How to Give Back at Workday Rising: Career Clothes and Mentoring

The week of October 9, more than 8,000 people will attend Workday Rising in Chicago. And just like previous conferences, we’ll invite attendees to participate in activities that give back to the community. This year, we’re very excited to support Year Up, a non-profit organization that’s having a huge impact on the lives of young people across the U.S.

Year Up offers a one-year, intensive training program at 21 locations for underserved young adults, aged 18 through 24. Students spend six months developing technical and professional skills in the classroom, including coursework eligible for college credits. Students then apply those skills during a six-month internship at one of Year Up’s corporate partners.

Among the Year Up students that have taken internships at Workday, more than 60 percent have become full-time employees. In addition to our internship program, the Workday Foundation has provided $1 million in funding to this exceptional organization. And with Chicago as our host city for Workday Rising this year, we’ll be donating $100,000 to Year Up Chicago.

Year Up encourages students to project a professional image from the start. For every day of their classroom training and corporate internships—even if their host company is casual—Year Up students are expected to dress in business casual attire. This means no jeans! However, it’s often difficult for underprivileged young adults to gain access to that kind of wardrobe.

How You Can Participate

This year, we’re asking Workday Rising attendees to donate a piece of new or gently used professional clothing. Year Up needs more donations for its career closets, which are available to students at its major sites and are now being expanded to community college campuses. At Workday Rising, there will be a station in the Innovation Exchange Expo for attendees to drop their donated clothes and spend some time learning about the Year Up program. (Registered attendees will receive an email ahead of the event with more details about what items make the best donations.)

We’re also inviting Workday Rising attendees to make a cash donation to Year Up that will go towards expanding its career closets, and Workday will match donations dollar-for-dollar up to a total of $25,000. Another way to get involved is to take our Session Survey Challenge: if we get at least a 25 percent return on session survey submissions, Workday will donate an additional $25,000 to Year Up.

We’ll match 87 Year Up students with Workday customers for a 60-minute workshop.

We’re also offering Workday Rising customer attendees the opportunity to mentor Year Up students—a mini-version of our annual Workforce Week at Workday. On Thursday, October 12, we’ll match 87 Year Up students with Workday customers for a 60-minute workshop. Volunteers will host networking sessions and mock interviews to help students practice their interview skills. Customers can register for this opportunity just as they would for any other session. Our hope is that students will walk away with more confidence, an expanded network, and even bigger aspirations about what job or career they want to pursue.

Working with Year Up and its students has enriched the lives of many of us here at Workday, and we’re thrilled to offer the opportunity for Workday Rising attendees to get involved as well. It’s inspiring to know that during one week in October, as a community we can have an impact on so many young adults working to build strong futures for themselves.