We recently asked PaNa Vang, a Class of 2012 Genesys Works young professional, a few questions about her experience in high school and her most recent accomplishments, including her new job at Target Corporate!

What first inspired you to be involved with Genesys Works?

“Growing up, I saw my parents struggling financially and my dad jumping job to job, trying to put food on the table. I was always interested in Microsoft Office programs and random applications on our family Dell computer running on Windows Vista OS. When I saw Genesys Works was accepting students into their program, I decided to apply. If there’s a small chance a program will help change my life, I’m willing to risk it, even if it means waking up early in the summer.”

Where was your internship in high school?

“My internship was at Capella University and I was doing desk side support. My daily tasks included troubleshooting laptops/desktops at team member’s cubes, deploying new equipment and setting up workstations for new hires.”

What were some of the most valuable lessons you learned through Genesys Works?

“One valuable lesson I learned through Genesys Works is to greet everyone with respect because you won’t know who’s going to be your boss in the future.”

Who is a mentor you had during your internship? Did you keep in touch with them and how did you maintain that relationship?

“My mentor I had during my internship was one of my coworkers, Scott Brooks, who works at Capella University. I kept in touch with him and my manager, Matthew Pellowski, and tried to have lunch with them at least once a summer.”

What was something that made your experience with Genesys Works memorable?

“Genesys Works does a great job contacting Genesys Works alumni with job opportunities. My last semester in college, I was scared to graduate because I didn’t have a job set after graduation. I recall giving Joel Crandall, my program coordinator in 2012, a call and explained my situation. He didn’t hesitate to help me at all. He gave me all the information I needed, and look at me now. I am thankful for Joel Crandall – for being part of Genesys Works and being a wonderful program coordinator.”

Where did you go to college and what did you study?

“I went to St. Cloud State University and received my Bachelor of Science in Business Management and concentration in Operations Management.”

What are you currently doing?

I am currently working at Target HQ as a Hi Tech Engineer and doing desk side support. On the side, I am coaching the new class Genesys Works young professionals on the Hi Tech team.

Did Genesys Works impact your career path? How?  

I think Genesys Works played a huge role in my career path. I originally wanted to major in Biochemistry, but I was failing the classes I took for it. I started to feel as if college wasn’t for me. I decided to think about what I was good at and what I have knowledge in. I thought about all the things I learned during my Genesys Works summer training and how I loved working at a corporate building. I decided to change my major to Business Management, and it was the best thing I did. All the things I was learning in college, I learned during my summer training with Genesys Works. I was able to enhance my resume, LinkedIn, and communication skills.

What is an accomplishment from the last few years that you are proudest of? How is this reflective of your character, work ethic, and/or future goals?

One of the accomplishments I am proud of is converting from contractor to team member at Target HQ. Most people don’t see that as an accomplishment, but I do. Not all contractors become team members. My role as a contractor didn’t guarantee a team member position, but I took it anyway. My coworker recognized my hard work, and I stood out by communicating my ideas and doing projects that no one wanted to do.

Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your younger self or current interns as they strive to succeed, even in the midst of obstacles and struggles?

You may be experiencing the worst day of your life, but tomorrow is a new day and a new start. Don’t bring the negativity from today to tomorrow.

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