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In support of UWGLA’s mission to Create Pathways Out of Poverty for all Angelenos, Ernst & Young Senior Laura Toner* recently participated in “Ernst & Young Connect Day” at the YWCA’s Job Corps Center. Below, she shares the details of her experience and what made it so rewarding.

I was interested in volunteering for a youth project and United Way’s partnership with the YWCA of Greater L.A. offered the perfect opportunity for my colleagues to engage with one another while also serving our community.

Along with nearly 30 other Ernst & Young employees, I conducted mock one-on-one interviews with low-income students (aged 16 to 24) from the Job Corps Center, a YWCA-sponsored residential and educational training program.

We provided feedback on interviewing techniques, coached them on ways to improve their answers and even shared suggestions on resume-writing and how to better present themselves to prospective employers.

During a group Q & A session, my colleagues and I called upon personal experiences of being interviewed and interviewing others, sharing examples of the key qualities that Ernst & Young looks for in its job candidates.

I found the entire experience to be enormously rewarding for a number of reasons: I had the opportunity to meet many talented and experienced individuals, I was able to use the skills I’ve acquired while working in “People & Organizational Change” to help prepare these young adults for the workforce and I realized that I can make a real difference in the future of my community.

This project was absolutely invaluable to us as well as to the students and I look forward to the next time I can volunteer and lend a little hands-on support to United Way as it works to improve the overall quality of life for the residents of Los Angeles County.

*Laura Toner (sixth from the left) is pictured here with her colleagues at Ernst & Young Connect Day.