You may have heard about Tech Impact’s newest workforce development program, CXWorks. If you haven’t – CXWorks is an eight-week development program that offers free job training to young adults in the Las Vegas community who are ready to start their career in mastering the customer experience. Students immerse themselves in the skills and knowledge required to be a customer service professional and graduate ready for diverse call center positions. CXWorks is taught at the Historic Westside School (the same location as ITWorks Las Vegas) in our new Tech Impact Community Center in partnership with Barclays. Edson’s story is the third in a five-part interview series of the inaugural CXWorks class. Read about Pamela Timmons here, Stephanie Pauli here, and read on to learn more about Edson!
CXWorks: What about the customer experience industry piqued your interest in starting a career in that field?
Edson: I have been working somewhat in the customer service field for a while now. I wanted to get into a position that would allow me to do more problem-solving and have more of a personal interaction with the customers. So, I have already had some experience, but I was ready to take it to the next level.
CXW: How did you hear about the CXWorks program? What made you decide to apply?
E: It was kind of out of nowhere actually! My sister, Betsy, had applied to the program and went for an interview. She stopped by my house the week before classes were supposed to start, and told me how much a perfect opportunity it would be for me to gain some experience to add to my resume. So, I went and applied, hoping that I could get accepted at the last minute; and I did! It was really the chance to learn and gain hands-on experience at the same time that made it an attractive opportunity for me.
CXW: You are now an official graduate of the pilot CXWorks class. Congrats! Reflecting on your eight weeks in the program, what was the biggest challenge you faced? Do you have a favorite moment or memory that epitomizes your experience?
E: I think my biggest challenge was accommodating my work schedule. Since I got on board at the last minute, I had to do some juggling around. I was still working both of my jobs for almost half of the program, so it was a lot to balance all at once! But my favorite moment…I can’t decide! I loved each and every day. But if I had to pick, I really enjoyed the on-site visits we had to companies around the area. Most of those days, we got to meet professionals from the industry and learn from their experience, plus get an inside look at what working there might look like.
CXW: Tell us a little bit about the relationship(s) you developed with your peers and the CXWorks/Tech Impact staff.
E: My classmates are all really cool! We are very different from one another, but we were able to all come together – especially after the day we learned about our various personalities. It gave us the understanding we needed to adapt to each other. Brianna, our instructor, is an excellent teacher. I really enjoy the way she structured the class.
CXW: Now that you have graduated, what’s next for you? Any employment opportunities that have presented themselves to you?
E: So far, I have had several interviews. I even had one just yesterday! I am hoping that I’ll get some responses, and then I’ll be able to weigh what the best option might be for me. Brianna gave us a lot of helpful insight on what we should look for in an employment offer. No matter what, I know that the experience provided to me through CXWorks has made me more confident in my job search knowing that I have this training to back me up.
CXW: What is your ultimate career goal(s)? Where do you want to be in the next year or two? 10-15 years?
E: My goal is that within the next year I’ll be starting in my career, instead of just another job. In one of our sessions, we learned about setting SMART goals. One of my goals was to retire at the age of 35. And I still know I can make it happen! So, I want to start making moves that will get me there.
CXW: What are your hopes for the future of CXWorks in Las Vegas? What do you think it can accomplish for the customer service industry?
E: I really hope they continue this program! I think it’s providing the necessary skills to succeed, not only in a job, but in life itself. I have grown so much as a person through the program, and I’m using those skills in my own home to better every aspect of my life. In the bigger picture of the customer service industry, being able to train people before they are on the job will make for a better workforce all around. And companies are going to be the ones that benefit from employees having training like CXWorks.
CXW: Many entry-level customer service/experience positions do not require previous experience. What value does training like CXWorks bring to your resume? Are there added benefits of being able to say you completed a program like this?
E: I think the benefits would be having an advantage over other people. If someone is looking at two resumes and mine has the CXWorks training and someone else doesn’t have anything – I’m going to look like a better candidate since I have more under my belt. It shows to prospective employees that I can accomplish the things that I say I can.
CXW: What has been the impact of CXWorks in your life?
E: Everything that I’ve learned has changed me for the better. I am more open-minded. I’m excited for what is next for me. I can do my current job better, and I know I’ll be able to start the career I want any day now. I have learned so much, and I am so happy that I got to experience this program.
CXW: Anything else you’d like to share?
E: The last week of our training, we were volunteering at the call center at Three Square. Not only were we able to get on the phones and gain experience, but we were able to give back to a great organization here in Las Vegas. So not only were we able to be given the gift of CXWorks, but we were able to give back to our community as well.
Learn more about CXWorks and apply today to get the skills you need
to give you an edge when you start your career in customer service: