The mastermind behind Max Up, Google and LinkedIn
Stephanie Nuesi tells us about her journey as a college student and her leap as a financial analyst, content creator and CEO.
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Stephanie Nuesi is a young girl from a small town, Los Mameyes, Dominican Republic, whose roots grow like vines through the barrio, came to the United States in 2015 with the hope of pursuing the famous American dream.
A 16 year old Dominican girl who only spoke Spanish, dreamt of attending a school in America; a child who spent her days from school to her house and from her house to school. Monday through Friday she would attend school, Saturdays music class, and Sundays participate in information systems or computer classes. Her mother viewed time as the epitome of opportunity and wasting time was a foolish person’s biggest regret.
The process of assimilation was challenging. She recounts the many struggles she faced from language barrier, adapting to a new culture and economy, and understanding the workforce— challenged this young girl’s ability to thrive in a country different from her own. This is the painful truth of what life as an immigrant feels on a daily basis.
Stephanie’s inability to communicate with others in a foreign country was only a small stumbling block that did not deter her efforts to learn English. She started taking conversational classes at a local library 30 minutes walking distance from her house. These courses were offered by a college student who volunteered her time to educate foreigners for free. Stephanie would attend conversational classes twice a week for a year.
Nuesi values the time with this college student who would spend countless hours helping her improve her language skills and ability to be an effective communicator. This class gave Stephanie the opportunity to interact with immigrants from Colombia, Venezuela, Pakistan, and other parts of the world; a diversified group of people trying to understand the English language.
Having the opportunity to interact with people from different walks of life, nationalities, and accents, presented the perfect opportunity for Stephanie, an introvert, to become a confident spokesperson and leader.
The journey to higher education
As an immigrant in the United States, Nuesi was confronted with the bitter realization that she lacked parental guidance, something she desperately needed and her parents’ lack of knowledge of the college system in America were unable to provide. The process was daunting and the resources limited. “I remember going to different colleges in person to try and find information on how to apply,” explains Stephanie.
She filled out applications using CUNY system—New York City’s public university system and the largest urban university system in the U.S that provides a comprehensive list of institutions’ tuition rates, academic offering, and class sizes, and all pertinent information to help students with the college application process.
The never-ending application requirements continued to bombard the first-generation college applicant, who later found out her documents needed to be translated from Spanish to English—making the process more disheartening.
“I didn’t know about financial aid,” recalls Stephanie, who eventually learned how to apply for financial aid and scholarships.
Her journey was far from over and tribulations continued to find her. But Stephanie is not like most people. At the age of 10 she started high school, graduating at the age of 14 in the Dominican Republic. At the age of 16, migrated to the United States and at 17, got rejected by all the colleges she applied to, eventually getting accepted to Baruch College, New York, months after.
During her time at Baruch College and following the recommendations of her peers, she began looking for internships without a clear direction and understanding of what an internship was or entailed. She asked peers to explain the importance of an internship and many would say “if you want to get a good job after college you need to get internships and a resume,” explains Stephanie, who had no prior knowledge of the hiring process in the Dominican Republic or in the United States, and never created a resume or a CV.
Her inexperience and lack of awareness made her empathize with others who had limited resources too. “I could just imagine the struggles that a lot of people who come from other countries have to [go through] like prepare for an interview, do a resume, when they don’t know what it is. And the thing is, this is reality happening,” she emphasized.
Many colleges have career resources and career departments to help college students and college graduates navigate the professional force. However, many of the information provided by these departments “are outdated and only one or two advisors for a population of 10,000 students, so just imagine how hard it is for you to get a resume done,” Stephanie commented.
Nuesi recognized a gap between talented students who go to non-targeted schools and lacked access to resources and companies while completing two different college programs. One at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she studied Cybersecurity and Data Analytics with a scholarship from Bank Santander, and a Bachelor of Business Administration with a Minor in Information Systems Technology from Baruch College. During this time she found a way to bridge that gap by creating Max Up.
Maximize potential is Max Up
In 2019, Stephanie was listening to a podcast and the host kept saying ‘you need to maximize,’ and she assented, “what I want to do with people— I want to elevate, lift-up, and maximize. So maximize potential is Max Up.”
