Like many recent college graduates, Rachel Hess was trying to decide—should she continue on to graduate school to get her Masters in Social Work or should she get a job. The best option for Rachel, it turns out, was neither of these options. Instead, she sought out a third option—a gap year working as a City Year AmeriCorps member in Washington, D.C.
"I knew that spending my gap year serving with City Year would challenge me both personally and professionally, and prepare me for whichever path I chose to take," Rachel said.
Explore New Career Opportunities
During her gap year, Rachel said her eyes were opened to new career opportunities she never considered before, like business and consulting.
Professional development is a great benefit of serving with City Year. From their university and career collaborators, the organization strives to help the corps prepare for whatever comes after their service year. "I wanted to take advantage of every post-City Year opportunity that was offered to us," Rachel said. So when she heard one of City Year’s National Sponsors, Deloitte, was offering a "Careers with Deloitte" webinar one month into her corps year, Rachel was quick to sign up. "[I] attended the webinar with the intention of learning more about Deloitte and what careers [City Year AmeriCorps] members were eligible for."
"I did not know that I wanted to go into consulting before I started City Year," Rachel said. But after the webinar, Rachel was excited to apply to Deloitte.
Tap into our Alumni Network
"The application process at Deloitte was very rigorous," Rachel said. After submitting her application materials, Rachel was excited when she was contacted by Deloitte and invited for the first round of interviews.
With more than 27,000 individuals in our network, City Year alumni work in a variety of industries and careers—many of whom are eager to support their fellow AmeriCorps members in reaching their career aspirations.
"When I learned that I made it to the first round of interviews, I was contacted by a City Year D.C. alum who now works at Deloitte. She offered to help with any questions I had about the interview process and gave me some great interview tips. We met in-person before I went to the second round interview and ran a business case together. She gave me feedback on my business case responses and shared about her own interview experience with me," Rachel said. "She played a vital part in my interview preparation."
But the alumni support didn't stop there. When Rachel was offered a position at Deloitte, a few other City Year alumni currently working at Deloitte reached out to congratulate her on her offer and offer their support to her.
Build Skills for Success
"Serving as an AmeriCorps Member was an experience unlike any other," Rachel added. "It gave me confidence to enter a new career environment." It also, taught her tangible skills that help set her up for success in her current role.
Communication is one key skill Rachel said she gained. It was a daily part of her service, from sharing her students' progress with her partner teacher after small group or one-on-one tutoring sessions to helping students understand their lessons. "I was my school’s Attendance Coordinator and had to communicate the outcomes of each weekly attendance meeting to my team and what it meant for our students." Now, Rachel uses her Communication skills every day during her client and team meetings in her role as a Business Analyst at Deloitte Consulting LLP.
Two of the most important skills Rachel says she leverages at work are teamwork and relationship building. "The values of City Year are very prevalent in my day-to-day life. The most important value I took from my time at City Year is the value of teamwork. Working in a team is a very important part of my job and the success of my project and building strong relationships with team members is paramount when working in a team environment. Another value I see in my day-to-day life is the value of relationship building. When working with students, building a trusting relationship with them was the first priority of a successful relationship. [At Deloitte], it is critical to have a great relationship and build trust with your team to help deliver quality work."
Though Rachel has many more years of her career to look forward to, she knows she'll take the experience and memories from City Year and Deloitte with her wherever life takes her next.