As a student intern at LSI in the immigrant and refugee program for childcare business development, I conducted home visits, created emergency plans for the provider to give DHS, and provided background checks for fingerprinting in the office. I also helped set up insurance bank accounts, and line up transportation for interpreters and clients. I worked directly with DHS to help get active clients paid for their work for childcare.
During my internship, the greatest accomplishment I achieved with working with such a vastly diverse community. I grew up in Iowa, went to Iowa State, and was not directly in the line of diversity. Working with this group of people was very intimidating because almost none of my coworkers or clients spoke English, and that was a challenge I had to overcome. Once I understood how to communicate with them, I learned many things about different cultures and languages.
The greatest lesson I learned from this experience is that people want your help regardless of how they treat you. It wasn't easy at times to work with clients who did not see you as their equal. Learning how to communicate with them in a positive light, though, helped me understand how to help people from all walks of life.
What advice would you give?
Take the jump. My internship was very much out of my comfort zone. I had a difficult time at first as I had to do a lot of listening before I understood how to properly help. Sometimes, you have to be patient to receive the reward for your hard work. There is always more that you want to do, but sometimes, you can only do so much with the resources you have.