Albert Aydin landed a job thanks to an internship arranged by a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing and placing talented underserved youth

When Albert Aydin arrived at Verizon’s operations center in Basking Ridge, N.J., for the first day of his internship in 2007, the 19-year-old college student was overwhelmed with excitement.

Six years later, he works in VZ Public Relations where he is responsible for public relations, media outreach and lending new mobile devices to reporters to gather personal opinions about the products. 

Aydin grew up in a family with parents who immigrated to the United States. His mother is from Mexico, and his father is from Turkey. 

“I never knew anything about the college application process,” he said. “My mom finished high school, but my father never went beyond the second grade.”

A friend of the family told Aydin about “Inroads,” a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing and placing talented underserved youth in business through internships, preparing them for corporate and community leadership.

“Inroads provided me with an opportunity that I never thought would be available to someone like me,” Aydin said.

When Aydin came for his initial interview he met with Brenda Raney, in the Public Relations department for Verizon Wireless, and he remembers Jim Gerace, then vice president of VZW’s Corporate Communications, now the company’s Chief Communications Officer, stopping by to say hello.

“He was so nice; I had no idea who he was,” Aydin said. 

Gerace has been serving on the Board of Inroads for the past six years and was instrumental in placing Aydin and many other highly talented students into Fortune 500 companies for minority internships. 

During his internship, Aydin helped Raney with phone launches and phone announcements.

“She was a real mentor to me,” he said. “Always bringing me into her meetings and getting the chance to learn by watching and listening.  I would see Jim in staff meetings too, and it was amazing to actually be a part of the team.  I had no idea what corporate life was like, only studying from a book.  Now I am living it and experiencing it.” Debi Lewis, director of Public Relations and Aydin’s manager said Albert has been a great teammate.

“It’s great to watch him grow and mature into his current role,” Lewis said. “He loves technology and we—and the media – have benefitted from his enthusiasm and willingness to teach us how things work.”

Aydin adds his “inner dork is very excited to come to work every day!”

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