November 22, 2019
The holidays at Old Navy are filled with excitement, especially for our most recent This Way Ahead (TWA) program graduates working their first or second Holiday season in stores. Through TWA, Old Navy helps youth facing barriers to employment get a foot in the door for their life-changing first job.
We caught up with a few of our most recent TWA hires to find out what they love about the program and what they’re excited about for the holidays. Read on to learn what makes Aaliyah, Eric, Bryanna and Isabel #oldnavyproud!
YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH TWA: I never knew working in retail could be about so much more than selling clothes. TWA is a foundational program – it’s a stepping stone not only for your first job, but for any job you want in the future. Without it, I never would have come out of my comfort zone. I learn something new every day!
WHAT YOU LOVE ABOUT THE HOLIDAYS AT OLD NAVY: What I love the most is that during the holidays, people come to Knoxville from everywhere. I like hearing their stories and helping them find that perfect stocking stuffer or gift. You just never know who you’re going to meet.
WHAT MAKES YOU #OLDNAVYPROUD: Anybody is welcome at Old Navy – anybody! My grandmother drives me to work and when we get there, all my coworkers come out to greet us, they all know her. I just got a big scholarship to The University of Tennessee, and they were talking about throwing me a party! This is a place where you really are celebrated. I love Old Navy.
BEST ADVICE YOU'VE LEARNED THROUGH TWA: Keep your chin up during an interview and make yourself get noticed. Save your money – put 10% of your money away at least! Come to work happy, because the happier you are, the easier it goes.
WHAT YOU LOVE ABOUT THE HOLIDAYS AT OLD NAVY: This will be my second holiday season. I love how busy it gets. I’ve met people from Australia and Africa. The holidays are fast paced, but I love the rush!
WHAT MAKES YOU #OLDNAVYPROUD: Old Navy is fun, it’s family – we are really good at what we do. My manager, Erika, is the GM and no matter how much is on her plate, she always finds time for anything we need. I’ve been getting college offers and we’ve talked about how I can transfer to another store. I love what I’m doing, and I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else. I’m here to stay for as long as possible!
HOW TWA HAS HELPED YOU GROW: I’ve had internships before, but TWA is different. The program has taught me about building my resume and how to talk to customers. In the beginning I was shy, and now I’m very easy going. Sometimes I may even talk to customers too much – especially when I see someone in a nursing uniform, that’s what I want to do! My paycheck means a lot because I pay my own tuition, and Old Navy has definitely helped me become more independent in that way.
WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS HOLIDAY SEASON: Thanksgiving at Times Square is the craziest – you can't walk! Last year I was a Sales Associate, and this year I’m working in Merchandising so I’m really excited for the new challenge. Most of all, I always look forward to the holidays because my brother is in the Army and we get to see him this time of year.
WHAT MAKES YOU #OLDNAVYPROUD: Old Navy is always welcoming and friendly. Without This Way Ahead program, I might have gotten a job, but I wouldn’t be as happy.
YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH TWA: I discovered TWA through another program that was focused on helping teen moms like myself. I had never worked, and I needed to step it up, finish school and get a job. This Way Ahead taught me how to save my paycheck, which means being able to buy food for my son and do things with him that I couldn’t before. It’s also taught me that if you don’t know something, don’t get stuck there – ask someone to teach you. It’s always good to learn something new.
HOW YOU'RE FEELING ABOUT YOUR FIRST HOLIDAY SEASON AT OLD NAVY: It’s gonna be crazy! I’m in the fitting room, but I’m confident I can get customers what they need fast. I’m ready.
WHAT MAKES YOU #OLDNAVYPROUD: This program and my job at Old Navy have given me the ability to take care of my son, and I’m proud of that. I’ve been able to grow my communication skills, learn more about retail, how to be a cashier and talk to customers – and there’s a lot of advantages to learning all of this for my future.