Meet the Team: Gabi
Name: Gabriella (Gabi) Espinoza
Role: Program & Operations Specialist
Years at Enterprise: 1 year (so far!)
Education: I completed a double degree in Anthropology and Psychology at UC Berkeley in 2015. I’m hoping to eventually continue my education with graduate studies in Nonprofit Management, Public Policy, or International Development.
Where did you grow up? I grew up in Orange County.
First job: My first paid job was tutoring for math while I was in high school. I helped classmates and peers with Algebra II/Trigonometry and Calculus.
Tell us about your career path and how you ended up at Enterprise. My career path is just getting started! Throughout college, I worked in several different education-oriented organizations (Jumpstart, Teach For America, US Department of Education), and I continued teaching after graduating through Citizen Schools. All of these work on the national-scale, and I wanted to work in something a bit smaller and more local to the Bay Area to learn more about the actual inner workings of nonprofits – and that opportunity arrived at Enterprise!
Favorite high school subject? I really enjoyed my AP Art History class. I also took 3 years of Biology, so I must have liked it at least a little bit at the time.
Favorite snack? Cool Ranch Doritos, cheese, French fries.
What do you do in your spare time? I love museums – art museums, natural history museums, overly niche museums (looking at you, Museé Mécanique) – I love visiting all of them. Otherwise, I enjoy drawing, baking, writing, and snail mail, and I’ve been experimenting with nail art and designing my own stationery. I’m also a casual cinephile, although I’m terrible at watching movies while they’re still in theatres.
Favorite Enterprise story? I’ve only been here for a year, so I don’t have as many stories as other staff, but a recent one certainly sticks out. In Youth Council, we did an activity that had us making one-minute impromptu speeches on very strange topics (shout out to Fellenia and Jada for coming up with some truly hilarious, offbeat subject matter). You know it’s been an interesting day when the zombie apocalypse is one of the tamer topics we covered.
How did you choose to work with youth? I’ve worked directly with all age groups (Pre-K, middle school, and high school), and high school students were by far my favorite age group to work with. My younger brother is actually still in high school, so that has helped me relate to youth on a different level than I have been able to with younger children.
How do you prepare for job interviews? I definitely have a long list of steps that I follow to get me ready for job interviews. I read and reread the job description and compare it to my résumé. This helps me figure out whether I’ve done any of the tasks in the job description or if any of my experience can be transferable to those tasks, and it helps me prepare to talk about my own background in a way that is relevant to the job. Then, I do some basic research into the company (usually just their “About” page) to figure out what really speaks to me about the company in its culture or mission statement. I also always set aside my interview outfit the day before, so that there’s one less thing for me to stress about on the day of the actual interview. Sometimes, I’ll write out my answer to generic interview questions (like “Tell me about yourself” or “Why do you want to work here?”) to help me brainstorm a good response specific to both the job and the company.
One piece of advice to give a student starting their first job? Don’t be afraid to ask questions! It might feel intimidating to ask how to do things from your supervisor or more experienced coworkers, but I promise it’s always better to ask questions and feel confident in what you’re doing than to make small mistakes because you didn’t ask. That said, some mistakes are unavoidable since nobody’s perfect, and it’s important to approach them as learning moments rather than failures.
Final thought or comments: Some folks are naturally good at interviews – I’m not one of them! It took a lot of bad interviews, ranging from mediocre to embarrassingly terrible, before I finally got into the swing of it and started getting more calls back. I can’t emphasize enough how much of it is really just practicing and practicing until you get comfortable.