Svitlana grew up in the countryside of Ukraine with both parents and her older sister. Her parents always instilled the importance of education and maintaining a career. This motivated Svitlana to complete Commercial College and State University, both located in Ukraine. She immigrated to the US about 15 years ago. As soon as she was settled in America, she found work and saved up enough to bring her son from Ukraine to live with her in New York while also furthering her education by attending Grace Institute and Baruch College for certificate programs.
Svitlana began her journey at Dress for Success in 2015 after being referred by one of Dress for Success’ partnering agency Grace Institute and has graduated from four Dress for Success programs. Her most recent achievement was completing The Walmart Foundation’s Retail Trajectory Program on May 31st, 2018. Retail Trajectory Program is intended to provide women currently employed in retail the knowledge, skills, and confidence to climb the career ladder and advance in their current roles. Over six months of rigorous training, the participants gained a network of experienced retail professionals, received organized leadership curriculum, and had the opportunity to participate in an exclusive online Job Board. This program provides retail employment opportunities for the clients to post and update resumes that was available to recruiters and human resource managers. After completing the program, the women received a Retail Jobs Trajectory diploma and a Retail Industry Fundamentals certificate which positions them as top candidates for management roles.
Svitlana says “I’ve never worked retail in my country of Ukraine but coming to America was different. I was shy to work in America because of my accent and pronunciation of English. Because of the Retail Trajectory Program, I learned how to confidently communicate with customers and how to walk up to someone to just greet them. This program taught me how to have a sense of confidence and self-assurance. I am very glad to be able to learn about more exciting and interesting things about the retail industry.” Svitlana strongly recommends the Retail Jobs Trajectory program to other women in the retail sector. “I learned a lot of helpful information to gain confidence in my field. We were able to meet people in different companies, listened to different speakers, and learned how to turn a retail job into a career.” Presently, Svitlana is very happy with her current job and focused on applying what she has learned to her career moving forward.
(Photo credit: Alyssa Peek)