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Mirella: From Small Town Barista to Silicon Valley Tech Sales

March 7, 2024

Woman with headset typing on a laptop computer
Mirella completed JVS’s Job Search Accelerator program in 2022 and now works in tech sales.

When Mirella moved to the Bay Area in 2017 from a small town in Northern California, she had no plans to pursue a career in tech. She worked for 16 years as a barista and residential building manager, and jobs in the tech industry felt out of reach. 

“I had no idea that I wanted to be in tech or that I could even be a part of it,” Mirella shared. “I don’t have a college degree, and so I always felt like my options were limited.” 

Being close to Silicon Valley caused Mirella to start thinking about a new career path, and she eventually found an entry-level job in tech sales. After hearing from her sister, who completed JVS’s Job Search Accelerator (JSA), about how much the program helped her career development, Mirella decided to give it a try.

“She raved for several months, if not a whole year, just about how JVS helped her,” Mirella shared. “And she just loved having the resources there. So, when I saw all of this and I looked through the information that she received from the program, I was like, ‘Okay, I’m gonna sign up for this.’” 

In December 2022, Mirella joined the JSA cohort and was pleasantly surprised by the mentorship and coaching available to participants. In the often isolating landscape of job searching, Mirella found her JVS coaches and fellow JSA participants to be incredibly important in helping her find her path. 

“As an adult, after a certain point you’re just supposed to go out there into the world and make sure you do okay,” Mirella says. “But you never really have someone there for you .I was really surprised by the support that I experienced with JVS.” 

Unlike in her previous roles where she felt like there was no opportunity for growth and networking, Mirella’s move into tech sales marked a significant shift, opening opportunities for networking and participation in tech-related social groups like Latinos in Tech and Techqueria. She now holds a sales position at an international tech company and looks forward to continuing to develop her skills so she can move up the career ladder in tech sales. 

“I think you kind of have to have a certain drive inside of you and mindset to move forward and push through,” Mirella shared. “During really tough spots in life, especially when you’re in the market for a job, you just must find the right people to be your support group and find it within you to push through. I found that at JVS.” 

Mirella’s story first appeared in our 2023 Impact Report. Go to to read the report and learn more about our work.