Achieving Success During a Pandemic
At 31 years of age, Jesus V. had tried to get into the finance industry for years. Originally from Matamoros, Mexico, Jesus moved to Brownsville, Texas just as he began high school. After graduating and spending a year at college, Jesus decided to take a step toward his dream by moving to Houston in 2011.
Jesus immediately found a job in the oil and gas industry, where he stayed for almost nine years.
“I still really wanted a career in finance,” said Jesus, “but I was making good money and had a family at that point – that’s why I stayed there so long. Then in the fall of 2019, I decided to go back to college because I knew three things: I wanted a job where – I would always be learning; where I could help people; and one that would give me financial stability. Everything led back to a career in finance.”
He began looking for a job in banking while working and going to school, but in May of 2020, everything had changed. By then the COVID-19 pandemic had affected millions of jobs across the country, including Jesus’. He was laid off. Months went by without any other job offer. Jesus and his wife began to struggle financially.
“I’m a man of faith and I felt blessed, but I didn’t realize how difficult it was going to be”, said Jesus.
One day in late September, Jesus was on an errand at Bank of America. He began talking to a BOA employee, told her his story and asked if they would consider hiring him. The bank was not hiring at that time, but the employee told him about a friend who had taken banking training at SERJobs and was subsequently hired at Bank of America. She referred Jesus to the SER/UnidosUS banking training program.
“I reached out and spoke to [SER Career Coach] Jose V.,” said Jesus, “Jose asked for my resume and scheduled my interview. In October 2020, I was invited to enroll. I got into the course and met Jose, [SER instructor] David B., and [BOA liaison] Eric Galvan. I learned so much – everything started to make sense. I learned about dual control, building rapport, how to speak eloquently about banking, and so many other important things.”
Thanks to funding from the Harris County CARES Act, the City of Houston, Gulf Coast Community Services Association, Inc., and UnidosUS, Jesus’ training was fully paid for and he was able to access supportive assistance that was critical to his success.
“All my hard work is now paying off,” said Jesus, “I completed the training and started my dream job on December 14th. It all goes back to SERJobs. I wouldn’t have gotten my job without the banking training I received. I want to share my story because I appreciate SER and could never have accomplished this without them; they provide everything it takes to be successful. There are a lot of people there behind the scenes – staff and the people who fund the programs – who really care about the clients. SER is changing people’s lives.”