As part of the Year Up program, I entered the tech training track focused on quality assurance, and after six months of classroom training, I was invited to interview at a company called Workday for my internship placement. I joined Workday as part of the Opportunity Onramps Year Up program in a quality assurance (QA) position, and my journey as a Workmate (what we call our coworkers here at Workday) started there.
I have always thrived with change and spontaneity, and it reflected in my background and my career choice. The reason why I like QA is because I love a challenge. Every day, I’m learning something new — from exploring and understanding our software to making sure we are delivering quality products to our customers. I also get to work and collaborate with amazing Workmates who are willing to stop what they’re doing to help me when I need it.
Even with my confidence growing each day with both my learnings from Year Up and from my fellow Workmates, I couldn’t help but think that I had to prove that I deserved to be here — and that I could get this job done. I needed to prove that I deserved to sit next to a Workmate who graduated from a Cornell or a Stanford. In moments like this, I just think of my mom. I remember how much she supports me, and how badly she wants to see me succeed. I think of her work ethic, and the lesson she taught me from an early age: work hard, and prove your worth.
With time, my team has become a huge part of my success at Workday. And soon, I realized how unwarranted my imposter syndrome truly was because they never made me feel like I didn’t belong.
When I look at what defines who I am today, I always go back to a few things:
I value family. First and foremost, I’m a son, a brother, a cousin, and a friend. I am where I am today because of my mom and my family. I work hard to help support my family, and I’m grateful for the support my family continues to provide me on this journey.
I value opportunity. Like many other people, I didn’t have access to a traditional four-year degree. But I’m smart. I work hard. I have proved and I will continue to prove my worth. When the door to opportunity opened through Year Up and Workday, I saw what was in front of me, and I seized the opportunity.
I accept challenges. It’s intimidating to feel like you don’t belong, or you don’t deserve what you’ve worked so hard to achieve. But that’s another thing that I’ve learned about myself: I don’t back down from challenges. If it makes me uncomfortable, I’m growing.
I’m Jesus Lopez. I’m a graduate of Year Up, and I’m a proud Workmate.