Spotlight Series: Meet Career Coach and Consultant Erin Haywood

1. Tell us a bit about yourself

I am an Angeleno that moved to the big apple last summer to pursue a career in a tech startup focused on diversity hiring at top corporations. I have always been passionate about diversity and inclusion, along with taking a social justice approach to counseling, teaching, and community building. Prior to New York, I was in education for over ten years and worked for non-profits and schools as a counselor, after-school provider, and educator. Through a mind, body, and spirit approach I seek to bring balance, purpose, and love into my life and the people that I meet. I love health and fitness, the arts, and history and I try to seek new information and I am beyond curious about technology and the future of work. You can learn more about me on Instagram or my website 

2. What was your first job and how did you get it?

Beside odd jobs I would do for my family, at 15 years old I got a camp counselor job for a local recreation center. My best friend from high school told me about it because she played in a basketball league on the weekends there. It was through this job that I started to discover my love for education, child development, and health & fitness. We would organized games like dodgeball or capture the flag, visit amusement parks, and put together special events like talent shows. It was a blast and I am still friends with the two women that I worked with.

3. How did you decide and get to your career today?

Two years ago, I got my MA degree in School Counseling and I was planning on working at a high school in Watts, CA. While doing my fieldwork hours, I got an opportunity to work for a local community college in their student success center, along with an unpaid internship with UCLA's Career Center. Assisting students with resumes, interview prep, and career exploration was interesting, but as I uncovered the racial and socioeconomic injustices in the workforce I found my niche. After being hired on full-time,  I developed initiatives, like Tech 4 All or Level Up, that was aim at supporting underrepresented students by providing them with resources, connections, and 1:1 coaching. While looking up resources for these programs, I stumbled upon a social media ad for Jopwell. I went to their website and looked up some employees on LinkedIn and decided to connect with someone from their campus recruitment team. We scheduled a call and by the end,  they connected me with the director. And as they said it "the rest was history". 

4. What advice would you have given your younger self? Or what is the best career advice you have ever received?

Some advice I would give my younger self would be...

  1. Financial Literacy: Learn about finances, make a budget, save, and invest your money early

  2. Follow Maya Angelou's quote: “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

  3. Don't worry about what others are doing or thinking, you are right where you need to be.

  4. Follow Brene Brown's mantra "choose courage over comfort". 

5. In 5 years, where do you hope to be professionally and personally?

In 5 years, professionally I would love to transition into educational consulting working with non-profits and higher education institutions on how to ensure that career services are meeting the needs of communities of color and other underrepresented communities. In addition, teaching career development or life courses at a local community college.

On a personal level, I would love to have a family, travel to South Africa, backpack in Europe, and be in good health with my friends and family. Still need to knock off a couple of bucket list items like ziplining, camping in Yosemite, and seeing the Northern Lights. 

Stay connected with Erin!

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