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Latest Success Stories

Jasmine Martinez – Manager at Lowes

Success Story - Jasmine Martinez: Manager at Lowes

Success Story – Jasmine Martinez: Manager at Lowes

Ms. Jasmine Martinez began reporting to America Works  in November of 2014. Possessing fourteen years of retail experience, seven of which she served as a manager, she left her Department Management position at Bed Bath and Beyond after she was unfairly terminated due to the actions of her employees while she was on her break in March of 2014. At the time, Ms. Martinez had been working two and a half years with the company, and was devastated by the turn of events.

Unsure of what to do or who to turn to, Ms. Martinez eventually applied for public assistance after she, “exhausted all other options.” With an impressionable twelve year old son at home, she knew she needed to get her life back on track, and start looking for work. “Full of pride,” Ms. Martinez initially was apprehensive as to whether or not she would be assisted by America Works. Working with her Corporate Representative Dong Yu each day, he encouraged her to move forward. Despite her great work history, she found she was tongue-tied when it came to interviews, and practiced with Dong each day how to answer difficult questions diplomatically.

Appealing to the sales representatives, Ms. Martinez stated that through the holidays, she continued to search for a retail management job that would utilize her experiences, instead of starting back at square one. A long term goal of hers was to get into the home improvement retail giant, Lowe’s. Periodically checking for openings every two weeks, she applied, and figured she wouldn’t hear back. She was, unfortunately, getting used to that.

To make matters worse, after a long illness, Ms. Martinez’s beloved grandfather passed away in February, piling on the added obstacle of grief to combat. Though Ms. Martinez admits, “there were days I didn’t want to get out of bed and do anything” due to her circumstances, Dong regularly checked in with Ms. Martinez, excusing her when she needed to be with her family, and ensuring she was okay. That same month, however, her luck also began to change. Applying with Keith Venters for Famous Footwear, for an assistant management position, she was offered the job, with a starting salary of $37,000 per year. Less than what she was used to making, she still decided she would accept the position to gain back the momentum that she had lost. When she returned home, however, she had received a call from her dream job, Lowe’s, for the Assistant Store Management position at a Brooklyn location. Before she formally accepted the Famous Footwear job, she took the interview. Before the interview was finished, she informed Lowe’s that she had another offer. They told her in plain terms that she could forget about Famous Footwear; they wanted her, and were willing to show it with a $60,000 per year salary.

Today, we billed Ms. Martinez’s 30 day milestone. Dong and I asked her what she would say to someone struggling like she had. Echoing the sentiment repeated in this office each day, she said she hopes people know that “jobs don’t just happen to you. You have to make a choice every day to fill out 20 applications, knowing you’ll probably only get one phone call. It’s a part of the game. Never give up.” Noting that she takes three buses to get to work each day, starting sometimes as early as 5:00am, she remains eternally grateful. “If I hadn’t been here, I’d have been sitting at home feeling sorry for myself.”  Ms. Martinez is a great success, and even stated she would trust Dong to send her candidates for open positions in her store.

began reporting to America Works in November of 2014. Possessing fourteen years of retail experience, seven of which she served as a manager, she left her Department Management position at Bed Bath and Beyond after she was unfairly terminated due to the actions of her employees while she was on her break in March of 2014. At the time, Ms. Martinez had been working two and a half years with the company, and was devastated by the turn of events. Unsure of what to do or who to turn to, Ms. Martinez eventually applied for public assistance after she, “exhausted all other options.” With an impressionable twelve year old son at home, she knew she needed to get her life back on track, and start looking for work.

“Full of pride,” Ms. Martinez initially was apprehensive as to whether or not she would be assisted by America Works. Working with her Corporate Representative Dong Yu each day, he encouraged her to move forward. Despite her great work history, she found she was tongue-tied when it came to interviews, and practiced with Dong each day how to answer difficult questions diplomatically.

Appealing to the sales representatives, Ms. Martinez stated that through the holidays, she continued to search for a retail management job that would utilize her experiences, instead of starting back at square one. A long term goal of hers was to get into the home improvement retail giant, Lowe’s. Periodically checking for openings every two weeks, she applied, and figured she wouldn’t hear back. She was, unfortunately, getting used to that.

To make matters worse, after a long illness, Ms. Martinez’s beloved grandfather passed away in February, piling on the added obstacle of grief to combat. Though Ms. Martinez admits, “there were days I didn’t want to get out of bed and do anything” due to her circumstances, Dong regularly checked in with Ms. Martinez, excusing her when she needed to be with her family, and ensuring she was okay. That same month, however, her luck also began to change. Applying with Keith Venters for Famous Footwear, for an assistant management position, she was offered the job, with a starting salary of $37,000 per year. Less than what she was used to making, she still decided she would accept the position to gain back the momentum that she had lost.

When she returned home, however, she had received a call from her dream job, Lowe’s, for the Assistant Store Management position at a Brooklyn location. Before she formally accepted the Famous Footwear job, she took the interview. Before the interview was finished, she informed Lowe’s that she had another offer. They told her in plain terms that she could forget about Famous Footwear; they wanted her, and were willing to show it with a $60,000 per year salary.

Today, we billed Ms. Martinez’s 30 day milestone. Dong and I asked her what she would say to someone struggling like she had. Echoing the sentiment repeated in this office each day, she said she hopes people know that “jobs don’t just happen to you. You have to make a choice every day to fill out 20 applications, knowing you’ll probably only get one phone call. It’s a part of the game. Never give up.” Noting that she takes three buses to get to work each day, starting sometimes as early as 5:00am, she remains eternally grateful. “If I hadn’t been here, I’d have been sitting at home feeling sorry for myself.” Ms. Martinez is a great success, and even stated she would trust Dong to send her candidates for open positions in her store.

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