From “wandering junior” to young professional and finding her passion in business technology

May 14, 2020


Twin Cities

By Zeltzin Montero Castillo

Before Genesys Works, I was a wandering junior. I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to be “when I grew up.” I never even understood what it meant when people asked, “What are you passionate about?” or instructed, ”Just do something you’re good at.” Coming from a low-income family, I was never exposed to many school sports or extracurricular activities. There was just never the time or money for it, and it really led me to feel lost and unhopeful for the future. How would I learn what I was good at if I never really had the chance to explore?

One day my friend – who at the time was a Genesys Works young professional – told me to check out this program. She shared that she was making good money and that her internship was a great learning opportunity. Now, I am not going to lie…she had me at money. The next thing I knew, I was attending the interview, and a few weeks later, received an email confirming my position as a Genesys Works young professional. I really had no idea what would happen next.

Summer training was absolutely my favorite part about my experience. It not only taught me super valuable technical skills, but it also introduced me to many amazing people I still talk to today. The internship I had my senior year was my first introduction into the corporate world – a world to which I never even imagined I could belong. No one in my entire family had ever experienced a position quite like this. Coming from a family of immigrants, I think the furthest we thought we would ever get into the corporate world was entry-level jobs. Neither of my parents finished high school, but they always encouraged me to explore all the opportunities they never had. And though I was only an intern, I felt on top of the world. I was ambitious and eager to develop my professional network and skillset.

While the internship was a huge part of my growth experience, I am also grateful to Genesys Works for the guidance throughout my college application process. They helped me and all of us young professionals navigate our complex and unique questions. They supported us no matter what our path was and made the process seem less overwhelming.

I started school at Augsburg University last fall with a full tuition scholarship – a scholarship I was eligible for due to my participation in a college readiness program. My college path has been smooth sailing. I have to give credit to Genesys Works because it allowed me to experience responsibility and multi-tasking before college, which has been really useful. It also helped me to discover exactly what I wanted to major in: MIS and Mathematics.

Genesys Works allowed me to explore a future in post-secondary education, helped me understand my strengths and grow in areas where I needed support, and gave me an opportunity to experience the corporate world – a world I can now see a future in.

Before Genesys Works, I was a wandering junior, but today I know what I am good at and where I want to be. Above all, I know that I can succeed.

About the Writer 

My name is Zeltzin Montero Castillo. Last year, I graduated from Southwest High School and finished a year-long internship at Target Corporation in downtown Minneapolis working with the HiTech team. Today, I have finished my first year at Augsburg University with a plan to major in Management Information Systems (which I like to describe as a mix of business and technology) and Mathematics. In the future, I hope to work at Target Headquarters – I love the company culture and how the people who work there are passionate about their jobs.

Latest Posts