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One family, three careers at Partners HealthCare

Career and Education Guide

One family, three careers at Partners HealthCare
(L-R) Karen Jones and her sons Kyle and Zachary Cox.

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One email set two brothers on their pathways to career success at Partners HealthCare.

Karen Jones had been working in Information Systems at Partners HealthCare for a few years when she saw a systemwide email about the Partners in Career and Workforce Development Program (PCWD), a free job training and internship program. She immediately thought of her son Zachary Cox and forwarded it to him.

Not only did that email engage Zachary in PCWD, but it eventually hooked his brother Kyle Cox too.

Three years later, the Jones-Cox trio is keeping Partners in their family: Karen and Zachary work in Partners Information Systems and Kyle is a patient services coordinator at Massachusetts General Hospital.

“Before PCWD, I did a lot of soul searching and knew that I wanted to work in a career that helped people,” Zachary said. “My mother had suggested I look into working at a hospital, so I did, and then it became a matter of how I get to work there.” That’s where PCWD came in and provided Zachary the opportunity to walk away from his job in retail and begin his career in health care.

The PCWD program is a free eight-week program that includes classes about customer service skills, office computer skills, financial literacy, resume writing, interview skills and internships. The program is open to any eligible applicant interested in an entry level position in a Partners hospital.

Not only did PCWD teach Zachary what he needed to know about working in a health care setting, it also taught him a lot about himself. “The best thing I learned about [was] my own strengths and weaknesses. I wasn’t aware of them before and now I have the ability to hear from others what I need to work on to be a good employee. It was a pinnacle growth point in my career and in my life in general,” Zachary said.

That growth has included: a part-time temporary position after finishing PCWD, a full-time, two-year stint at Massachusetts General Hospital in pre-admission testing and his current full-time position at Partners Information Systems, as well as plans to enroll in college.

All the while Zachary was participating in PCWD, he kept telling his brother Kyle how great it was and that he should give it a try too.

That was 2011. Kyle had taken a break from school and was living in North Carolina. At first he wasn’t interested in applying to the program, but he soon decided that the job he had wasn’t going to offer him the opportunity he wanted, so he applied to PCWD and was accepted.

“The biggest thing that PCWD did for me was boost my confidence,” Kyle said. “Even though I hadn’t finished school yet, the program showed me I could still get a good job in a good workplace.”

After completing the training and internship program, Kyle soon secured a full-time temporary role at MGH that evolved into the full-time permanent position where he works today.

“With the type of working I’m doing now, I know I am doing something good every day and can go home at night and look myself in the mirror knowing that I helped people,” Kyle said.

Both brothers say they would recommend PCWD to anyone interested in a career in health care, and so does their mom. “What I like about the program is that it truly does offer meaningful employment at a living wage. And once you get a job there are so many opportunities to improve yourself, learn more skills and to become more valuable to the organization,” Karen said.

The Partners in Career and Workforce Development program has three sessions a year. It is a collaboration between Partners Community Health, Partners Human Resources and Human Resources at Partners hospitals.

Visit to learn more about the program.