Until she enrolled in Digital Career Path, a programming partnership between The LAMP and OBT (Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow), Jarisel’s story was much like many others throughout New York City. A single mother of two in a part-time job, she knew she needed to make a career change and gain the types of skills that could offer growth, fulfillment and independence. This type of change doesn’t come easily, but as Jarisel learned, it’s well worth the hard work for a brighter future.
What were you doing before you started the Digital Career Path (DCP) program, and how did you hear about it?
Before the DCP program, I had been working for over year and a half with a temporary part-time job as an administrative assistant. I was employed there with the help of a friend that was also the Director of Events. Before that I was unemployed for six years, so the temporary job helped serve as a stepping stone for me as well as a way to help break me back into the workforce. I thought it would be a good way to gain some administrative skills. I knew I needed more of a lift to help push me further, so that’s another reason I became a part of the DCP program.
Why did you decide to take the program, and what were your concerns going in?
I was looking for a program that could potentially help advance the skills I already acquired a few years back in graphics to help jump start my career. My initial concerns were about what exactly I could get out of this program.
What were some of the biggest surprises about what you learned in the program, both about yourself and about media and technology?
The biggest surprise was learning about the real dependency the whole world now have on social media. It has become the dominate way to network. What I learned about myself was that I was way behind with the times and that I really needed to keep up with the current trends in terms of media and technology. The program definitely help me get up to speed.
What was your favorite project you worked on during the program?
I worked on two video projects at DCP. For the first one, I had no idea what I wanted to create. I knew I just wanted something creative. It was supposed to be a solo project but I joined with another classmate that was just as indecisive as me. After some help from the DCP instructors and tons of quick brainstorming, I was able to come up with the idea of a video that focuses on dancing. The second video consisted of creating a fake Kickstarter video. It was supposed to be a team video but because my Idea was not compatible with the ideas of others, I ended up working alone. My idea came to me after looking within my life and really asking myself, “What is influencing me now?”
At the end of the program, you started an internship that led to further opportunities. What kind of work were you doing there and what do you hope to do in the future?
In my internship, besides being given the opportunity to edit a client’s video, I am also currently editing two videos for the company itself. Since then, I have met with a few people who were actually looking for an editor, and now with the little training that I have acquired through my internship, I can really put myself out there to others who are actively seeking. As of now I have not had the opportunity to edit projects independently, but I have confidence that it will happen, especially if I continue to network.
What would you say to someone who was considering making a career change to media/technology, and thinking about the Digital Career Path program?
I would say, don’t hesitate. This program can really open you up to opportunities that would have been difficult to achieve alone. Especially since the internship programs they are connected with reinforce media & tech. This program is not just about preparing you in media/tech but really teaching you to network. And networking is definitely a necessity for your livelihood.
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