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We’re delighted to feature a career journey Q&A with Annalia, a DeBruce Career Corps member and 2023 graduate from Piper High School.
First off, congratulations on graduating! How does it feel, and what’s next for you?
I’m very excited for this new chapter. I’ll be working this summer then going to KU in the fall to study either business or public administration. I’ll be the first person in my whole family to go to college!
What are your highest ranked Agilities – the work skills you’re best at and most enjoy doing?
How do you hope to use your Agilities in the future?
My top Agility is Developing Others, and that is what I want to do. Regardless of the career path I choose, I do want to continue working within my community and help other people achieve their goals as well.
One day, I want to start a nonprofit organization that helps the Hispanic community in a number of ways, including helping students learn that education is obtainable. I especially want to help other first-gen students learn financial skills. And obviously, running a nonprofit needs business skills too, and that’s where my Managing Agility comes in. I want to use my strong suits to create something really good.
How has knowing your Agilities helped you in your education or career journey?
It was a turning point for me when I realized how good I was at Selling and Communicating. I participated in a scholarship competition called KC Biz Fest. The top 100 applicants were each asked to create a business plan, and at the end of it all, the top six win a scholarship. I had my business plan, but when I saw everybody else’s ideas, I thought, “Oh my gosh, wait, I don’t know if I have a chance anymore.” But, when I got on the stage, I realized how well I did at presenting and making sure the audience was able to understand. I believe that’s why I won the scholarship – everybody had great ideas, but I think the way that I was able to sell my idea to the audience and communicate to them was the winning factor.
Here’s how knowing my Agilities helped me in another way: one of my lower-ranked Agilities is Organizing. When you have a lot of things going on at once, it can be hard to manage it all. When I got that result, I thought, “Okay, I knew it, but now I really know it. This is something that I truly do need to work on.” This knowledge helped me get better at Organizing throughout my senior year, which is why I was able to be involved in a lot more things!
Besides the Agile Work Profiler, you’ve used the other tools in the Graduation Toolkit too–how did they help you?
The Career Explorer Tools showed me a lot of careers that I didn’t even know about until I was researching. The tools provided insight by giving me more information all in one place, including the variety between each of the fields, how they correspond with each Agility, and the salaries of each of the careers. For example, lawyers: some of them make a lot and some of them don’t; the career tools showed me that maybe a real estate agent could make me as much as a lawyer, just depending on how well I do.
The main thing that I got from the career explorer tools was realizing I did not know a lot of this information. I feel like it’s the same for a lot of other students my age – we just don’t know that there are so many opportunities out there. But with this tool, I thought, “Wow, I did not even know this was an actual job and that it pays this well!”
With Draw Your Future with Agilities, I was able to map out my ideas and my goals in one place and I had a lot of fun doing it. I actually keep my drawing in my notebook so it can serve as a reminder of where I want to see myself in the future. I think it’s a creative way to put a spin on your goals and how you’re achieving them.
What would you tell other graduates about the Graduation Toolkit?
Take advantage of this opportunity because it’s something that can help you in multiple areas of your life and your career plans. Regardless of if you want to continue into higher education or pursue a trade, there’s going to be something valuable within this Graduation Toolkit. It’s a resource that’s free and in front of you, and you won’t know how it can help you unless you just try it. Keep an open mind about the options you have in front of you!
What drives you to reach your career goals?
The main reason that I want to pursue my goals is because, growing up, and even going through school, I didn’t have a lot of examples of people like me who were in certain fields or higher positions. That was something that I identified at a very young age. I hope to be part of increasing representation for Latinos everywhere; I believe that once we have lots of people coming together to serve the rest of the community, from different backgrounds, then everybody can come together for one common solution with everybody in mind.
Lastly, what advice have you received that you want to share with others?
Because of my role in the DeBruce Career Corps, I got to attend United WE’s We Work for Change event last year. Keynote Ret. Lieutenant General Nadja West said something that stuck out to me; it was, “Why not me?” I realized I need to remember that whenever I go into these places where I might be the minority and might be a trailblazer, I don’t need to wait around for other people to make an impact… I can do it myself. I’ve said it so many times now throughout my senior year: “Why not me?” Just do it – do something that you really want to do. You don’t have to wait for somebody else like you to do it. You can be the inspiration for other people to do it after you.