This year, Genesys Works celebrates a decade of bridging opportunities for youth from underserved communities in the Bay Area. Over the past ten years, Genesys Works has been dedicated to providing access to college and career pathways to more than 700 trailblazing young people who have big career aspirations but limited access to the networks needed to help them achieve their dreams. Meet Michael and Peony. These two amazing individuals met each other in the first Genesys Works Bay Area cohort. Michael is currently a member of the Genesys Works Bay Area Advisory Board. Peony was part of the Genesys Works team from 2019 to 2021, paying her experience forward to Young Professionals in the program.
Earning an internship in my senior year of high school through Genesys Works helped me mature on a whole new level. My career truly started the day I joined Genesys Works. From that moment, I worked all throughout college, earning several internships that shaped my career today.
My experience through Genesys Works helped me academically as well. Before joining the program, I felt lost. I didn’t have the best grades in High School, and I sometimes thought to myself, “What’s the point? What’s waiting for me anyway?”. After getting a taste of my first real work experience, I committed myself to doing better in school. After High School, I went to City College of San Francisco for two years and did well enough to transfer to UC Berkeley. I included my involvement in Genesys Works in my personal statement, which I believe was a major factor in my acceptance into the school.
Genesys Works changed my life forever because I met my lovely wife, Peony! The friends I made through the program have become lifelong friends. So many people in Genesys Works are going through similar hardships in life, and it is inspiring to meet so many other like-minded individuals trying to better their lives.
My advice to the Genesys Works participants: You have already made an extraordinary leap by joining the Genesys Works program. It’s not an easy choice to work part-time during your senior year, especially in a corporate environment. It can seem daunting. Know that your hard work will pay off tremendously. Your career truly starts now. I urge you to keep the momentum going and keep seeking opportunities as you transition into college and stay connected to Genesys Works. Speaking from first-hand experience, your success has the power to transform not only your life but your entire family’s as well.”
“The bonds formed in the program made this a truly meaningful experience.”
“Genesys Works shaped who I am today, both in my professional and personal life. Back in high school, I was uncertain about my career path. I stumbled upon Genesys Works at school, which introduced me to the importance of work experience, skill-building, and meaningful connections. I joined, and this led to a transformative journey. Through this program, I not only acquired skills but also discovered my strengths and potential.
I wholeheartedly believe in Genesys Works’ mission and its meaningful impact. After graduating, I even worked at Genesys Works, guiding and coaching interns as my Program Coordinator guided me on my professional journey.
On a personal note, I’m grateful that I met my husband during the same cohort when we interned at Genesys Works. The bonds formed in this program made this a truly meaningful experience.
To current and upcoming Genesys Works Young Professional Peony advises: “Stay open to opportunities! This program empowered me to pursue my aspirations by seizing the chances that came my way.”
Michael & Peony met during the first Professional Skills Training provided by Genesys Works Bay Area in the summer of 2013 and are now happily married. During his time within the Genesys Works Program, Michael secured a paid internship at Kirkland & Ellis LLP as an IT Support Tech Intern. He also worked as Genesys Works college intern at Accenture, offering Technology Support. Michael is a proud UC Berkeley graduate, and today, he thrives as a Software Engineer at CitySpan. Peony earned her paid internship with Gensler as an IT Intern through Genesys Works. She is a UC Irvine Alumni and an Executive Assistant to the Dean of UC Berkeley’s Public Health.