"As silly as it sounds," Kathryn Monahan says, "I believe I was born to work with children."
It's that passion that made up for Monahan's lack of experience when she interviewed at the Bright Horizons childcare center in Boston's Prudential Center.
Monahan's sister is also a Bright Horizons employee and had spoken highly of the company. Monahan applied to the company's general job portal, listing her sister as a reference. At the time she was working at a social center helping kids ages 6 to 7 after school with homework, a job she'd held since graduating high school.
A company recruiter received Monahan's application and put her in touch with the director of the Prudential Center Bright Horizons, which was hiring. It took two interviews and two days of waiting by the phone in early 2008 for Monahan to land the job. "My boss says she hired me more for my attitude than my experience," she says.
And six years later, Monahan now has the training to match her enthusiastic nature. She earned her early education certificate by taking Bright Horizon-sponsored classes in the evenings for several weeks. She then earned her Child Development Associate certificate at the urging of her director, which qualified her for a lead teacher role—a job she now holds.
Those evening classes pay off every time she goes to work. "Walking through the door and hearing the kids shout my name is the best part of my day," she says. "They're like leeches on my legs."