by Rachel Serwetz, Founder & CEO, WOKEN
Friday, June 16th, 2023
Seven years ago, I volunteered with StreetWise Partners for the first time. I was working in the financial services industry, in the midst of figuring out my own career path, and I enjoyed helping other job seekers do the same. I volunteered at StreetWise for three cycles between 2014 and 2015, and I loved it. During my first cycle as a volunteer in 2014, I met a mentee named Ibrahim who recently graduated from Baruch College with a B.A. in Finance and needed a professional advocate to secure a job. Together, we worked on his networking and job search skills. As he gained a greater understanding of the financial services industry, his confidence and sense of purpose grew. Thanks to the support, structure, and tools that StreetWise provides their mentees and mentors, Ibrahim was hired for a finance role at Morgan Stanley and he has been advancing his career since. Looking back, it was one of the critical experiences that eventually led me to pursue coaching training, certification, and eventually building a career coaching business, WOKEN! I now help professionals to clarify their best fit path.
Alongside StreetWise, WOKEN believes that every professional deserves effective support to make intentional career decisions at all junctures of their journey. Our services perfectly complement StreetWise’s curriculum, mentoring, professional development, and social capital building program. WOKEN offers a focused, step-by-step, practical process of “career path exploration” that allows mentees to narrow in on their best fit career path in just 2-3 months. The power of clarifying one’s direction before beginning a job search is immense. Starting out with a strong sense of career clarity helps mentees to ensure that their job search is efficient, allows for more targeted and compelling interviews, and increases the likelihood of job fulfillment and alignment.
Now, WOKEN is excited to partner with StreetWise by offering awards to mentees and mentors, leading coffee chats for mentees and alumni, and running workshops for volunteers. Through this partnership, WOKEN will offer a special career exploration opportunity to StreetWise Spring 2023 program award winners. These select mentees will receive one month’s access to WOKEN’s career software, which guides individuals through the various steps in the career exploration process including taking a career assessment and performing research and networking until they feel confident on their career direction. WOKEN will also train StreetWise volunteers on how to provide extra support to mentees and drive their career clarity by sharing the behind-the-scenes coaching frameworks that make the WOKEN processes shine.
In the summer of 2022, my StreetWise journey came full circle when I had the pleasure of reconnecting with Ibrahim! It was amazing to see how much he has grown and to hear about his success since graduating the program. Since we reconnected, we’ve helped Ibrahim continue developing the skills he first honed at StreetWise. We provided him with our career software, and one-on-one coaching sessions. These helped him clarify his career direction, network with other finance professionals, strengthen his job materials, prepare for interviews, and land a new role at Morgan Stanley.
We are excited to partner with StreetWise Partners and to support eager and talented mentees like Ibrahim to cultivate career clarity and magnify their impact. Together, we wholeheartedly support StreetWise’s mission and together, we will drive economic equity by connecting adults from overlooked and underserved communities to jobs that align well with their strengths.