Wilton & Bain San Francisco office joined San Francisco’s Code Tenderloin program for a morning of volunteering. Nestled in a cozy bar in the heart of the Tenderloin District, Code Tenderloin offers two job training courses to those who have struggled securing or holding a job. Many students have struggled due to various life obstacles they have faced, such as criminal records or low-income histories. The program offers one course in job readiness, workforce development, and another teaching specific skills in software development.
According to the State of California, the unemployment rate in San Francisco as of August 2017 was 3.3 percent. Acknowledging that certain socioeconomic, mental and physical barriers exist that prevent some San Francisco residents from steady employment, Code Tenderloin offers necessary aid towards job stability outside of its classes. Through its programs and support from its partners, Code Tenderloin is able to provide each participant with transportation, clothing, interview preparation and referrals for housing and child care when engaged in the job search.
While there are consistent volunteers who join the program as aids, groups such as WBSF join occasionally to support Code Tenderloin with specialized knowledge to share with the class. As one member of the class put it, it was rather “serendipitous” that WBSF joined the class on the day of behavioral interview questioning – something the firm has a great deal of experience in.
After brief introductions from the members of WBSF, the class and volunteers split into pairs to practice elevator pitching and behavioral interview questions. Students shared their prepared pitches and aspirations with volunteers, some even jumping into candid conversations about their life experiences. WBSF were able to share their knowledge of behavioral interview questions to help the students prepare for the job hunt, while students often shared their stories or dream jobs in return.
Students at Code Tenderloin came from a variety of backgrounds, with circumstances ranging from alcoholism, homelessness and criminal records, which led to their current state of unemployment. One commonality that all students in the class had, however, was their drive to secure full time employment and make a better life for themselves. WBSF was fortunate to be able to discuss the students’ aspirations with them and give advice on how to reach their goals.
One student, after talking to WBSF’s Dan Jermy, decided that she wanted to put her passion for cooking to work and open her own catering company someday. Another wanted to work in coding for DreamForce, specifically in community reach-out and marketing.
One student had even gotten a job offer recently from a tech startup, to which he credits his classes at Code Tenderloin for being an integral reason why he had such success in his interview process. This student explained how he used to get very nervous during interviews and trip on his words – a problem that, after Code Tenderloin’s interview training, was no longer an issue.
As the class came to a close, multiple students and volunteers approached WBSF members to thank them for volunteering and acknowledge the value they added to the discussion on behavioral interview questions. The WBSF team members agreed that although this was the first visit to Code Tenderloin, it certainly wouldn’t be the last. We have committed to working with the organization on a quarterly basis.
Image: Members of Code Tenderloin and WBSF at the Piano Fight bar in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco.
Written by: Rachel Allen , WBSF