Post 1: My First Weeks at JVS

Hello! I’m Rebecca Orbach and this summer I am interning at Jewish Vocational Services (JVS) in Refugee Services. JVS’s mission is “to empower individuals from diverse communities to find employment and build careers, while partnering with employers to hire, develop, and retain productive workforces.” In order to do so, they offer 35 different employment-focused programs. These include English classes, career coaching, vocational training programs, and support in completing high school and college degrees. JVS serves refugees, asylees, Haitian and Cuban entrants, and others.

My work has mainly been assisting the career coaches at JVS. I work in a floor full of cubicles along with a few other college interns. Mainly, I assist with job and childcare searches and applications. In addition, I get to work one-on-one with clients to create resumes and cover letters, work on job applications, and conduct mock interviews. I also assist with my department’s weekly intake process during which we enroll new clients, assess their English level, and introduce them to our services.

My work assists our clients step by step in sending out job applications, being invited to interviews, and eventually being offered a job. We help recent immigrants navigate the difficulties that come along with searching for a new job in a new country that speaks a different language from you in an attempt to make the transition into life in the United States as seamless as possible.

By the end of summer, I am hoping to have built real relationships with both the clients I work with and my coworkers. I hope to learn to build strong professional relationships that I am able to rely on for advice and guidance in the future. Similarly, I hope to learn how to build real relationships with the clients I work with. I hope to be able to work with the same clients over and over again in order to learn how to better assist them and to establish a higher level of understanding of one another.

Additionally, I came in to my internship at JVS hoping to gain a better sense of the inner workings of non-profit organizations. I hope to learn about how these important programs were created in the first place and how JVS has been able to grow and expand its services in order to best prepare those it aims to serve. I also aim to better understand the daily functions of non-profit organizations including the challenges they face in terms of funding, staffing, and ever-changing laws that affect who makes up their clientele.

Overall, I have had an incredible experience at JVS so far. Meeting with clients and hearing their experiences and goals have been amazing opportunities to learn from them even while they are supposed to be there to learn from us. I am excited to continue to help our clients in any way that I can in order to help them make new homes in Boston.