Nasir is a rising junior at String Theory High School and current WorkReady summer participant. With four internships under his belt at the age of 17, he’s been adept at navigating the job market while also developing his passion for music. When we decided to gain some insight from seasoned WorkReady participants, we knew just the person to talk to. Learn more about Nasir below as he takes a deep dive into the impact that WorkReady and PYN (managing partner of WorkReady) has had on his life, while also providing some great advice to other youth his age on how to form lasting professional relationships.
This is Nasir.
Question: Tell us about how you got connected to WorkReady?
Nasir: I got connected to WorkReady through a former intern named Courtney. He and my brother had been childhood friends for years and my brother informed him I was looking for a job back when I was in 8th grade (age 14). Courtney told me all about the program and brought me into one of their meetings. He thought I would be great for the program and from there my journey began.
Question: What keeps you coming back to WorkReady year after year?
Nasir: Experience and opportunity keep bringing me back year after year. To start at the young age of 14 at an engineering firm and now three years later to be working in the very building (Comcast) that I see on my way to school every day is an absolute blessing. I acquired so much experience over the past years and I can honestly say I learned from each one.
Question: If you could describe yourself in three words what would they be?
Nasir: Passionate. Creative. Ambitious. If you apply these words in your life there is no telling where you can go. To have passion is to be committed and dedicated to what you love. Creativity is what gives you your identity. By being creative on a project you leave a mark that only you created, a mark that your supervisors will take note of. Finally, ambition will drive you to be all that you can be at all costs.
Question: You have been with WorkReady since you were young. Are there any specific lessons that you learned from your WorkReady experience?
Nasir: There are many lessons I will carry with me because of this experience. The first is that it’s okay to not know what you want to do in life. Many adults in the career field informed me that they switched their majors many times. It’s okay to be unsure, but as long as you are passionate and ambitious, destiny will find its way to you. I also learned that connections are indeed one of the most important things when gaining experience in the workforce.
Question: What are your three keys to success in the workplace?
Nasir: Personality. Focus. Kindness. Showing your personality is important. If people are willing to hear your voice and if you are willing to express your ideas, you might end up creating a very unique project. Never hide who you are. Kindness highlights the importance of a team effort. Like the cliché says, "what goes around comes around." Always be kind in the workplace and people will be kind to you. For instance, if you need help on something people will most likely help you because you helped them. This is also a great way to create connections. Lastly, focus, you can't have a work ethic without focus.
Question: How are your relationships with you current and previous supervisors? What advice would you give to new WorkReady youth on professional relationships and how important those connections are?
Nasir: I still keep in contact with my supervisors and reach out whenever I can. Although, I'm very busy I still try to find time to connect with them because they gave me so many opportunities. My former supervisors sometimes reach out to me because they saw me in the newspaper. Every connection is important so I try to cultivate those bonds and avoid burning bridges. I would suggest that any new WorkReady participants connect with each of their coworkers and supervisors because all they want to do is help. Former supervisors make for great resources, as well as mentors, so why not maintain that relationship? You never know how far it can take you.
Question: Suppose you have your own business one day. Who is your ideal candidate?
Nasir: My ideal candidate is someone who isn't afraid to be themselves. If someone came up to me with no experience, no resume, but a positive attitude and was willing to work and learn, I would gladly hire them. I would want to see that you are trying to make an effort, because I can teach you everything else. However, I can't teach you to be motivated and ambitious, that comes from within.
Question: What advice would you give someone your age who’s showing up for their first day of work?
Nasir: My advice to someone showing up to their first day of work is simple: Make your presence known. I have attended meetings and orientations where I made an impression and after these activities were over I would see those same people and they would remember my name. A positive impression is key to making those lasting connections.
About Lauren MacBride:
Lauren MacBride is the current Associate of Communications and Marketing at PYN. She holds a B.A. in Communications from Penn State University.