Nearly three years ago, Joana Nushi and her husband Armand moved to the United States from Albania. Shortly afterward, she found work as a teller at a local bank. Within a few months, she was promoted. But she longed to work at a larger bank where she would learn more about the banking business and start to build a career. So she left her job thinking that it would be easy to find another one. To her disappointment and surprise, she searched for weeks without getting an interview, much less an offer. In this interview, Joana explains how she came to Career Collaborative and how it changed her life.
Q: How did you learn about Career Collaborative?
A: I was in the library which is where I would research job openings and I found a little note about Career Collaborative. I checked their website on Google and I began to feel hope. Their mission was simple but powerful. Help people like me to get a job that will bring joy, satisfaction and financial stability.
Q: How did you start?
A: I went there and met with a staffer who told me more about the program and I enrolled. A week later got a job offer from Citizens Bank as a Relationship Banker! I could have dropped out if I wanted to, but my new job training with Citizens wasn’t going to start for three weeks, and I didn’t want to leave Career Collaborative so quickly. So I decided to finish the whole program.
Q: Was it worth it?
A: Yes, I really enjoyed it. I learned so many things that I never would have otherwise, like financial literacy and budgeting, salary negotiation, and even networking. I met so many interesting people from different backgrounds.
Q: What was one of the most helpful things you learned at Career Collaborative?
A: I’m very proud to say that I can walk in and out of an interview fully confident. Their practice interviews are gold. I know exactly what recruiters are looking for and I know how to deliver it. They taught me the most valuable lesson ever: The art of making a deal.
Q: It’s been a year since you completed the program at Career Collaborative. How are things going?
A: After careful consideration, which included talking with my coach at Career Collaborative, I have accepted a new challenge and additional responsibilities by accepting a Branch Supervisor position in another bank. While my decision was a tough one to make, I am sure that my new role better fits the career path I am looking to follow. In five years, I would like to be a wealth manager. This new position will provide me the experience and skills to get such a position.
Q: What advice would you give someone who is looking to build a career but isn’t quite sure where to start?
A: For anybody that is looking for a job I want to say be bold and believe in yourself and call Career Collaborative. I have referred so many friends and all of them got a great job and turned their life around. Even my husband was part of that program! Give them a shot and they will show you that, no matter where you come from or what culture you represent, you can still find a job that will fulfill you. I can’t thank them enough for what they do. At Career Collaborative you will meet a great team that is there to help you succeed. You are not alone—Career Collaborative will change your life.
Q: Aside from your new job and your confidence, what’s the biggest change in your life since coming to Career Collaborative?
A: I will celebrate Christmas in my own house this year! Buying a house was a goal of mind and I’m proud to say I’ve achieved it!
Career Collaborative holds informational sessions every Thursday at 1pm at our office at 77 Summer Street, Boston. Anyone who wishes to learn more about our three-phase program and two years of post-job career coaching are welcome to attend.