We were very blessed this summer to have Rachel Wall as our summer student at MCS! Her time with us has come to an end, but if you’re curious as to what her experiences were like this summer, please have a look below to see what Rachel had to say about her time here.
We wish Rachel all the best as she continues her studies this fall!
Rachel says:“Over the last three months as a summer student for Mennonite Community Services, I have experienced the most rewarding, multi-faceted job experience of my life. First, I am so thankful for this opportunity and have grown tremendously in my time here. Each day, I anticipated working in these offices full of smiling faces and serving hearts that eagerly answered my many questions. Thank you all for your patience and encouragement.
Since my time was shared between two offices, I think the best way to summarize everything I worked on this summer would be to walk you through a typical week for me at MCS:
MONDAY: Monday mornings I spent in the quiet Resource Centre, doing research on the history of MCS with the goal of writing a book about where MCS has come since opening as an MCC office in 1977. As a complete newcomer to MCS’s beginnings, I spent hours reading books on MCC’s work in Ontario and searching through almost forty years of meeting minutes to learn how MCS has developed into an organization that truly “link[s] resources with needs.” Throughout all the struggles, MCS’s heart to help and strengthen the community has been evident throughout the last thirty-eight years.
TUESDAY-WEDNESDAY: On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I went down the street to work at Aylmer Community Services. I had so much fun doing whatever projects Susan, Stefanie, and the other ACS employment workers had for me to do. From organizing supply closets to decorating bulletin boards and designing posters, each of these non-typical office tasks allowed me to express my creativity while helping ACS run more smoothly. Working at the front desk allowed me to improve my customer service skills, and my first major project of creating/updating a binder of volunteer opportunities, opened my eyes to the unique opportunities for service available in our diverse community. Each day brought a new opportunity to learn more about the services offered through ACS and how my gifts could help it function.
THURSDAY-FRIDAY: Every Thursday and Friday were spent at the Resource Centre. My main task was to assist Anni and Helen with passport applications and new born registrations for newcomers, mostly in Low German. As a very comfortable English-speaker with limited Low German, the learning curve for these tasks was steep, but wrestling with my Low German helped me empathize with the newcomers facing a similar struggle with English. The daily encouragement from Anni, Helen, Andrea, Cornelius, Margaret, and the clients gave me enough confidence to stumble through the first couple applications until I could do them in my sleep! I also got a chance to work at the often-busy reception desk, developing my interpersonal relationship skills and multi-tasking abilities. If you want a challenge, try doing normal office tasks in a new language wink emoticon.
In all these positions and in my brief experience with FESPA and the store, I learned the importance of the work MCS is doing in this community. In every aspect of the organization, those who have knowledge, time, and resources are selflessly sharing with those who need it. I am honored to have been a part of it this summer.”