By Naaz Ali, Year Up Alum and Entrepreneur

When is the right time to take a chance at something new? The right time to take action on something you believe in might be now. Life is short, so why wait? Currently, the world is experiencing a pandemic, forcing us to spend extra time in our homes. Leverage this time to start planning future goals or get started on old projects you’ve put off for years! Or you might make an even bigger change. In this blog, I wanted to share my experiences with making big changes as I navigated obstacles in building my career within Corporate America.

Image for post
Image for post


by Hibaq Suleiman, Reporting Analyst at LinkedIn & Year Up Alum

Image for post
Image for post
My team, the People Analytics team at LinkedIn

Hello, my name is Hibaq Suleiman and I’m a Reporting Analyst for LinkedIn’s People Analytics team and I’m also a Somali Refugee. The path to my tech career may seem “untraditional” to some but I see it now as my competitive advantage in the workforce. I am able to provide different perspectives and fresh solutions and I have an undeniable drive to succeed and work hard because of everything that my family and I have been through. Many companies are filtering out talented young adults like myself in their hiring processes without knowing what they are missing out on. Using…

A personal reflection by Onllwyn Dixon, Business Communications Instructor at Year Up Bay Area

Image for post
Image for post

I celebrate Black history every day of the year. Black History Month itself is a time for me to reflect on what it means to be a man of African descent in the US and my connection to countless people who in the face of terror, violence, and subjugation sacrificed their lives and liberty for the promise of a brighter future for generations yet to come. It is a time for me to reflect on the known and unknown activists, organizers, and human rights advocates of the past who tirelessly fought for racial equality. Black History Month also allows me…

By Fernanda Yerena, Program Manager Intern at Paypal

Image for post
Image for post

My name is Fernanda Yerena and I am a Program Manager Intern at Paypal. Growing up, I always wanted to have a mentor, someone who was ahead of me in their career, who I could learn from and who could support me in achieving my professional goals. When I joined Year Up, I was excited to see that mentoring is a big part of the program. I was lucky to be paired with Nancy Michaels, an amazing Business Development Director at Skyline Construction. I have learned so much from Nancy and have…

by Monet Wilson

My name is Monet Wilson and I am a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Facilitator for Racy Conversations, Recruitment Specialist at Year Up Bay Area, Program Coordinator for the Bayview Hunters Point TILL Program, and an alum of Year Up (Class July 2014). This week, I was involved in the #YearUpVoices4Change event, an awesome opportunity that connected 120 students with alumni and a prominent leader for civic engagement and activism, Deray Mckesson.

Image for post
Image for post
After leading the Civic Engagement workshop for students, Alumni and DeRay Mckesson were able to continue the conversation over lunch.

During the event, DeRay asked the question, “Who are you in the world?” and he outlined three types of people he has come across in his…

By Kim Alejos, Year Up Bay Area Graduate & Technical Writer at Salesforce

Image for post
Image for post
Showered with support and flowers from my Salesforce team at my Year Up Graduation.

About a year ago, I thought I knew why I applied to Year Up. I wanted to get a good job that paid me well. But I would soon find out, it was much more than that.

It was a rainy Wednesday when I first walked through the doors of Year Up. Because I’m introverted and naturally shy, I didn’t interact much with the other students. I just wanted to get in, and get out. But to my surprise, that mindset began to fade after only a…

By Ugochi Oduozo, Junior Endpoint Technician Intern at DocuSign

Hello, my name is is Ugochi Oduozo and I’m a Junior Endpoint Technician Intern at DocuSign. One of the best parts of my Year Up experience has been networking with other professionals and gaining a mentor through Cheryl Davis. It’s been great working with Cheryl over the past few months, I have come to experience mentoring from a different perspective, that is, it does not have to be always formal. We have had great laughing moments and I have also gained a lot of career and personal advice from her. Cheryl…

by Janna Strain, Executive Assistant to the Chief Officer of Innovation & Scale

I began seriously advocating for the rights of the LGBTQIAA+ community in 2014. Decades after Stonewall and Compton’s Cafeteria, the election of Harvey Milk, and the AIDS crisis, I stood on the shoulders of activists who had protested, advocated, fought, and even died to make my fight for equal rights a little bit easier. As an intern, a contractor, and then a volunteer for a large LGBTQIAA+ rights organization, I coordinated demonstrations for queer people of faith, developed cultural competency trainings for straight and cisgender allies, and…

By Glenn De Luna, Year Up Bay Area Student

Today was finally the day for our site wide trip to Linkedin for InDay — 80 students would visit the LinkedIn headquarters in Sunnyvale and 120 students would visit the LinkedIn office in San Francisco. As I prepared for the Sunnyvale visit, I could tell my fellow colleagues were anxious with excitement. We were dressed even more sharply than usual with Nima as a prime candidate, showing up in the freshest three-piece suit I have seen in a long time. Soon we heard the buses arrive and we headed straight over…

By Tee Davis, Year Up Bay Area Alum

Let me take you back to my first day at Year Up on March 8, 2016, the 1st day of Orientation Week. This week was one of the most uncomfortable, eye-opening, and fun weeks I have ever experienced. It taught me so much about the community that would be around me on this journey and even more about myself. I was one of the first to arrive in my learning community and as I sat in an empty circle, seats slowly filled up around me―I thought to myself,

I can’t take any…

Year Up Bay Area

An intensive one-year job training program that connects young adults, aged 18–24, to professional careers in the tech industry.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store