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Amen on Social Capital as a Pathway to Success, by Amen Dilawar

Have you ever been strenuously looking for a lost object when it’s literally in front of your eyes? This occurs even with the smallest things ever like one’s glasses, phone, or notebooks. Likewise, a lot of individuals in today’s day and age are in the hustle of obtaining a suitable job that makes them content and satisfied. They conduct a tremendous amount of research but still find nothing. This is because they overlooked the most imperative aspect of finding a job, which is utilizing connections and reaching out to others for potential job opportunities. There are people that we know who have thriving businesses and companies, but we often forget to communicate with them since we are too busy performing other tasks.

Through the summer Social Capital Builders course, I learned the value of forming connections and using them to my advantage so that more doors to future opportunities open up for me. I was able to establish new connections and gain more information about the hiring process and job readiness as a result of successfully becoming a junior Social Capital Builder.

Over the course of the program, I worked exceedingly hard to form new connections and build strong bonds with different people. These individuals are my Opportunity Guides who have paved the way for me and have allowed me to be exposed to more opportunities related to my interests and goals. For instance, I am deeply passionate about writing, and I believe that the most fundamental right that I possess is being able to freely express myself through words. I have reached out to various people regarding this so that they can assist me with finding a part-time job or an internship associated with this particular interest. I was recently told about a website where there are countless job hirings, and they pay a decent amount for writer or journalist positions. I find this to be of great use as a published writer and someone who is motivated to dedicate their time to something productive.

This depicts how beneficial meeting new people has been since it is opening me to things that I thought never existed. Moreover, it is enabling me to get closer to my future career goal of being a Primary Care Physician. I met multiple students in the program who shared the same career interest as me. We had career groups in our Zoom meeting breakout rooms. This was exceedingly helpful because I spoke with many goal-oriented and driven people, and one of them even shared a Mount Sinai paid internship opportunity with me. Hence, forming connections and interacting with others can lead to future employment or volunteer opportunities for professional experience.

In addition to connections, I obtained a lot of knowledge from the program. I learned how to write a strong resume and cover letter that will make an applicant stand out from the others. We discussed how to highlight not only the experience we have, but the skills we possess and the credentials and degrees we have earned.

Furthermore, we need to alter our mindsets to be job-ready as well. This means that we cannot only chase money and always look for financial benefits. Although that’s a crucial thing to consider, it’s also vital to know that a job is more than a paycheck. It should be about what we are truly passionate about and what sparks our interests or fits our ambitions and dreams. This inner inspiration and desire to work makes us more committed and dedicated to our job. We are more than likely to feel miserable at work if we dislike the work we do, which has negative repercussions since it leads to low productivity rates. This is why it’s vital to love what we do!

Another thing that I learned during the process of building my social capital is developing skills like time management, communication, active listening, public speaking, leadership, and other soft skills. I was able to continue to work on my time management skills because I was expected to submit work via Google Classroom and the online platform created by Social Capital Builders. For this, I put my time management hat on and did all the work ahead of time so that I would have sufficient time for other activities like completing online surveys and doing work for the other part of the Social Capital Builders Program. I was able to get more out of the program this way and find additional opportunities. Also, I was able to better communicate with others through the breakout rooms we were placed in and interacting with others through emails and on the mic in our Zoom meetings. This allowed me to become a better speaker and also taught me how to self-advocate for myself when necessary.

All the experience that I obtained from developing my social capital highlights the importance of educating more youth about this because they need to be prepared to enter the workforce and form everlasting connections. Without the effort and endless support of my instructors, supervisor, Opportunity Guides, Junior Opportunity Guides, and fellow peers, I wouldn’t have been able to prosper in this program. Hence, following the social capital way is the right path to brightness and success in the future.

Amen Dilawar is a 16 year old participant in the Social Captial Builders initiative. She lives in the Bronx, NY. She is interested in writing and health occupations. If you are aware of any opportunities in this field, please email them to her Opportunity Guide, Kim at Pic above is of Amen’s My Opportunity Hub, a platform developed by Social Captial Builders to keep youth connected to the social capital assets that they developed throughout the program.