City Year alumna Jasmín Jiménez (New York ’06 & Boston ’07) served with City Year as an AmeriCorps member and staff member for nine years, and in that time found her passion for management and art. Today she is pursuing an MBA and MA from one of City Year’s 100+ University Partners, the Claremont Graduate University where she is able to take advantage of the tuition scholarship they provide to City Year Alumni. Learn how Jasmin benefitted from one of City Year's many scholarship opportunities, both personally and professionally.
How did you first hear about City Year?
Jasmín Jiménez (JJ): I learned about City Year through a career fair hosted at Rutgers University, where I was getting my undergraduate degree. I was in the process of applying to the Peace Corps, so it was illuminating to learn about another service opportunity.
What ultimately led you to accept your invitation to serve with City Year?
JJ: City Year AmeriCorps members work in major U.S. cities and focus on education. After college, I knew I wanted to do something unique and give back to a community like the one I grew up in, and the City Year opportunity gave me the ability do both locally.
What was the most challenging aspect of your service year?
JJ: It was challenging to balance my time between service and making sure I took care of my personal needs such as graduate school applications and professional development. It is easy to get engulfed in the many different projects happening at your school or on your team. Keeping your goals in mind is important because a year of service flies by and before you know it, you will be graduating. You want to make sure you have taken time to make strides towards your post-service year goals.
How did you address this challenge and what did you learn?
JJ: I turned to colleagues and mentors for support in tackling my goals. I also made goals that were both short-term and long-term focused. This allowed me to work incrementally towards my goal of going to graduate school. I learned that there is a wealth of knowledge and resources at City Year, whether it from is your Impact Manager, fellow teammate or other leaders on staff. By talking about your goals publicly, you make the first step in holding yourself accountable to achieving them.
What was the most rewarding aspect of serving with City Year?
JJ: I was with the organization for nine years and was based out of New York and Boston for most my time but was able to venture to sites in Los Angeles, New Hampshire, New Orleans, and Providence on City Year business. During those nine years, I met many inspiring colleagues, AmeriCorps members and friends.
What advice would you give to someone considering serving with City Year?
JJ: Make sure to have the proper support system in place and always remember why you decided to serve with City Year. When you are facing challenges, you will need that reminder and strong foundation to persevere.
What did you decide to pursue after City Year and how did your experience prepare you for this next step?
JJ: I decided to pursue a graduate degree in business with a current University Partner, the Peter F. Drucker School of Management. Business school is focused on collaborating with a diverse group of class mates to accomplish group projects, tackle case studies and participate in student activities. In addition, all these graduate school responsibilities require me to be comfortable presenting in front of my peers. City Year’s team structure provided me with ample opportunities to work on projects with diverse peers. It was also a space where I developed and strengthened my public speaking and presentation skills.
What are you currently studying?
JJ: Currently, I am a graduate student at the Peter F. Drucker School of Management where I will graduate this May. I am a dual degree student pursuing an MBA and MA in Art Business. What drew me to my program was the uniqueness of combining an MBA with an MA in Art Business. I have travelled to Hong Kong, Las Vegas, Mexico City, Miami, New York, Sankt Gallen and Shanghai, and I’m not kidding when I say the travel was all for educational purposes! This, coupled with experiential learning and travel opportunities, confirmed my decision to go to the Peter F. Drucker School of Management.
How has City Year impacted your education trajectory?
JJ: My experiences with service projects, specifically murals, always inspired me. Those experiences allowed me to tap into my creative outlet and made me realize how much I loved the arts. During my time with City Year, I pursued a Certificate in Art Collections Management and Display, which then fueled my desire to attain an advanced degree that combined my interests in the technical and creative fields.
How has use of this university partnership advanced your career?
JJ: Well this is still to be determined but as a career switcher, I knew that getting an advanced degree was key for me to transition from the not-for-profit industry. Since starting my graduate studies, I have done research on the art market, collaborated with professors on consulting projects and interned for an art technology start-up. I would say that’s a step in the right direction.
City Year Alumni University Partners are a network of higher education institutions providing benefits to members of the City Year network. Our wide range of partners believe the service experience of City Year alumni can be an incredible asset to their communities, no matter the specific focus of their program. City Year is proud to partner with Claremont Graduate University Drucker School of Management, offering $6,000 fellowships per semester based on 12 units of registration to City Year AmeriCorps members, alumni, or staff.