From a young age, Walter W. knew he wanted to work for CDW with the Vernon Hills office located next to his high school and his interest in technology.
After applying in 2013 and not being offered a position, he was determined to get the sales experience he needed to be considered. He worked for a cell phone carrier for a couple of years, and then in 2015 coincidentally met a member of the Skills Talent Acquisition team. He learned about Skills’ work and shortly afterwards saw a Skills job posting on Facebook. He was thrilled to find out that Skills partnered with CDW to hire for sales positions and saw that as his opportunity.
He applied through Skills and was hired as a Corporate Account Manager - Nonprofit in October 2015. Since then, Walter has been promoted multiple times, now serving as an Executive Nonprofit Account Manager. We sat down with Walter to hear more about his experiences working with Skills and CDW.
What brought you to Skills?
Before I was hired with CDW, I was working in night life and in sales for a phone carrier but wanted something more. When I met Kasey on the Talent Acquisition team, he said Skills could assist me with the interview. They really helped me prepare, and I got the job.
How did it feel when you were offered the position with CDW?
I was so proud! I was hired right after my final interview, and I took pictures immediately afterwards with a big smile on my face with my badge. I feel like I had hope because it was not just job but a career path.
How have CDW and Skills helped you grow?
CDW has changed my life not just for myself but for my family too. Credit has been an issue with my family in the past, and this job gives me stability. The amount of work I put in affects my paycheck, and it’s very fulfilling. It provides me opportunities to travel and help my parents financially.
I am the first African American Executive Account Manager for the nonprofits team in Chicago, and I love working with nonprofits! As someone who grew up using the resources these organizations support, I get the opportunity to make that human connection and help. This job is strenuous, but my job outlook is better than before I started working at CDW and with Skills.
Would you recommend Skills to other job seekers?
Yes, I would! I would encourage others to apply through Skills because they really provide opportunities for lower income families and those of color intimidated to interview for big companies. I was turned down for roles in the past, not because I wasn’t prepared but because I was so nervous. Skills dampened that intimidation by working with me on the type of interview questions CDW would ask, which made all the difference. I feel like I could be myself.