by Tyler Jones, City Year New Hampshire AmeriCorps VISTA
City Year New Hampshire has been supported and sponsored by Comcast NBCUniversal for many years, and we are always thrilled when our AmeriCorps members have a chance to meet and interact with members of the Comcast team. On January 19, 2018, our corps members had the chance to travel to the Northeast Division of Comcast NBCUniversal for a morning of professional development and career planning sessions. Over 60 CYNH AmeriCorps members and staff were welcomed by roughly 25 Comcast employees, some of whom had travelled from as far away as Maryland to attend and support the event.
Sara Dionne, Senior Director of Human Resources, served as the emcee for the morning. Following a hot breakfast, she introduced our AmeriCorps members to Comcast and its mission, and shared with them the theme for the day: Telling Your Story. The purpose of this event, she explained, was to help identify what experiences you have had in your life that have led you to where you are today, and how you can use the skills you have acquired along the way to achieve your goals. Comcast employees Kaitlin Kilpatrick and Stephen Doucette told their own stories of how they came to be part of the Comcast team and how their lives took many twists and turns along the way, both personally and professionally. After that, Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition, Jennifer Abdinoor shared some tips and tricks to successful interviewing and how to best tell your story in that setting.
After the morning’s presentation was finished, corps members were divided in to groups and rotated through four professional development sessions: Your Story & Interview Skills, Personal Brand & Social Media, Job Search & Networking, and Planning for Your Journey. The rotations were led by Comcast Human Resources employees—about five employees per topic—which provided each group of AmeriCorps members roughly 15 minutes per rotation to ask questions and have personalized attention from an HR professional. Since our AmeriCorps members range from ages 18-25, they all came in with a different level of experience with regards to each topic. However, the session facilitators did an excellent job of answering questions and addressing concerns from all across that spectrum, and each AmeriCorps member came away with something new.
After each group had gone through the four rotations, everyone sat down to a delicious lunch. The meal provided the group with a chance to reflect on what they had learned and how they were going to use it going forward. Each attendant also received a drawstring bag filled with complimentary items from Comcast, including gloves you can use with smartphone screens, headphones, and a portable phone charger. These physical takeaways were a lovely complement to the skills and knowledge that our AmeriCorps members would also take with them.
We are incredibly grateful for the time, energy, and resources that Comcast has devoted to City Year New Hampshire, both at this event and throughout all our years of partnership. The story of CYNH would not be what is it without their support, and we look forward to continuing this partnership for many years to come!