The Phia Group has been beyond thrilled with our talented, dedicated members who have come to us through Year Up. Sheyla and Josh have become such essential members of our team – we feel truly blessed to call them a part of the Phia Family. We sat down with them to hear their thoughts and experiences: Q: How did you hear about Year Up? Sheyla : I was discussing my job situation with friends and family. I was working long hours with little pay in a pizza shop; I felt stuck. They suggested I apply for Year Up. Josh : I was working at a full service gas station. The pay was bad, the environment was rough, and I was over it. My dad actually told me about Year Up – He said they put you on a good path and you could make money while in the program. Q: How was getting your foot in the door? Sheyla : It’s kind of tough to get in the program; they don’t take everyone – it was competitive. The seats fill up fast. I was 21 when I joined the program. Josh : I had friends already go through the program. The application process is time sensitive, someone could finish their paperwork before you and they would get in and you wouldn’t. I was 24 when I started. Q: Did you choose Phia or was Phia chosen for you? Sheyla : Phia was chosen for me; we didn’t really interview, after we knew we’d be going to Phia we met with our director and a couple people from Phia just to have a conversation. Josh : I looked up Phia and I didn’t have a real grasp on what they did, I was asking a lot of people things like ‘what’s subrogation?’ - There were a lot of things I’d never heard of before. Q: What was it like when you first started at The Phia Group? Sheyla : I kept thinking to myself ‘am I doing this right? Do I shake everyone’s hands?’ – Year Up did a good job of preparing me with a general skill set but getting comfortable with Claim Analysis was tough coming from only having experiences in finance. Josh : Everyone speaks so highly of Sheyla, she does a great job. I actually started working in a bunch of different departments, moving around from task to task to get a hold of what I fit best in. I did a lot in IT and Claim Analysis and eventually found my place in coding. Q: What skills have you gained through Year Up and The Phia Group? Sheyla : Actually working on a computer is something I’ve grown a lot in. I wasn’t familiar with Claim Analysis when I got here and I was able to learn new skills and grow within the department. I was also able to change my perspective on team work. In the past I would take the bulk of the work when working in groups, I would be the one to carry the team through the project. I got a stronger sense of the idea of team work when I came here. It is balanced, people pull their own weight, and it’s nice to see that. People are nice here, it feels good not to have to carry people, it’s nice to have a great team. Josh : I feel I’ve gained a lot of computer skills. I know Excel really well now, I’m proud of that. Learning how to code is also something I’m proud of, I would like to grow more with my coding skills. When I first came in they didn’t really know where to place me, I got my feet wet in all different departments, and I’m happy I ended up where I am. I learned slowly about what every department does here, I’m grateful for the growth process. Q: Where did you see yourself in 5 years before Year Up? Sheyla : I got into The AI in Brookline but I had payments due and I couldn’t find a job to pay for school. I had to drop out. From there I worked small jobs and I wanted to save up money to go to school. Josh : I wanted to be a chef and I had dreams of owning a food truck. I dropped out of art school with no way to pay for it. Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years now? Sheyla : I’d like to still be working at The Phia Group – I like what I do here and I feel like I have a leg up in this field with all that I’ve learned and the experience I’ve gained. Josh : With my background in coding, I want to take it further. I see how great a coding career is and I want to get better at it; I’d like to follow in the steps of some of the execs here. Q: What advice would you give to others in Year Up? Sheyla : Year Up gives people an opportunity to have a meaningful career. If you’re going to do it, make sure you’re fully invested in it. I do wish Year Up was offered in more places, it’s a great program. Josh : It’s not easy so don’t slack off, follow the rules and commit to it. At first I was scared I wouldn’t be able to work in an office environment; Year Up gives you the skills and professionalism to succeed. We would like to thank Sheyla and Josh for taking the time to tell us about their experiences.