THE OPPORTUNITY NETWORK ALUMNI
OppNet is committed to battling the crisis of unrealized potential for a generation of talented, motivated young people.
College undermatching describes the phenomenon in which talented, low-income students attend less competitive colleges than their academically equivalent peers. At OppNet, we also talk about career undermatching: the equally detrimental phenomenon in which talented, college graduates from low-income families wind up in jobs that don’t match their abilities or ambitions. It applies to young people who are working hard to find a job but haven’t been taught how to make the system work for them or to recognize and market their own skills and strengths. Instead, they work in jobs that are less stimulating than they want, below their skill set and qualifications, offer lower pay scales and provide fewer opportunities for advancement.
Nationwide, for every 100 low-income students, fewer than eight will graduate college and secure jobs. But at OppNet, thanks to a six-year investment, 85% of OppNet graduates secure career-track employment or graduate school admission within six months of graduation.
“I’m starting HealthBridges, which is a bilingual immigrant advocacy program, and the mission is to really help patients like my mother, who didn’t speak any English, to navigate the hospital system…
I really want to take all the things The Opportunity Network has given to me and give back to society through starting my nonprofit but also through helping others, people who are just like me, network and help them become who I am today.
I am just so grateful for The Opportunity Network because I would have never gotten to where I am today without it.” – Hong Deng Gao, Pomona College, Class of 2015
“I graduated from UPenn in May 2014, and I sometimes pinch myself because it wasn’t that long ago that I had never heard of “Wharton.” I’m now working at 20th Century Fox within the film Deal Analysis group, and I was recently promoted to Senior Financial Analyst. I work on financial models and risk analysis for every film Fox and its subsidiaries distribute, and am part of the decision-making process from inception to the big screen.
I thank OppNet for showing me a life and a career path I never would have been exposed to and goals for myself that I was capable of accomplishing but never would have dreamed of achieving before. OppNet literally opened my eyes.” – Titi Oshinaya, University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2014
“I am an Operations Analyst at Roundtable Investment Partners here in NYC. I really enjoy working there, but I always go in and leave with a smile and looking forward to be in the next day- the people and work environment have a huge influence over this.
I honestly think it’s a collection of everything I learned at OppNet that has helped me land and navigate through my first couple of weeks at work. From writing an email, responding within 24 hours, Excel and presentations skills, interacting with professionals, exchanging a business card. I have my own business cards now! Everything I learned during my time at OppNet has helped me at one point.” – Gabriel Munoz, Syracuse University, Class of 2015
“I am a research associate at the Institute for Geophysics at the University of Texas at Austin. I’ve been working for the Polar/Planetary group for the past 1.5 years, focusing on the surface, internal, and ice-ocean interface properties of different regions in Antarctica, and applying knowledge of Earth’s icy regions, in combination with existing data from Europa (Jupiter’s icy moon) to understand the formation and evolution of geologic features on Europa.
OppNet has taught me how valuable networking can be, and I’m reminded of that every day I go to work. Networking is KEY in whatever industry you’re in, whether it’s finance, law, even in careers as obscure as planetary sciences. Building a strong relationship with those above you may not be easy, but can truly be rewarding. I never thought I would have an incredible job like this, and it just makes me for excited for what lies ahead!” – Erika Lopez Garcia, Brown University, Class of 2014