Ana Yee will never forget her first week on the job in the Office of Career Services at Berkeley College. The phone rang constantly and a steady stream of students dropped by for assistance.
"At the end of the first week I told my husband that I was completely overwhelmed and I wanted to quit," Ms. Yee said.
Twenty-four years later, Ms. Yee is passionate about her position as a Career Counselor in White Plains. She loves helping students and is happy to pick up the phone to chat with alumni or network with company representatives. And, no matter how packed her schedule gets, she always has time to fit in just one more student needing reassurance before a job interview.
"I like to use my own story as an example when students want to give up on jobs without really giving them a chance," Ms. Yee said.
There’s a legacy of students who are very grateful that Ms. Yee found her calling in the Office of Career Services at Berkeley College. Colleen T. Comito, a 1986 graduate, credits Ms. Yee with teaching her how to "focus on goal setting, identify her core strengths and values, and recognize companies best suited to her personality."
"I would not be where I am today without the education and support I have received throughout my entire career from Berkeley College and from Ana Yee," said Ms. Comito, who is employed as a Human Resources Business Manager with MTA Metro-North Railroad.
Lamelle Williams, a 2004 graduate, is grateful to Ms. Yee for teaching him how to write a resume and how to look and act like a professional in preparation for job interviews.
"Through that training I was able to intern at places such as IBM, Merrill Lynch, and Argent Mortgage. Ana has instilled in me a confidence that cannot be rattled," said Mr. Williams, who now serves as Project Manager for New Crystal Restoration.
Ms. Yee said that the secret to her success as a career counselor is the ability to really listen to her students. That, and the fact that she keeps track of each and every one.
"I like to make sure that they are happy in their jobs and that they are getting the support they need to be successful. If they are not, I invite them back to my office so that we can discuss how they might go about getting that support," Ms. Yee said.
Going above and beyond in the line of duty comes naturally to Ms. Yee. Four years ago, when one of her students didn’t have the appropriate attire to go on a job interview, she brought in one of her own suits from home. That led to the Dress For Success clothing closet.
"I started asking for donations of business outfits from colleagues and their friends," Ms. Yee said. "We currently have around 50 suits for men and women and the closet has helped dress more than 100 students for interviews."