Excited by a move from Florida’s Gulf Coast to the San Francisco Bay Area, Rachel Fontenot needed to find a job once she was settled in out west. Job hunting inevitably being a daunting task, Rachel realized she could not go on this journey alone, as things were not happening fast enough. That’s when she availed herself of the free services offered at the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA), where Rachel was connected with Job Coach Olivia Quinonez in the nonprofit’s Workforce Development Department.
First up was a resume updating. Back in St. Petersburg, Rachel had been a program director at a nonprofit agency dealing with age-related issues. The jobseeker desired to broaden her area of interest, so she needed a resume that showcased her overall talents. After being given some pointers, Rachel went home and implemented the much-needed edits, which Quinonez later deemed perfect.
Next up were mock job interviews, with Quinonez asking Rachel (photo) the hard questions that are often asked. Explains Quinonez: “Rachel hadn’t been on a job interview for a while. I took my knowledge of her field and made sure she practiced how to answer tough questions. Interviewing isn’t easy for anyone, but the more prepared you are, the better you’ll do. Once an interview was on the horizon, I tailored a mock interview to that specific organization, just to make sure Rachel was thoroughly prepared.”
The result? Rachel landed a job that is a perfect fit, now maximizing her skill set for a nonprofit called Rebuilding Together San Francisco. This organization mobilizes teams of volunteers to revitalize low-income neighborhoods’ homes, nonprofit facilities and schools.
Rachel zealously exclaims: “I am so happy to go to work each day—to have a place where I feel at home and can make an impact in financially challenged communities. Having a one-on-one job coach was invaluable and certainly expedited the process of my obtaining employment. Thanks to MEDA and Olivia Quinonez for helping me get my life on track again! I would definitely recommend MEDA!”