A Foot in the Door Inspired a Career. 

Prashant Bashyal was a 16-year-old high school junior at Westside High School when his school bus took him past the Sysco headquarters in the Energy Corridor of Houston for the first time. Each time he passed the building, he wondered about the people who worked there and what it would be like to walk the halls of that building. Prashant was looking for part-time work at fast food restaurants at the time but had not been successful.

That same year, Prashant emigrated from Nepal to the U.S. His parents made the decision to leave their home country to give him and his younger brother a better education. Though he was excited about the new possibilities the move would bring, nothing could have prepared him for what came next. “I experienced serious culture shock when I arrived, “Prashant said. “The education system was very different and everything was just so new to me. It was hard.”

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Prashant Bashyal, Class of 2015

Later that year, he learned about Genesys Works. “They were offering training, a paid internship, and college and career support. I thought to myself, ‘can this be real?’” Prashant was skeptical but applied to the program anyway. “I didn’t even know what a resume was back then.”

Prashant was invited to be part of the 2015 cohort and summer training kicked off soon after. During Genesys Works’ 8-week summer skills training program, soft skills are emphasized, and technical skills are taught in equal measure. With this approach, students who successfully complete the program are better prepared for an internship and the real world. “The technical skills came naturally to me. The professional skills, like public speaking and teamwork, did not,” Prashant said. 

With a bit of one-on-one coaching, Prashant improved. “I experienced lots of firsts that summer: It was the first time I was in a professional setting, I created my first resume and I had my first real mock interview.” At the end of the eight weeks of training, Prashant learned he had earned an IT internship at the company he admired from the school bus window just a year before. “I could not believe I had gotten an internship with Sysco,” Prashant said.

Prashant excelled as an intern. The experience and mentorship he gained during his yearlong internship made a tremendous impact on his confidence. “I learned something new every single day from my supervisor and team. I went in thinking I wanted to pursue engineering. I left knowing that I wanted to pursue a career in IT.”

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Prashant Bashyal & Katherine Taylor, Executive Director of Genesys Works Houston

Last year, Prashant graduated with honors from the University of Houston-Downtown with a degree in Management Information Systems. He considered multiple job offers before accepting a role with the organization that helped get him where he is today. “I am proud to say that I work full-time as a Software Engineer & Analyst with Genesys Works’ national office,” Prashant said. “I’m responsible for developing and monitoring critical IT systems and infrastructure, ensuring the highest levels of performance and security.  I’ve also supported summer training as an instructor. I’ve come full circle.”

Talent is distributed equally, but opportunity is not. When internships are unpaid, they’re accessible to only those who can afford to work for free for months at a time. When this happens, companies miss out on talent, and young people with the will and work ethic to succeed are shut out from opportunities. With the support of dedicated corporate partners, Genesys Works is creating pathways to career success.

“Genesys Works taught me the right skills and helped me get a foot in the door. My internship at Sysco helped me put those skills to work and discover what I wanted to do in life. I would not be where I am today without Genesys Works and all of the people at Sysco.”

If you’re ready to set up a meeting to learn more about hosting a Genesys Works intern and becoming a mentor, email us at corporatepartnerships@genesysworks.org. You can also check out our video library here. 

 

This story is part of our monthly Mentorship Matters series. Like what you see? Forward it to a friend. 

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