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Irene | Hiring our graduate

Generation is occasionally privileged to be able to hire program graduates onto our team. Here’s the story of a Digital Marketing alumnus who has become an indispensable part of our team in Spain.

A Generational, Collective Struggle

When Generation first launched in a handful of countries as a youth unemployment nonprofit, Spain was a relatively obvious choice to pilot our programs. With a youth unemployment rate of 48%, it was clear that Spain needed more programs to bridge the skills gap and support young people.

From Irene’s perspective, an alumnus of our Digital Marketing program in Madrid in 2017, the high youth unemployment rate was far more than a statistic: it was a lived reality.

“In our Generation class, all of us were in our mid to late twenties. We had all studied diverse fields, from architecture to hospitality to law. We were all trying to find our way professionally but were just stringing together a meager income from odd jobs in restaurants or in retail. Not one of us had been able to secure a job in our respective chosen field. Most of us were living with our parents. It was incredibly disheartening. It felt to us that we had done everything that we had been asked to do, but no matter what we tried, we couldn’t secure our own financial independence.”

Irene at graduation

Moving Forward, Together

Finding community in the Generation program was the first ray of hope Irene saw. She realized that she wasn’t alone. The spirit of mutual support and help inspired Irene, with each classmate bringing a different background and perspective to the table. The energy level was high, with everyone trying their best and helping one another.

“We all had the mindset of: If we do what the instructors and coaches are telling us to do, if we have the right attitude, if we work really hard, things can change for the better.”

In addition to the rigorous technical training she received, Irene sharpened her project management skills, public speaking, and ability to work in a team.

Irene and the Generation Spain team

Carrying the Work Forward

At the end of the class, Generation held career days and introduced the learners to various employers. And Irene got a call from the Generation Spain team, inquiring if she would be interested in a position with Generation. One of the people who interviewed her was herself, a Generation alumnus.

Today, Irene leads our recruitment and outreach efforts to learners for Generation Spain. She draws on a varied set of skills and abilities that she’s honed over the years. So while she continues to grow as a professional, she does so in service of those experiencing the challenges she once faced.

“In Spain, the talent is spectacular. The young people know how to work hard, and it’s our shared responsibility to ensure that they have opportunities to pursue decent careers that allow them, like their parents and grandparents, to have an independent life and to be able to grow and thrive personally and professionally.”