BA in Integrative Studies

James D. Williams II, 2013

James D. Williams II

What work are you doing now?

I am currently the internship services manager with Year Up. Year Up is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to close the opportunity divide in America by providing urban young adults aged 18-24 with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education. For example, we have partnered with the Woodbridge Campus of Northern Virginia Community College to serve students interested in information technology and cyber security careers. We provide our corporate partners with a pipeline of entry-level talent that they need to compete globally.

What do you like about it?

I enjoy supporting young adults in their career development and witnessing the transformation they can make in a year. Helping students to develop elevator pitches, resumes, cover letters, and networking skills −it’s great to provide young professionals with the tools to succeed through an opportunity they may not have secured due to their socioeconomic status. As Year Up’s internship services manager, I prepare our young adults to be career-ready.

How did your degree in the college prepare you to do this work?

I studied organizational administration, and New Century College provided me the experiential learning in nonprofit environments to understand the landscape and skills needed for public service. I was given the opportunity to hone effective communication skills and to work in teams through group projects, group collaboration, facilitation, and presentations. My coursework also gave me the awareness to understand societal systems and how to influence change.

What advice would you give current students about developing their careers?

It’s important to understand your strengths and set measurable, attainable goals. Once you have identified your strengths, network and find opportunities to get experience in your passion or field of interest. Take advantage of resources on campus like career services for resumé critiques and pointers. During your time on campus, build your professional brand through the relationships you make with faculty and staff, the organizations and programs in which you participate, and the quality of work you submit in the classroom.