It’s 2016! It’s the beginning of the year. The beginning of a new journey for some and for others it’s just a continuation of the trail of greatness left behind in 2015. We’re starting this year off strong with my first monthly feature of the year on Ms. Brittiney Jones of the Chicago Youth Initiative.
Brittany currently works as an account executive for Highground but in her spare time she heads a non-profit organization in which she co-founded.Ms. Jones is active in her community supporting local fundraising efforts and volunteering for the Illinois Diversity Council. She is also an active member of the Metropolitan Board of Chicago Urban League. As co-founder of her own non-profit organization “Foster Youth and Higher Education” that benefits high school youth, along with current college attendees by educating, assisting, and coaching youth towards attaining a university degree and finishing college. Ms. Jones holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organization Communications with a minor in psychology.
We’re so glad Ms. Jones was able to set aside some time for an interview so that my readers can get to know her. Check it out below and let me know what you think!
BJ: I’m from Ann Arbor, Michigan but currently I live in Chicago,Illinois.
AM: SO…YOU’RE QUITE THE BUSY BEE 🙂 , WHAT’S A TYPICAL DAY IN THE LIFE FOR YOU?
BJ: Lets see, a typical day… It’s hard to say because each day is different., within my industry everything is performance-driven. From being an executive director to being in the Technology space selling Saas Software to focusing on growth and development of an organization through Human Resources. My day usually consist of completing the sales cycle; Prospecting/Qualifying( calls, emails), needs analysis ( presentations), proposal/ negotiate ( ROI, case studies, pricing) once that cycle is completed depending on the time line is when the customer order form is generated and the deal is complete. It’s great because no day is ever the same! You’re always generating new clientele and creating new business. I’ve recently shifted in my career and now focused on the people, culture and development of an organization. It looks some what similar to sales, however, I’m focused on recruiting for departments. I review resumes, conduct phone interviews, bring customers in for onsite observations and conducting offers all the way to the exit.
AM: WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO START YOUR OWN NON-PROFIT?
BJ: I’ve always wanted to own my own business and the best business to own is one that gives back. My non-profit Chicago Youth Opportunity Initiatives provides solutions to the common problem of homelessness, educational literacy of youth placed in situations outside of their control. We do this through focusing on developing various values and providing them with the tools to be successful such as mentors, youth development programs and scholarships. The goal is to ultimately help them transition into college or a career related field. Through this program, I am able to instill the things that I noticed were lacking for me when I was emancipated at a young age.
AM: WHAT ARE SOME GOALS THAT YOU HAVE FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR CAREER?
BJ: That’s a great question. The older I am the more my time line changes. Recently, I’ve broken my year into quarters. It’s just easier that way for me to set my goals, achieve them and create more. One of my long term goals would be to obtain a VP or Directors, CHRO position within the business industry. I’m just a huge sponge until then learning from different industries, taking in different sales tactics, and communicating styles with a variety of other things!
AM: WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN THE NEXT 5-10 YEARS?
BJ: I would love to continue my education at some point.. receiving a MBA etc. Ultimately, working my way up to be a decision maker in a corporation.
AM: WHAT SHOULD PEOPLE WHO ARE STRIVING TO DO WHAT YOU’RE DOING KNOW ABOUT THE FIELD AND BUSINESS IN GENERAL?
BJ: Sales is tough, being a recruiter in Human Resources, starting a non profit .. it’s all a lot of hard work. You have to generate pipeline and that comes from the time and hours that you put in everyday. There’s people who make six figures within their first two years and some who just remain stagnant. Understand there’s level’s to this industry, understand the business and most importantly understand your company. I’ve always said ” you get in what you put in,” that’s the honest truth. My advice to others who are looking to join the field or are interested in entrepreneurship should be willing to never stop learning, have an open mind and most importantly have fun.
Ms. Jones encourages you to get involved (no matter what field you’re in) and make a difference in your communities.
“By joining forces with CYOI you will have the opportunity to invest your time to change the lives of youth in the city of Chicago that have been placed in situations outside of their control. The Chicago Youth Opportunities Initiative is a new organization geared towards developing the minds of Chicago youth growing up in the foster care system. Our goal is to do this by empowering them to not just dream astronomically and set goals they wish to accomplish, but to also help develop the life skills necessary to achieve their vision. Our organization leverages a two-prong approach to provide students with the support and guidance they need – one, formalized student development sessions, and two, a designated mentor to help them think through the activities and enlighten the students on their past experiences.
The program is centered around helping the students understand who they are, what they are passionate about, and how they can leverage their strengths and passions to achieve whatever they imagine. The students will set short and long term goals for themselves while also creating action plans as to how they can reach these goals in their designated time frames. The remainder of the program is set to develop the traits/habits (i.e. perseverance through obstacles, effective communication, critical thinking, etc.) that are so often credited for the success of many great leaders.”
For more information about this initiative visit
Stay Ambitious, Stay Motivated!