Planning Ahead: Mikela’s Story

Mikela WorkingMikela is a bright, confident, well-spoken student who certainly has a plan for her future. In fact, she has two plans. With a passion for both Creative Writing and Marine Biology, Mikela plans to pursue both avenues as possible career paths. She is currently attending college studying Biology and Creative Writing. “If becoming an author does not pan out, I will have Marine Biology to fall back on,” explains Mikela.  

Mikela has also used employU’s Work-Based Learning Experiences as a way to prepare for her future. Work-Based Learning Experiences (WBLEs) are paid on-the-job trainings that allow participants to discover and explore different career paths, industries, and types of businesses while gaining and refining transferrable skills they will use when transitioning into the workforce in the future. Work-Based Learning Experiences are arranged around the participant’s schedule. This makes them a great alternative to the typical part-time or seasonal job. Plus, once a participant has completed a WBLE, they can choose to continue exploring that industry or they may decide to explore another field. This gives the participant room to gain experience in different types of work environments, as Mikela did.  

Through various WBLE Mikela has had the opportunity to explore different workplace settings and strengthen skills that she will use throughout her life including communication and time management. In the past, Mikela has completed WBLES at Longhorn Steakhouse, House of Hope, Marshalls, and Anna’s Pizza. 

She has experienced the most growth, however, at her current WBLE working at Once Upon a Child. In the past, Mikela felt more comfortable having a Job Coach with her on-site while working. But through her time at Once Upon a child, she has shined with confidence as she took a leadership role amongst her fellow co-workers. With her positive, upbeat, and enthusiastic personality, Mikela has excelled in her role and is now able to work independently for all future jobs that may come her way. For more on our Paid Work-Based Learning Experiences visit