Meet Jenna Yanish.
Jenna was a VISTA for HACER in the 2014-15 cohort. As a VISTA for HACER, Jenna’s main project was to develop a comprehensive five-year strategic plan to guide the organization and advance its mission. She worked on improving HACER’s volunteer program, marketing plan, and grant management system. She says that while serving she learned about herself, learned to budget, and met some great people.
After her service, Jenna looked to apply her economics degree more directly and work in the private sector. She now works in New York City for a financial regulatory body where she analyzes risk at some of the largest investment banks in the country. She says, “I love it.”
So how did VISTA help Jenna get to do what she loves?
“I applied without connections—but the Risk Management Director’s daughter had done AmeriCorps, and the CFO was active with College Possible. I believe my experience in nonprofits helped me connect on a personal level.”
She goes on to say how experience with AmeriCorps is viewed differently in the private sector. “Many business people will not look at an unpaid year as a real work experience.” It’s an unfortunate reality, but her advice for VISTA members looking to move into the private sector is to pitch their service year as a “gap year” in order to communicate the skills and experiences gained from serving.
Jenna greatly enjoys her career in the private sector and plans to continue working at her current position in New York City. Thank you for your service and best of luck, Jenna!