“Growing Up” at Daily Work
By July Zheng, case management intern
When I first came to Daily Work in end of May, 2017 to have my internship interview, I was full of my curiosities toward what Daily Work does and how Daily Work works. It is a totally new concept in my world. I am an international student who comes from China. In my country, we do have some nonprofit agencies, but we don’t have nonprofit agency for helping struggling job seekers find jobs, such as Daily Work. All I know about it is the focus is on helping struggling job seekers find jobs.
After I was accepted as a new Intern at Daily Work, I am starting to know how hard this internship for me. For native English interns or staff, they are growing up here and familiar with American social background, policy and history, they don’t need to spend time on those things. What they need to do is practice learning to be a great social worker to help our job seekers. However, in my situation, I still have more things to learn and “grow up” in Daily Work.
In my country, we don’t have a large number of immigrants, thus most Chinese workforce are native Chinese. In some big international companies and organizations, we do hire some foreign employees who have high-educational level diplomas. However, in jobs where a lot of education is not required, the international diversity of the workforce is very limited, such as cleaners and welders.
After I came to Daily Work, I was starting to know the American workforce is very diverse in different educational levels of jobs. The majority of our job seekers in Daily Work are refugees or immigrants. They come from different cultures and in order to help them with seeking jobs, I have to know about the working environment, requirements, values and the traditions of the U.S. All those things are totally new to me, also they are new to my job seekers who are not growing up here. For example, when we do some initial intake process, there are some words really hard, like “ felony” and “misdemeanor”, I need to explain words to them, but before that I need to be familiar with those words as well.
Some of my job seekers have very limited English and they know little of American traditions and culture. Frankly, we have very similar situation, because America is a new country to me, too. When I try to help them solve some problems, I am also helping myself to explore more knowledge of American culture and traditions. For instance, when I do some job applications for job seekers, I see a question “Do you agree to travel for our company?” “Travel” means working in another state or country for this company. This was a new concept for me. Actually in my appointments with job seekers, I am not educating them, we are learning and growing up together.
As part of that process for me, I am learning from and cooperating with my co-workers. We have a great group, all interns, staff and volunteers are helping each other in order to create a stronger team for job seekers.
For a foreign student who only lives in America for two years, I really appreciate the opportunity of working in Daily Work as a new intern. I can feel Daily Work is more than just a nonprofit agency, it is a second home for struggling job seekers to find a belongingness in U.S. I certainly know how special and different Daily Work is to me.
When you join our team and make some contribution to this agency, such as volunteering or donating, you are helping make big progress for Daily Work growth, our job seekers and interns like me.