What It’s Like to Be a RiseUP Fellow: Isaiah Schutz-Ramon
Being selected as a Fellow for the RiseUp Fellowship couldn’t have come at a better time. I had just finished college but had lost both my restaurant and warehouse jobs due to COVID-19. I had just finished an apprenticeship at COOP Careers and was doing volunteer work at a few small nonprofits to get industry experience in digital marketing. I heard about the fellowship program through COOP Careers and put in what would end up being my 257th job application since finishing college. 257. That is a number I will remember for a long time, for both the challenges that came with job searching and the relief of being able to tell myself that my hard work was finally paying off.
I have had many “first days” when it comes to work. Fourteen to be exact. Every new job comes with its jitters, but sometimes it’s easy for those jitters to become insecurities. “What if I’m not good enough? What if nobody likes me? What if I hate it?” Upon being accepted into the RiseUP Fellowship, I was feeling all the emotions. It was different. First, I had never worked a professional-level job before. Sure, for every job you act professionally, but I felt there was a little more weight to making mistakes in front of a client as a RiseUp Fellow versus forgetting someone’s ranch as an 18-year-old server at Applebees. Second, I had never worked remotely before.
Day 1. Still feeling all of the emotions, but the more I began to meet all the different people at Media Cause, the more comfortable I began to feel. Everyone was free to be themselves, unlike many other jobs I’ve had. My biggest fear after graduating college was I would never be able to have fun again, that all career jobs would be strict and professional (boring). Much to my surprise, this would turn out to be quite the opposite. Everyone seemed to genuinely enjoy what they do and had a passion for their work.
I had done a digital marketing apprenticeship through COOP Careers, as well as some volunteer positions for nonprofits to try and gain experience to put on my resume so I could land a job. I had learned many basics and terminology, as well as read up on best practices, but I found the best way to learn was to have hands-on experience with tools and applications. During the fellowship, I was able to gain a deeper understanding of Google Ads and Analytics. I was able to create tags using Google Tag manager, as well as create reports using Google Dashboard. I learned how to use Facebook ads, and manage organic social media channels. I learned how agencies run, how resourcing and hours work, and how to present to clients. There were also many smaller things I learned just from working a remote job for the first time, such as new organizational skills and lifestyle habits that work best for me.
All in all the Fellowship experience was a great one for me. I’ve gained real meaningful experience while being surrounded by very kind and approachable people who were willing to help and support me throughout. Every day I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to be a RiseUp Fellow. It launched my career, and that is invaluable.