The Impact of Your Volunteering
Conference attendees may wonder how much impact these get-togethers really have on job seekers. I have an inspiring story to share about the impact our volunteers can have, just by participating in a brief workshop at Workday Rising.
Last year, Diane Kim, senior executive assistant at Workday, met David Arroyo, a job seeker from Tech Impact. What initially started as a mock interview on the expo floor evolved into a lasting mentor-mentee relationship, one that ultimately helped David find a life-changing career in technology. Read on to learn more about their experience in this Q&A we conducted with David and Diane.
David, tell us a little bit about your background.
David: I’m from Las Vegas, Nevada. When I was finishing high school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I thought of going into the Air Force, but I didn’t want to leave my family. The thought of a traditional four-year university was daunting, especially because of the financial investment. I’ve always been interested in technology, and wanted to figure out a way to get my foot in the door.
My mom works as a sales clerk at the welcome store at the Las Vegas airport, and her boss told her about the ITWorks class at Tech Impact, a program that helps prepare young adults for entry-level IT careers without a need for a traditional four-year degree.
As part of the ITWorks program, we were invited to Workday Rising to help practice our interview skills. I’d been working in construction since I was 16 years old, so I never really had an opportunity to practice interviewing before. Truth be told, I wasn’t really confident in my interviewing skills, so this was an incredible opportunity.
Diane, what was your first impression of David when you first met at Workday Rising?
Diane: You could tell that he really wanted to be there, and that he took this mock interview session very seriously. David was so polished, mature, smart, and driven. He was working, volunteering with his church, and finishing up a tech training program—and you could tell he was excited for the next step in his career. You could see in his eyes that he was just so thankful to be given the opportunity to be at Workday Rising, and so thankful to have someone to practice interviewing with.
From my own personal experience, I know how helpful it can be to practice interviewing with someone before the real thing. It felt good to know that I could be there to serve as a coach and help build his confidence. I walked away from the volunteer experience thinking, “I really hope he’ll find something. I know he will find something.” We all know the job market can be tough, and I really wanted to see him succeed.
David, how did Diane help you in the job search?
David: I remember being nervous going into the mock interview, but when I first met Diane I could tell she was really friendly. She also wasn’t afraid to give constructive criticism. As we went through the mock interview and when it came time to give me feedback, Diane was open and honest about where I needed to improve, which was really helpful. We left Workday Rising, and the last thing I expected happened: Diane emailed me with a reassuring message—she saw my potential.
Diane: David left such an impression on me, and I really wanted to let him know how special he was. I emailed him and said, “I was one of your mock interview partners at Workday Rising. I want you to know that I was so incredibly impressed by you, and I really believe you’re going to make great things happen. Stay focused and driven, and you can do whatever you want in life. It was such a pleasure to meet you, and let’s stay connected.”