Talent RISE is passionate about changing the lives of young people who have experienced barriers to employment. To do this, we provide education, training, life skills and employment opportunities, helping young people RISE UP to their full potential to gain independence and purpose.
Christie Kwon is 23 years old and after realizing she wasn’t content in her studies, she looked to RISE to discover what her career could look like in the future. She was able to gain meaningful skills through a User Experience Design Immersive course offered by General Assembly. We chatted to Christie to discover how RISE helped her secure this opportunity, and how it has prepared her for the future!
Q- How was it working with RISE?
Christie – It was a great experience working with RISE. While working with RISE, I had the great opportunity to connect with General Assembly where I could study User Experience Design and now work as a UX Designer which I have a great passion for.
Q- Did you feel supported and if so, in what way?
C- Yes, I definitely did. Due to COVID, I only had one face to face meeting with the RISE team but during that first session of getting to know each other, they were great listeners. After a fantastic first impression, I continued to feel the same support as the team continued to check in on me, offering their utmost support and sharing positive energy as they cheered me on.
Q- What did it mean for you being connected to RISE?
C- Before connecting with RISE, I knew I was unhappy in my studies and wanting to change career paths, but I was unsure what exactly it was that I wanted to do or what steps I would need to take first. Once I was in contact with RISE, their suggestions and connections were able to help guide me to realize and achieve what I wanted for my future.
Q- How has the opportunity with General Assembly changed your life?
C- I had the opportunity to complete the User Experience Design Immersive course offered by General Assembly and I am so grateful for the experience that I had in the course. During the 3 months that I spent with General Assembly, I developed a passion for this role and regained a sense of confidence in pursuing a career in UX.
I really value the time I spent at GA as it not only helped me develop my hard and soft skills as a UX Designer but also connected me with many unique and amazing individuals that come from varying backgrounds and experiences and it was the fact that I spent those 3 months with these individuals that made the experience so much more valuable.
Q- If you could give advice to a young person struggling to find work or someone feeling lost – what would it be?
C- Don’t be afraid of reaching out for help – whether it’s regarding your career or about any personal struggles you may have. Someone will be there to listen! This is something I would also tell my past self as well.
Personally, I consider myself lucky that I was referred to Talent RISE and General Assembly during a time when I was losing a lot of confidence. Having someone that not only listened but also offered ways to support me with opportunities that could further my career options was really helpful.
Q- If you could give advice to an employer thinking of giving a RISE young person an opportunity what would that be?
C – In a recent webinar that I attended, one of the most impactful points that I took away from that session was that “people come first”, and this was explained with different scenarios, one of which included recruitment. I think it’s quite common for people to question their career path at one point in their lives and it can be an overwhelming experience when you don’t know where to start. RISE helps young individuals that are searching for opportunities by connecting them with companies and businesses that they have within their network that seem the best fit for each other.
Someone’s experience is a clear and common way to identify what they can bring to a company but to gather the experience necessary, there needs to be an opportunity given first.
Finding this first opportunity is always the hardest as companies are constantly looking for multiple years of experience, but if you are willing to connect with an individual on a human level and invest in their growth, the numbers and value that they will bring will naturally be brought with them!
If you know a young person that needs a hand preparing for work or work for a business that could create a life-changing opportunity for a young person then please reach out to Talent RISE at talentrise.org