How Jones alumni is taking advantage of remote work

Alumni takes gap year, working remotely from Mexico

With COVID-19 changing what his college experience would be this year, Caín Yépez ‘18 decided to take a gap year from Brown University in Providence, RI.

Yépez realized that because of COVID-19, his experience at Brown this year would be very different. This prompted him to land a job as an analyst at a venture capital firm where he has been working remotely from locations all over North America.  

“A lot of what makes the college experience is the people and having so many restrictions where you can’t see people and socialize would completely kill the value of a college education for me,” Yépez said. 

Like many Americans, Yepez has spent the pandemic working remotely. He has gotten the opportunity to travel and work from places across the globe.

 He spent two months in Quito, Ecuador, and has recently arrived in Mexico City where he is under quarantine and waiting to get a COVID test. He plans to spend the next two months there and then go and work from Brazil. 

“During my gap year I have been working 60-70% on my job and 30% on stuff that I like doing.” Yépez said. “I work really intensely during the week and then on weekends I have completely off.”

Yépez has taken precautions when travelling and is mostly spending his weeks working in his rented apartment and venturing out and exploring the city he is in during the weekends. Additionally, Yepez has been able to see positive parts of the pandemic and take advantage of his work being remote by travelling and working from different countries. 

“Getting to travel on weekends has really expanded my perspective on the world and being a world traveler really gives you a more complete view of what the world is like, said Yépez. “It’s definitely helped me become more of a global citizen and understand people from different backgrounds.”

Yépez attended Jones from 2014 to 2018 and said Jones did a good job of preparing him for college. He took the AP Capstone program and found it extremely useful as it taught him how to read articles, question things, and develop critical thinking skills. 

While at Brown, Mr. Yépez took Economic Analysis of Political Behavior. He found the course similar to AP Capstone, just with more of an economic focus. AP Capstone prepared Yépez so well for this course that when he turned in the final draft for his paper, his professor said that it was already up to the highest of standards. 

During his Sophomore year at Jones, Yépez was in Mr. Grossman’s American Literature class. 

“In my class, I taught Caín how to conduct that kind of analysis of literature, not in terms of micro or Macroeconomics, but looking at class and power as a framework for understanding characters and drama,” Grossman, who also went to Brown, said. “His desire to improve his writing probably prepared him for college.”

While he was a student at Jones, Yépez founded Bridge Tutoring alongside fellow Jones student Armando Pizano ‘18. However, When he first came to Jones, Yépez felt unprepared, both culturally and academically.
“I started this organization because I wanted to help kids who came from communities like I did and help address systemic issues within the Chicago school system,” Yépez said. “Having a really underfunded stereotypical intercity school education and then going to a really well-funded top school, I started to notice systemic differences in the way that education worked.” 

The current president of Bridge Tutoring is Freddy Rodriguez, who is a senior at Jones. Rodriguez went to a dual-lingual school in Pilsen where he was taught everything in Spanish. When he came to Jones, he struggled with the language barrier and benefited from the help his teachers gave him to overcome this barrier. 

“Having that support of someone mentoring and helping you is the best way to support you so I wanted to do something similar and help other students and Bridge Tutoring is a way for me to do that,” Rodriguez said. 

“They [meaning Yépez and the other founders of Bridge Tutoring] implemented this culture that you really had to be dedicated and you really had to put everything into it and make Bridge Tutoring a priority.” 

Yépez intends to go into the business sector and wants to either work as a management consultant for a few years and then go into venture capital or start his own company.

“Right now I have the opportunity to not go back to Brown and land a full time job in venture capital and a lot of that is because I have been creating my opportunities and creating the world I want to live in, said Yépez. “So understanding that there’s no limits in life and the only limits are the ones you put on yourself really allows you to reach your full potential.”