From Wanting a Job to Getting a Career: One Year Up Intern's Story
Because of the Year Up program and her internship at Salesforce, Kristyne Cardenas-Sanchez has gone from, “I've grown from 'I want a job' to 'I want a career.'”
At Salesforce, we believe that talent is equally distributed, but opportunity is not. Today, in celebration of National Intern Day, Salesforce is announcing $1.8M in investments towards four workforce development organizations — Year Up, Genesys Works, Enterprise for Youth and Futures and Options. These trailblazing nonprofits are committed to a future where every young adult has opportunities for meaningful work, including high-quality, paid internships.
Barely a year ago, Kristyne Cardenas-Sanchez started her journey with Year Up, a training program for young adults from under-served communities. The Year Up program provides young adults who have earned high school degrees, but are disconnected from the economic mainstream, the opportunity to pursue professional careers through six months of professional and technical skill training, along with a six-month corporate internship.
Kristyne is the oldest of three siblings, a first-generation Guatemalan-American, and now an Education Initiatives Program Coordinator on Salesforce.org’s Global Philanthropy and Engagement team. Because of the Year Up program and her internship at Salesforce, Kristyne says, “I’ve grown from ‘I want a job’ to ‘I want a career.’” She’s securing a brighter future for her family, building her community, and reshaping the face of the corporate world.
Year Up internships require persistence, resilience, and grit as interns navigate their first corporate work experience, manage and adjust their expectations, and overcome the obstacles inherent to being a young professional navigating the working world. “I had to figure out a lot of things by myself, but that showed me I can be independent and utilize my resources and my network,” Kristyne recalled.
Kristyne’s persistence and professionalism allowed her to tune out potentially distracting noise and stay laser-focused on her goals, despite navigating family and relationship challenges. By graduation, she secured two job offers, and chose the role most aligned with her passions and career aspirations. Now, she has financial security, pride in her work, and confidence she is on the right path. “I have dedicated this whole year to my career, and look where I am. Imagine where I can be in five years. I’m proud of everything I’ve done since I made this decision.”
At Salesforce, Year Up has established a strong, integral presence, hosting more than 400 interns and retaining approximately 50% as full-time employees or contractors post-internship, making Salesforce one of Year Up’s largest employer partners. The skills, diverse perspectives, and unwavering work ethic of Year Up interns and alumni makes the partnership between the two organizations mutually beneficial.
“A year ago, I was a completely different person. I feel like I’m finally paving the way to where I want to be,” Kristyne shared, reflecting on the last 12 months of her journey.
Read about the grant that was just announced to Year Up and Genesys Works (and two other high-impact organizations) to support young adults like Kristyne on their journey to be Future Ready.