate strong career opportunities. memoryBlue partnered with Year Up a year ago in an effort to be a part of this meaningful process.
After several internships and participation in Year Up career fairs, the company was incredibly fortunate to hire program participant Jankarla Vargas. Vargas signed up for the Year Up program after her older sister went through it first and found a rewarding career as a result of it. She encouraged her younger sister to sign up for the program during her second semester in college, and Vargas ultimately agreed.
“Originally people think it is sort of too good to be true, since they (Year Up) pay for your schooling while you are enrolled in the program and they give you a stipend,” Vargas said. “I knew that was all true, since my sister had gone through the program. The thing I was worried about was not being matched with the correct internship and not making it through the program, since it is a bit rigorous. I knew that I had to work hard and stand out.”
Working hard and standing out is exactly what she has done.
Since Vargas saw her sister go through the program, she knew how much work would be required to be successful. She went “all in” and landed an internship with a company in the cyber security space (a field she identified as a career interest early on).
As each cohort comes to conclusion, Year Up hosts career fairs to help place students in post-program jobs. Vargas was unsure as to whether to go to the career fairs, as students in her cyber security program told her that it can be rare to find companies there in that exact space. In a last second, spur of the moment decision, she decided to attend it anyway.
The first table she went to was memoryBlue.
After a lengthy and interesting conversation at the table, Vargas became intrigued at the idea of professional sales and left a resume. She was contacted a few days later to set up an in-person interview. Even though she wasn’t familiar with professional sales careers prior to this event, her ears perked up when she was talking through potential career options during the interview process.
“What really stood out to me was the idea of becoming a sales engineer,” Vargas said. “That blend of the business side and the technology side really interests me and I believe it is always good to have at least some knowledge of the business side of things.”
With her interest sparked, Vargas received an offer to start at memoryBlue as a Sales Development Representative. She jumped at it.
“I didn’t see this just as a job, I saw it as an opportunity,” Vargas said. “I saw a resemblance with memoryBlue and the Year Up program. The initial tenure at memoryBlue is typically 15 months, Year Up is 12 months. Both places help you move onto your next role afterwards, they both give you training to help you succeed, they both very much mirror each other.”
A Familiar Theme
Since memoryBlue and the Year Up program share so many of the same principles, Vargas attacked her new job at memoryBlue the same way she attacked the Year Up program. Work hard in order to stand out. Nearly six months later, Vargas’s mentality has made her a top performer in the company.
“She’s younger than our average SDR, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from her coming in. But she comes in each day with an unwavering work ethic and desire to get better,” said Vargas’s direct manager, Joey Plesce. “She’s not a person I ever have any issues with when it comes to hitting numbers, working hard, or giving extra effort when needed. She comes in to work motivated every single day, and she won’t leave until she’s satisfied with her performance.
“She’s not outspoken by nature, but she’s become a leader on my team through being a repeated top performer at the company. She’s been noticed by many levels of management for her commitment and doing things like staying late when necessary in order to exceed the expectations of her client. She works extremely hard and the results show, consistently landing among the top sales quota hitters at the company. If I built a team full of people just like her, that team would be the top squad in the company every single month.”
Vargas’s cyber security background has come in handy for her at memoryBlue. She was paired with a cyber security client, and she has enjoyed expanding her industry knowledge with a sales perspective. Between the positive sales experience and her ongoing sales training activities, she’s incredibly excited for her future career path. She identifies heavily with memoryBlue’s mentality that you get out what you put in to the job. That is a mentality Vargas lives by and she has seen it first-hand.
“Everyone starts off in the same place [at memoryBlue],” Vargas said. “I agree that you have to work hard to get the success that you want, whether it is personal or financial, and I feel like you can see that everyday at memoryBlue.”
memoryBlue is hiring across all four of our offices and we can help you launch a fantastic career in high-tech sales just like the one Jankarla Vargas is building. Get started today!