Meet Sheila

Photo of GESMN participant Sheila outside the St. Paul offices

“My career path is not straight,” Sheila says. She’s originally from Indonesia and has lived in several cities in Minnesota. In college Sheila studied psychology and business administration, and after graduating she dipped her toes in several careers, but none were the perfect fit. “Along the way, I had many, many jobs. Retail industry. Accounting. Health care. Restaurant industry.”

At a meeting with her personal finance advisor, Sheila was pointed in a new direction. Her advisor asked if she had ever considered a career in the finance industry. When Sheila pointed out that she didn’t have a background in finance, her advisor told her that she possessed the traits that finance professionals look for in attitude, personality and numbers-savvy.

“I changed course again and I felt a spark,” Sheila says. “I thought, this is it. I really want to be in this industry.”

Sheila was at the library updating her resume when she found a pamphlet advertising GESMN’s banking and finance training. She immediately took action. “I called and I went into the class, and I learned so much about the industry. I learned a lot about interviewing and networking. I networked with people in the banking industry, and that’s how I got my job.”

GESMN staff keeps in touch with participants long after they graduate programs, providing advice and connecting them to resources as they consider their next move. After Sheila finished her training, she landed a temp job in accounting. Later, her instructor Roni called to tell her about a new opportunity: a position at U.S. Bank had opened up. During her training at GESMN, Sheila had met and networked with a U.S. Bank branch manager, and this connection played a role in her success. Sheila applied, interviewed and was offered the position of business banking sales support specialist.

While advancing in her own career, Sheila has been thoughtful to leverage her skills and knowledge to help others around her. “During my Goodwill training, I helped my classmate who had a hard time speaking and following in English. So after the class ended, I said, you know what? I’m going to make that my mission. I’m going to help non-native English speakers to practice, because that’s the little thing they need to land jobs and be most effective in this industry,” Sheila says. Today she hosts a weekly chat class on Saturdays at the Brooklyn Park Library. “I have a class right now and I’m helping people from multiple countries — Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Vietnam, Laos, India and Colombia. It’s fun. It’s just fun to chat with them.”

When you shop and donate at Goodwill, you help participants like Sheila train for jobs that make them “spark.” Thank you for your support.


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