Persistence Pays Off

Leyunesh “Lea” Zemene got to know the Cincinnati Works staff well in recent weeks. Upon completing the JumpStart workshop, she worked diligently to land a job, meeting regularly with coaches and support staff to fine-tune her resume and prepare herself for interviews.

Just as important as knowing the staff, she knew the job she wanted: front desk at the Hilton Netherland Plaza.

Lea and Yolanda
Lea Zemene and coach Yolanda Hill ring bells in celebration

“When you think of it, you just think of quality,” Zemene said.

Though she had not previously worked in a hotel, she learned in JumpStart how to sell the customer-service skills she honed in restaurant and health-care jobs. She applied for front-desk positions at multiple hotels in the area, including the Hilton. She had opportunities to interview for various cashier and waitress jobs but kept her eyes on one prize.

A few weeks after applying for the job at the Hilton, she had not yet heard back, so she tried the direct approach: “I walked over there and let them know I want the job,” Zemene said.

She asked to speak to human resources and emphasized her skills and passion for the job. The HR representative was impressed enough to schedule a formal interview the next day. Zemene aced it and got the job. She proudly returned to our office yesterday to ring the bell in celebration.