Jamiella’s Journey to the Aon Apprenticeship Program
In August 2021, Jamiella joined the Aon Apprenticeship Program: a two-year paid opportunity working at Aon in business support, data, project management, or information technology while concurrently earning an associate degree from Harold Washington College. For the next two years, we will highlight various aspects of the Aon Apprenticeship Program and follow Jamiella as she pursues her career and furthers her education.
1. Tell us about yourself.
“I grew up in a big family of 11 here in Chicago. Shortly after I graduated high school, I became a mom and now have a two-year-old son. I always wanted to go to college, but I didn’t think there were many options for me.”
2. How did you learn about Cara?
“Before finding Cara I was working at a fast food restaurant, but I knew I didn’t want to stay there. I was looking for a job and was referred to Cara by a friend of mine. I met with Cara’s Senior Corporate Account Manager Liz, who works with Aon, and she said I might be a good fit for their apprenticeship program.”
3. Why did the Aon Apprenticeship Program interest you?
“I want to further my education, for myself and for my family, so this is a big opportunity for me. With this program, I get to study and get paid to go to school. I also like working in an office; I’ve never worked in an office environment before. I want to gain more skills—and that’s what sold me on Aon’s program.”
4. What have you learned so far on the job?
“My job is in cyber security, and I didn’t know anything about cyber security before I started. Now, I’m gaining all this information, doing audits, and getting invited to attend big meetings. Aon is teaching me new things every day. It’s been a great learning process.”
5. How do you incorporate classes at Harold Washington College into your schedule?
“Part of the day on Tuesdays and Thursdays I have class online, and then on Fridays, class is a full day in person. Right now I’m taking English and business classes. My favorite class is business communications because it helps me communicate in a different way and boosts my professionalism.”
6. How have you grown in your first couple of months in the program?
“I’m kind of a shy person, but because I’m in a lot of meetings, I have to talk a lot now. Time management is another skill that has been really important to learn in order to balance work and school. I’m also getting involved in the Aon Black Professional Network, and I’m super excited.”
7. How is your time in the apprenticeship changing your career trajectory?
“I’m networking and meeting different people, gaining skills, and moving forward…now I feel like I can go anywhere.”