“You have to do what you like, not what you are good at” says Leny, quoting one of his favorite writers, Malcolm Gladwell, “I think MSG gives you the skills and tools to be successful at what you like. They have tons of skills for people that are struggling with interviewing, struggling with getting jobs and struggling with getting ahead in life.”
In 2011, after getting married, Leny moved from the Dominican Republic to the US to join his wife. With some college studies under his belt, and working towards a career in the medical field in the Dominican Republic, he chose to move in a different direction and rebuild his career from scratch. His new circumstances forced him into a low-paying cleaning job at his local church. Fortunately, his wife was able to become a citizen in 2013, allowing Leny to receive his green card and to begin his search for better employment opportunities. This also happened to be the year that Leny’s first son, Lucas, was born; now a smart 5-year-old who can read in both Spanish and English.
In 2014, Leny secured his first official job, a 5-month temporary position with Columbia University as a porter; however, once the position came to a close, he found it almost impossible to find new employment. When asked why he said that every time he would go to an interview, he would feel scared and unprepared for the tricky questions that would be put forward. And so, because of his lack of confidence, the opportunities he wanted evaded him and left him unemployed. This was when he decided to seek the help of MSG at the end of 2014. He hoped to overcome the constant stream of rejections and acquire the skills to land a full-time position. Leny credits his experience at MSG with changing his life. He gained confidence, created compelling answers to tough interview questions, armed himself with a proper resume and cover letter, and even mastered the skill of eye-contact. Overall, he feels the organization gave him the tools he needed to succeed, helping to push his career in the right direction.
With MSG’s assistance, Leny was able to land his first permanent position as a cleaning supervisor with FEDCAP where he led a team of 3-6 people. He trained them to make sure all of their responsibilities were satisfactorily fulfilled, as well as walked them through daily briefing sessions. Leny continued to work with MSG as he moved on to further career opportunities both through the MTA and a permanent position at Columbia University where he currently works.
This allowed him to receive a free education through their 32BJ union program, and currently, he is enrolled at Hostos Community College with the aim of completing coursework in “Facilities Management Administration” by the end of the year. Not only will this education help him to secure a long-term career he can feel proud of, but working for Columbia has benefits including financial support for his kids’ music and sports lessons. Leny says that his ultimate goal is to become a successful resident manager and continue to provide a better future for him and his family. He has also recently received his citizenship in 2018. Now the door of opportunity is wide open for him and the staff at MSG couldn’t be more thrilled. When Leny first moved to the U.S., it was with a vision of what life here could be, and now, after years of hard work, that vision is becoming a reality.