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Student Spotlight: A Professional Journey with Education at Work

Ben-Self-Bio-Pic

Three years ago, I began my journey working at Education at Work (EAW). EAW is non-profit customer service outsourcer that has a goal of hiring college students like me and helping them graduate with increased professional skills and less student debt. As a high school senior, I was excited although nervous to begin my new job as a part-time customer service rep taking calls for a national retailer. However, my reservations soon passed and I became confident with any work situation that could arise. After three months in my position, I was promoted to senior associate, which meant I handled call escalations and assisted other agents with questions and issues. After another four months, I became a PRT (program ready trainer), meaning that in addition to my normal responsibilities I assisted in the training and nesting of new student employees. From these experiences I not only learned how to work with many different types of people, but also learned about myself and what I’m passionate about. A year later, I was promoted to my current position of client development representative on EAW’s internal team within the business development department.

Being at an organization like EAW has allowed me to vastly expand my skills and future employability before I graduate. My original responsibility in my current role was to call potential clients and set up introductory calls between them and my team, hopefully leading to a business partnership. While calling has remained at the core of my job function, I have also been involved in other areas, such as networking events, marketing, email campaigns, event planning, social media, software implementation, and university partner development. Within this role I have been given opportunities that many young professionals my age are not able to experience until after they graduate and enter the full-time workforce.

To recognize my efforts at EAW and help develop additional skills, my team manager continues to present me with opportunities to grow and hone my abilities. Most recently, she asked me to develop a comprehensive roadmap for my future at EAW as well as my long-term career.

I am very goal-oriented and not someone who likes to accept mediocrity from myself. So, when I was presented with this assignment, I jumped at the opportunity. Since I already knew where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do, laying out a roadmap came naturally. Some of my bigger asks for my future experience at EAW included attending conferences, being involved in the pricing and proposals to clients, as well as attending site visits at both EAW company locations and potential client offices.

I also outlined, if given the opportunity, I would like to pursue full-time employment at EAW after graduation, and plan to be quickly be accepted into a well-known MBA program to help jump-start my executive career. In particular, I aspire to become a Chief Customer Officer or CEO of a large corporation. I have no doubt that big goals will lead to big achievements, and it all started with my first work experience at EAW.

 

Ben Self

EAW student-employee for 4-years, started as a customer service agent on a retail program. He has earned $6,000 in tuition assistance through EAW.

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