Prior to arriving at MSG in January 2016, Rosemond Mensah had been out of work for six years, and was eager to get back to it. She had worked in private home care until her patient passed away, and also had a baby of her own. While she was ready to get back into the workforce, she wasn’t quite sure what to pursue, or how to go about it.
“My husband always asked me what I wanted to do,” Rosemond recalled. “So I made up my mind, after six years: I wanted to go to culinary school!”
She heard about West Side Campaign Against Hunger’s free, 12-week Chef Training Program, and excitedly applied. After her training program, she was referred to Madison Strategies Group to get support in looking for and achieving a job in the culinary field that would utilize her recent training.
MSG staff helped Rosemond practice her interview techniques, with particular emphasis on highlighting her strengths and transferrable skills. Her trainer taught her “how to go on an interview, talk boldly, look straightforward– Most of us had no idea!” she said. “The trainer let us know and understand that you have to say exactly what is on your resume and know yourself because you are the resume. We really learned a lot from MSG’s training.” Rosemond was referred to food preparer positions at several different hospitals, including Mount Sinai, and staff assisted her in the online application process.
“I’m not too good with the computer,” Rosemond says, “so when I went to the library something got messed up with my password. I came to MSG to fix it, and they helped me go on Mount Sinai’s website. [Soon after,] I got an email from Mount Sinai– They said to come in for an interview the next day!”
Rosemond was nervous, but MSG staff offered support and coaching “‘Rosemond, just go and do your best!’” Rosemond recalled MSG staff encouraging her. After an interview in which she was prepared to answer behavioral interview questions about how she would handle different situations at work, Rosemond got the job, and began working as a Food Preparer in March 2016, a position that pays almost $17 an hour and comes with excellent benefits.
The position has been a dream for Rosemond so far. “I love it,” she says. “I love learning about different food, they have a lot different foods here with different names. It’s not only serving, you also learn– We always meet before we serve to talk about things, and the chef will introduce something new.”
In addition to the culture of learning and growth, Rosemond is also putting her work ethic to the test. “Being there, I work so hard! Like, I don’t play!” she says. “I was hired part-time but I’m always available and grateful for the hours.” It turns out that due to her work ethic, Rosemond often works over 40 hours a week, and is now a part of the union. “They have many chances to go through anything, whatever you want to do, go to school, transfer to any other department, you have access to move on in life.”
Rosemond is looking forward to continuing her hard work at Mount Sinai, and pursuing opportunities for growth and advancement within the hospital with MSG by her side.
“The reason why I love MSG is it’s not like when you get a job they just leave you there. The staff still communicate with you, they help you to manage your money [via financial coaching and other resources], and more. And also, when you get a job, if you lose it, whatever happens, they’ll still help you to find something new. You stick to them and they never leave you.”