ELYSIA is a Salesforce Cohort 1 Alumna based in Elk Grove, CA. She currently works at Climb Hire as a Marketing Intern.

Elysia Brewster knows a thing or two about overcoming adversity. It’s fitting that this is the Climb Hire value that resonates most with the Salesforce Cohort 1 Alumna.

“I know what it means firsthand. I know what it looks like to not overcome adversity,” she said. “I’ve made the decision to overcome many obstacles, like addiction, homelessness, and having no education, so I understand the importance of it.”

Elysia considers the impact of her life-changing decisions and how “overcoming things first will allow the other five values [i.e. Relationships Matter, Do the Hard Work, Generosity, Joy, Curiosity] to line up.” After completing Climb Hire’s inaugural cohort, Elysia was hired at Better as a Loan Consultant Associate. Better is a mortgage lending start-up based in New York City, and one of Climb Hire’s earliest employer partners.

During her one year and four month stay at Better, Elysia helped her team close home loans valued at millions of dollars. She passed the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS) exam—a daunting, federally regulated test with an initial pass rate of 50%. In December 2021, Better laid off over 900 employees. Despite her skills and work ethic, Elysia was included in this initial round of layoffs.

Elysia’s social capital and the strength of her connections at Better prepared her for the uncertainty of what was to come. Like with anything, getting started is the hardest part. Resuming the job search is no exception. Elysia acknowledged that many moving pieces were essential to her progress at this stage.

“I reached out to Climb Hire, my LinkedIn network, and depended a lot on the great relationships I had at Better. These bonds showed me the power of the relationships I had with my coworkers because you don’t know what’s going to happen after,” she said. Elysia’s consistent activity on LinkedIn helped her to stand out within her network and beyond. “Now, they knew my skills, what I did, what I got done doing, and what I was interested in doing next,” she said. She reflects on the support of her former teammates, who are now lifelong friends. “I even got a referral for this one company selling plastics, just from my friend.”

Throughout Elysia’s search, she’s learned and gained a lot of confidence. “I’m not intimidated by high positions and degrees anymore because if I’m taught to do something, I can do it,” she said. Elysia’s journey brought her back home to Climb Hire, where she currently interns with Climb Hire’s Growth Team. The Growth Team is a collaborative partnership between the Marketing and Admissions teams to recruit new Climbers across various regions in the country.

When asked about Climb Hire’s expansion, Elysia couldn’t be more excited for the future. “I like that I’m responsible for making sure the growth is going in the right way that it’s supposed to,” she said. True to form, Elysia found a sales role three months into her internship. But when the demands conflicted with her familial obligations, she knew that it wasn’t a good fit because “a job needs to meet your standards of what you can and can’t tolerate.”

The internship continues to give her the flexibility she seeks while also gaining more experience with the sales funnel by qualifying leads and meeting program applicants. “I don’t want to stop growing. I want to become a great salesperson, because your talent can get you paid,” she added. “I want to keep making money, while learning something new.”

In turn, Elysia’s ability to care for herself allows her to support those she loves most. “Money is important because I’m trying to put my whole family on,” she said.

One day, Elysia has ambitions to host her own podcast. “It took me a while to understand that my voice matters. I want to talk about everything: sex, racism, when enough is enough for women, all of it,” she said. The road ahead is ripe with possibilities for Elysia, and for everyone. “I want to hold space for others to define their values for themselves. Create your own definition of what matters, grasp it, and stick to it,” she added. “You’re capable of doing anything as long as you put in the work for it.”

Elysia’s Top Tips

  • Be prepared for anything! “Do research on companies and culture. For me, it was important to know about how a company implements diversity and if they’ve had any layoffs in the last three years.”
  • When interviewing, ask the right questions. “At the end [of an interview], I ask ‘Why should I work for your company?’. This is to see if a manager’s values line up with mine. It’s straightforward, but sweet.”

Say hi and connect with Elysia on LinkedIn.

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