By Gustavo Zamora
I was 20 years old when I quit the job that had promised me a promotion, changed my college major and started working for Best Buy.
Walking away from a guaranteed management position at a grocery store might sound puzzling, but there would have been a catch with that career move: The store’s leaders wanted me to quit school to show that I was loyal to the company. They didn’t understand why I was still in school if I could have a career there without having to pursue higher education.
But I’m a first-generation Mexican-American, and completing school means everything to me. I feel compelled to set an example for my brothers and sister. They need to know that our father moved us to the United States to find better opportunities.
So, I walked away. I quit my job and decided to find an employer that would care about me, even if it meant having to start over.
Learning about what’s possible
When I started applying for jobs, I focused on the companies’ benefits offerings. I wanted to find a job that would support me through school, not hold me back.
Luckily, one of my first interviews I had was at the Best Buy distribution center near Atlanta. That interview left a mark on me. I was greeted with such professionalism, and they respected that I was in school.
Before I left the interview, they told me about Best Buy’s Tuition Reimbursement Program. I learned that Best Buy reimburses employees up to $3,500 a year toward the cost of books and tuition — regardless of major — as long as you make satisfactory grades. This fact alone drew me to Best Buy because it meant I could follow my dream to be a writer. I don’t come from a wealthy family, so paying for college falls on me.
I’ve been at Best Buy for two years now. I enjoy my job as warehouse clerical support because my work is always changing. One moment I’m checking our inventory for stores and, the next, I’m in the warehouse taking customer returns. I love that my role lets me do multiple things in one day, while also teaching me how to communicate effectively and professionally.
Meanwhile, I only have one semester left of school. Then I will be able to say that I am not only a college graduate, but I am free of school debt! And I have my eyes on Best Buy’s corporate internship program.
Thank you for the support and opportunities, Best Buy. You have changed my life.
If you’re interested in learning more about working at Best Buy, check out our Careers website.