Max Up is a career consulting firm dedicated to helping students and professionals to maximize their potential. Also, it provides different services to help individuals “succeed through career opportunities.”
At the time she founded Max Up, Nuesi was still a college student experiencing imposter syndrome, wrestling with how to build credibility as a college student without letting others’ perception of how young she was interfere with her ability to assist others’ like her.
“I want to help people who don’t have access to resources, who don’t know how to do it, so they can do it, because why not, if I did it because I found the resources after a really hard time, I want others to probably get it in a more straightforward path,” Stephanie affirmed.
Max Up makes it easy for students, early career professionals, and even seasoned professionals to receive the support they need at improving their career opportunities.
Max Up has helped thousands of job seekers connect with recruiters and hiring managers from top companies, prompting Nuesi to create two low-cost programs with 90% of fellows landing internships and full time jobs and three free guides to help job seekers land their dream jobs like she did at Google.
From College to Google
Stephanie’s aspirations were only the beginning in her journey towards success.
She ascertained what success could look-like when she and her mother were walking by the Google office in New York, when she points out to the office and says “mom, I would work there one day,” and her mother said “Stephanie, I think you are dreaming too big,” and I said to my mom “you’ll see and that was in 2018,” explains Stephanie. Little did her mother know that those words would hunt Nuesi and be the motivator that propelled her to seek employment at Google years later.
At 22, she was rejected by Microsoft and Apple. In 2020 she got her one yes from Google as a Financial Analyst, prompting a call to her mother in which she asked her about that day they were outside the Google office— Nuesi’s response was “I wasn’t dreaming too big, I was dreaming big enough.” But nothing could prepare Nuesi for her mother’s response in which she explained her words were not meant to discourage her, but push her.
“That really meant a lot because I reflected back and if she wouldn’t have told me that, maybe I wouldn’t be here today,” explains Nuesi, who currently resides in San Francisco, California.
She admits that managing being the CEO of Max Up and a Financial Analyst for Google in San Francisco involves time and priority management. Nuesi has three different calendars, a personal, business, business Max Up, and she follows the calendar by heart. She avoids burnout by understanding what adds productivity to her life and career, and trying to accommodate enough time to self-care.
Although, time and priority management are extremely important. She struggles with finding ways to say no, “because I like to help people as much as possible, sometimes I overload myself,” Nuesi insisted, who is constantly working on herself, while focusing on her different endeavors including being a LinkedIn content creator.
LinkedIn content creator
The LinkedIn content creator focuses on maximizing her own potential by creating content that improves her communication skills, and love for technology.
Stephanie uses LinkedIn to show others’ how an immigrant, a first-generation graduate, Generation-Z is able to “speak in front of masses and be a voice for all the first-gen low income immigrants out there. Even if I have an accent, even if it takes me years, I will do it.”
In only one year, Stephanie has spoken in over 10 countries all while recently becoming fluent in English. In the last seven months, the Dominican born and raised was asked to speak in Australia, the UK, India, Canada, the U.S., among others.
Nuesi has an impressive following in the platform with more than 160,000 followers, hosted over 50 LinkedIn Lives, reached over 50 million views, landed more than 20 paid brand deals, with the biggest being Spotify.
Recently becoming a keynote speaker at UBS, an investment bank in Wall Street and last week, she was the youngest keynote speaker at the biggest American Institute of certified Public Accountants (AICPA) student conference in the U.S—a conference she attended as a student in 2019.
Stephanie continues to excel and her strides don’t go unnoticed with the New York State Assembly and the Dominican Republic Consulate recognizing her efforts by providing the Outstanding Young Leader award a few weeks ago.
“For us to create that culture in the future generation, we need to be sponsors, opening doors and unlocking opportunities for them, and that is the American dream for me,” concluded Stephanie.
“Learning everything from scratch felt like going back in time. So that’s why I have so much respect for all those first-gens out there. For everyone who leaves their home to find new opportunities. It’s not easy. It’s way harder than what people think. And we still get it done,” emphasized Nuesi.