Thank You For Being Such A Vital Part Of Our Team, Jake Jarczynski! We Look Forward To Sharing More About You So Others Can Get To Know You Better!
Tell us a bit about your backstory and what lead you down your current life path.
Growing up, I was always interested in work, specifically in the non-profit sector. I loved making organizations and the people in them more efficient, and I also loved the psychology of people’s relationships with work. This led me to a Master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and a career in Human Resources, where I get to ask the question: How can we make work more fun/engaging/meaningful? I’ve been lucky enough to work/volunteer for organizations such as American Red Cross, JDRF, United Nations Population Fund, and Educate. Radiate. Elevate.!
What or who inspired you to pursue your major/career?
My parents were small-business owners who had an amazing workplace culture. People enjoyed coming to work, they stayed at the company for many years, and they were treated well. When I took other jobs that were less fulfilling, I realized I wanted to make work fun, as my parents did.
What is one thing you are most proud of achieving in your life?
I’m most proud to have interned for United Nations Population Fund. Its mission is to “deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.” I found working with those leaders to be incredibly rewarding. Some of my coworkers worked in extremely dangerous conditions, but they supported the mission (and each other) in the most inspiring way.
Tell about an amazing trip you took. Where did you go and what did you enjoy most?
A few years ago, I went with my brother, Joe, to the Dominican Republic to educate children and adults with Type One Diabetes on how to best take care of their bodies. We worked with local children to inspire and empower them to not let T1D prevent them from living anything but a healthy, fulfilling life. Our motto was “Puedo ser,” or “I can be.” It was a special trip to share with my brother, and to help so many kids in the process was so rewarding.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering?
I enjoy using my niche skillset to help the organization. Non-profit organizations such as Educate. Radiate. Elevate. has so many volunteers that are experts at what they do. I can’t tutor as well as some of the amazing educators the organization has, so I love being able to use my HR experience to take the pressure off volunteers and help push the organization forward.
Why did you choose to be a professional volunteer for Educate. Radiate. Elevate.?
I love the mission of Educate. Radiate. Elevate. and the goal of reducing the education gap in students. I also appreciate that they show their impact and success metrics in clear terms on their website. E.R.E. is very committed to supporting its volunteers with information that is backed by research and takes the individual child’s needs into consideration. I was lucky enough to support E.R.E. in building their Culturally Responsive and Trauma-Informed Teaching course, which prepares tutors to work with children of diverse backgrounds.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? What is it and why did it resonate with you?
I love the book Give and Take, by Adam Grant. It explains that in work and life, the more you give, the more success you’re likely to find. While some people operate only under a “what’s in it for me” mentality, this book shows the value of supporting others.
The road to success is difficult and requires tremendous dedication. What advice would you give to a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your success?
Follow what you’re interested in! If you find yourself obsessing over sports statistics or reality TV, there’s probably a job in it that matches your skillset and interests. ESPN needs marketing people and expert camera operators, and Bravo needs analysts to crunch data in order to understand who’s watching Real Housewives. LinkedIn is a great way to see career paths that could be a template for getting your dream job.