This summer, Shepherd Intern and Grissom Scholar Mariama Minteh ’19, an immigrant originally from Edo Town, The Gambia in West Africa, is working as a job search intern with Career Collaborative in Boston, Massachusetts, while shaping her own prospects for a future career.
“We work with unemployed, underemployed, low income, Bostonian and immigrant families alike in helping them secure a permanent full-time job with benefits,” Minteh said.
The Career Collaborative program has three phases, the first being a four-week workshop, which is where Minteh is most involved.
“I sit through the classes where clients learn about resume building, cover letters, how to answer interview questions, search for jobs and the job market,” she explained. “I get to know a little bit about the participants through these sit-ins, and then I assist them in the resource room in building their resumes, cover letters, finding and applying to their target jobs.”
In addition to assisting in the workshop, on Friday, the participants have practice interviews, where she will sometimes serve as an interviewer.
“As an immigrant, I have come to realize how hard it is to get the job you want, yet alone maintain it,” she said.
Minteh continued to explain how the job market in the U.S. is very different from other countries, which makes it even more challenging for immigrants to obtain a job.
She was originally introduced to the collaborative after she was selected as a Shepherd Higher Education on Poverty Consortium Intern, but Minteh is also interested in non-profit work and wanted to learn about the operations of one.
“This internship entails education, immigration, poverty, race and one-on-one interactions with clients, which are all topics that I deeply care about,” she said.
Throughout her internship, the participants Minteh has interacted with have been immigrants, and her personal background has helped her connect with them.
“Having this experience is an opportunity to learn more about the things I have believed I am interested in and confirm if that is really true,” she explained. “In the past month at Career Collaborative, I have learned so many valuable lessons about myself, non-profits, working class poverty, the work force and life in general.”
by Kerry Steinhofer
July 14, 2017