When Yuri Jimenez first joined the Spectrum Scholars program as a college junior, she was quiet and shy, especially around people she did not know. After two years in the program, Yuri says she has grown more confident in the corporate setting and is excited to start her career with Charter after graduating from the University of Connecticut with a degree in digital media design this May.
Yuri credits the transformation in part to her mentorship with the Spectrum Scholars program, which provides college students in financial need with grants of $20,000 and pairs them with a professional mentor who gives career advice and preps them for entry into the working world. Scholars also have the opportunity to intern at one of the company’s corporate locations.
Mike Tremmel, Director of Program Management, Spectrum Community Solutions Operations – and Yuri’s mentor – said part of his goal is to help the students identify and develop the necessary skills that will help them succeed throughout their career.
With Yuri they focused on how to overcome her tendency to be more reserved around her colleagues. “She has great knowledge and really good ideas and I wanted to help her be more comfortable in sharing with the team,” said Mike, who has been with Charter for seven years.
“After working with my mentor for two years, I’ve gained a lot of confidence,” said Yuri during the Scholars Summit held at Charter’s corporate headquarters in Stamford, where she was hired to work as an Associate Analyst, Digital Service and Customer Experience. “The program and my mentor have helped me with many aspects of my career development. Specifically, my mentor has helped me become more assertive, to speak up, set goals and better manage my time.”
Since launch in 2020, 60 Scholars have worked with volunteer mentors from a variety of business units, including sales, marketing and field operations throughout the Charter footprint. These volunteers are nominated by their business and human resources leaders and paired with Scholars based on the students’ major and business interests.
An Invaluable Learning Experience
The mentor aspect of the program helped change the career path of Byron Coulter, a Scholar majoring in information systems at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Byron, who plans to graduate in the spring, was hired by Charter as an Associate DevOps Engineer and has worked with mentor Michael Ollennu, an IT Manager, Software Development and Information Technology Data Assets in the Maryland Heights, Missouri office.
Initially, Byron had plans for an entirely different career in IT before connecting with Michael. In one of their early meetings the two discussed app development. Michael discovered the way Byron had modified a number of popular music and video apps on his phone could be considered ethical hacking.
“Michael helped show me these new possibilities,” said Byron. “I had no idea I had already been ethically hacking apps on my phone. Michael recognized this as one of my strengths and now it’s in my future career plans.”
Applications for the fourth class of Spectrum Scholars opened today. Fifteen students will be selected for the 2024-2025 class, each receiving $20,000 in tuition support to be spread between their junior and senior years, a Charter mentor and the opportunity for a paid, 10-week internship at one of Charter’s corporate offices in Stamford, Charlotte, St. Louis or Denver.
Learn more about the Spectrum Scholars program.