JAG NY Youth Visit Google for Career Counseling

Ten young people in CASES’ Jobs for America’s Graduates New York (JAG NY) employment and education program visited Google’s offices in late September for a career counseling workshop organized and led by Google employees. JAG NY participants traveled from CASES’ offices in Central Harlem and Downtown Brooklyn to Google’s offices above Chelsea Market, where they spoke with Googlers about staying positive during the job search, following their passions (and staying flexible), and navigating the job interview process, including how to highlight relevant skills and  address challenges like negotiating wages.

We asked one JAG NY participant, JeDaiah Ballantyne, to describe the afternoon:

My name is JeDaiah Ballantyne, and I was one of the JAG NY participants invited to the Google mock interview workshop. Going to Google’s office was fun and interesting. First, we met a panel of wonderful women who already work there, and we learned that working at Google was never something they planned in their career paths, so working at Google was just as exciting to them. After the panel, we split up into groups and were then interviewed by other Google employees. It was very interesting to find out and understand that most of your life goals and careers that you want to pursue might tell you “no,” and you will most likely have to change career paths to finally get the career you want—and it will probably be different than you expected. I also learned that nothing is set in stone in life, there will always be some type of change that will have to be made whether it’s good or bad.

We ended the day in the cafeteria where we ate like we were actual Google workers. It was amazing to sit down and continue to learn more about the Google workers’ life stories and struggles and what their first career goals were. Yes, the food was amazing, but the message and lessons that they shared really helped me to know and understand that I do have options and I do have my entire life, so it is okay to mess up and get knocked down, because the ultimate goal is getting back up. Thank you, Google, for having me and the rest of the participants.

Ms. Ballantyne pictured practicing her job interview skills

To echo Ms. Ballantyne, thank you to the Google panelists and volunteers who generously shared their time, experience, and advice with participants from JAG NY. A special thanks to CASES Trustee and Google Product Marketing Manager Kevin Fields for initiating and supporting this event.

For more information about JAG NY, please visit the program’s homepage.