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Our Stories: Spotlights

Intern: Mai

Intern: Mai

Finding Familiarity in the Work

“Immediately, I noticed I had a lot in common with job seekers,” says former Daily Work social work intern Mai (pronounced “My”), who immigrated to Minnesota from Laos in 2010. “Moving to another country, learning English, looking for a job, caring for my family, and going to school is very hard.” 

From May–December 2020, Mai provided one-to-one services to job seekers. Her internship was a partnership between Daily Work and Metropolitan State University, which is one of several social work programs of local schools that partner with us. As part of these partnerships, DW offers training and oversight by a licensed social worker, while students provide case management services. Job seekers benefit from the passionate support of interns like Mai, and students gain skills, prepare for careers in social work, and fulfill graduation requirements. And given her life experiences, Mai had a special connection with many of her cases.

I like talking to you. You understand me and what I’m going through.

~Job Seeker to Mai

“Student interns are a key part of Daily Work’s identity as an organization,” says Executive Director Julie Hoff. “Their energy and experiences bring a fresh perspective to everything we do. Plus, helping students apply the knowledge, values, and skills of the social work profession at Daily Work prompts us to manifest those principles every day.” 

For Mai, the internship provided the training and confidence she needed to launch her social work career. “I’m much more comfortable talking with different people and navigating systems,” she states. In fact, one of her job interviews included a mock scenario that required Mai to write case notes. “I was nervous, but I wrote a lot of case notes at Daily Work.” 

After the second interview, JusticePoint, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of evidence-informed criminal justice programs, practices, and policies, offered Mai a position as a Pretrial Case Manager. She started in July 2021. “There is a lot to learn, but I’m ready,” Mai declares.

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