Success Story: Rae

To know Rae is to love her: her energy, laugh and warm spirit make her one-of-a-kind. During her six year-long career at Goodwill, she served the organization with that energy and spirit as a human resource specialist. Rae left Goodwill in October for a new adventure in IT! Rae will be the first to tell you that she wasn’t looking for new employment – she was happy and enjoying her position at Goodwill. Through the power of connection, Rae was scouted on LinkedIn for an opportunity in IT at Duke Energy as an associate quality assurance analyst. Let’s see how she did it!

Rae was first introduced to Goodwill by director of construction and trade training, Marvin Kelley, who was a member of the business relationship management team at the time. Rae was working at the NC Blumenthal Performing Arts Center in Human Resources when they met, and Marvin invited her to attend the annual fundraising and community outreach event, Cornerstone. Overcome with emotion at the impact that Goodwill was making in Charlotte, Rae knew she had a future there. “I cried like a baby at Cornerstone! I was all in. I wanted to work at Goodwill,” she said.

“The stars aligned, as they usually do” and shortly after attending Goodwill’s fundraising event, a specialist position was added to the human resources team, Rae remembered. In August 2014, Rae joined the Goodwill family. “Knowing and working with Rae for over six years has been one of the highlights of my career at Goodwill,” chief human resources officer Mia Comeriato said. “During her time with Goodwill, Rae dedicated herself to continuous improvement, for the team and for herself. She was instrumental in building out the systems that support benefits administration and talent requisition today. And if there was any event sponsored by the HR Team, you can be assured that Rae had a hand in pulling it off!”

Rae said she’s always had an entrepreneurial spirit, and is a “firm believer in taking on roles that will help” build her business. She always loved technology and learning the latest and greatest innovations in the tech world. The stars aligned again, and happened to run into someone instrumental in running the IT training courses – Loren Resabala, senior development and training specialist, and before you know it, Rae was enrolled. From February to May 2020, Rae participated in the System Analyst course, earning her certification as a Scrum Master, and “got that bubbly feeling again” from being in class and learning new things.

“It’s funny how networking works,” career navigator David Washam said. While Rae was finishing up her coursework in Goodwill University, David was working to help his participants. A recruiter with Brooksource IT Recruiting contacted David, looking for IT training graduates who might be interested in filling IT positions with various companies around the city. Because Rae and David were connected on LinkedIn, the Brooksource recruiter discovered Rae, saw she was a Certified Scrum Master, and reached out. Within one week, Rae had decided to apply, was interviewed, and offered a position at Duke Energy. “Rae is a great example of our Shared Purpose to see possibilities, seize opportunities and prosper! I am so happy for and proud of Rae for pursuing her career and personal goals and I wish her much success,” Mia said.

Rae’s journey at Duke is kicking off while the business she owns, Ribbons Cosmetics, is entering its third year as a brand. Ribbons offers seven new nail polish colors each season, and prides itself on offering safer, less harsh cosmetic products. Ribbons recently launched a line of soy-based body butters, and is working on a line of lip colors. You can support Rae’s business online at www.ribbonspolish.com or look for it on the shelves at local spa “It’s A Garden Life” in Concord, NC starting this holiday season! Rae is looking forward to applying what she’s learned in Goodwill University to her business endeavors. “As a team member, you forget that these resources are available for you, too. You’ve just got to reach out and search for those opportunities.”

Rae’s advice for others looking to make a change is to stay innovative, keep your LinkedIn profile updated and professional, and remember that Goodwill is always working for you. Goodwill is currently offering a free virtual pop-up workshop, “LinkedIn Essentials – How to Make the Most of Your LinkedIn Profile.” Register today!

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