This post is a journal for LaCharra McCalister as she complete a 12-week internship for Lifetrack Resources' Training Programs. LaCharra is working with the Customer Service Training, Innovative Packaging Solutions' Call Center and the computer lab through the Broadband Access Project.
6/24: My last day at Lifetrack's BAP lab was bittersweet. I was so happy that I completed the Transitional Work Experience program, but sad to be leaving. I learned so much during my weeks in the program. I feel that I have attained so many skills while being here that I don't see any reason to have trouble finding a job. My overall experience in this program is great, better than great, liberating.
6/17: Today I am working on my "what if plan." As in... What if I get a stable full time job? Or what if my car breaks down? Or what if my kid gets sick? Or what if I get sick? Or what if my kids don't have school that day? What am I going to do? That's what I am working on today.
6/16: I'm working hard on trying to get my typing speed up as well as finding employment. That's my plan for today.
6/15: Today was great for me! My grandma came to the lab. I got to teach her all about a computer, how it works and at least enough knowledge to be able to buy a laptop and be able to use it. Now when she goes back to Texas she can Skype with me and the kids. So for me a all around good day.
6/9: Today I am working on getting the BAP bulletin boards done in the lab. My goal is to give the BAP lab an "up-do" before my internship is over. I think that using bright colors and big bubble letters will help grab people's attention and in turn we will be helping give some valuable information to the clients. A win-win for me.
6/2: Today I helped out in the BAP lab with a career training class. It was different because none of them spoke English and I had to find other ways for us to try and communicate. It went well I think.
6/1: Today was all about making curriculum for the girls in the YWCA yap programs and making it something fun that they would love to learn. I get a lot of enjoyment out of being able to pass on some of my knowledge to someone else.
5/25: Today I have two interviews. I am hoping something good comes out of them. I have been working on my interview skills and trying to prepare myself. My goal for today is to stay calm and breathe.
5/24: Today I am giving the BAP lab an update. I'm trying to make the space more appealing to the eye as well as give the clients a little more help and information when they come.
5/23: Today I got all of my school stuff together as well as all of my testing done. I am so happy to be back in school and back on track to getting my diploma. I am ready to earn my diploma and get a higher paying job.
5/20: Today in TWE class it was all about questions employers ask you in an interview. It was a little crazy to me. I never knew how much you should prepare yourself for an interview and how important it is to research the company you have applied for. So some stats on interviews: only 10% of the interview is about your qualifications, 25% is appearance, 25% is communication skills and 40% is your attitude. Crazy, right? That's what I was thinking in TWE class today.
5/19: Today was all about job search for me. I'm finding that sometimes it may be a bit harder to find a job within the PCA field and a bit easier to find a customer service job. So at this point I am all about regrouping and trying some new things out. My TWE program is giving me so much experience in the job field that I am just hoping something comes up soon. My goal is to not get discouraged and to keep going. But sometimes it's hard to stay so positive when nothing is coming up in my search for a job. So my goal for today is to stay positive.
5/18: Today I learned a lot about cyberbullying and how hard that can be on our youth today. Some of the best things in the world come from our computers and the knowledge we get from them. It's even harder to think that our children are growing up with this intense knowledge of computers and technology. They may not all be using this technology in the best way and sometimes our kids can really get hurt from the stuff they read or see on the computers. I feel that as a community we have to make our youth more aware of what can happen online and what they should do to stop or prevent it from happening to them.
5/17: Today was all about me understanding that I may not always be able to fix every problem. I must accept the fact that I may not always be right. Sometimes I feel when it comes to customer service that the client always expects you to have all the answers and if you don't, sometimes they just give you the ugliest look, like "why are you working here?" and "you have no clue as to what you are talking about." My day today was a trip to say the least. My goal for this job is to become the best I can possibly be doing and to perfect all of my skills while doing it.
5/16: Today I learned about copyrights. I learned that in order to use information from the web, I have to cite my source. I also learned that if I was to buy a CD online, burn it, and give it to a friend that that would be against the law. That is called copyright infringement.
5/13: Today was about my customer service skills and how my teaching method can impact the way someone will pick up and learn something. I feel that I learned how to communicate with people in ways that I have never tried before in order for them to pick up and really grasp what I am saying. So today was all about other ways of communicating with people.
5/12: I have been learning a lot about computers and computer programs since I started my internship here at Lifetrack and the BAP lab. I have also been getting a lot of experience working with resumes.
5/10: Today I learned a lot about resumes and cover letters. Cool day. I learned what is and is not acceptable.
5/9: Today I learned a lot about computers and how they upgrade all the time just as cell phones do. If I was to buy a computer today, in six months they will be a faster or better computer. The goal to buying a computer that is great for you is to stay in your price range.
5/3: Today was a great day as an intern. I got to prove myself as an employee and show how helpful I can be with the clients. It's a rewarding feeling to be able to answer questions and help out so many different types of people.
5/2: Today I learned a little bit about computer servers and cloud servers. I also learned that the more people you have visit one site, like Facebook, the more servers you will need. This is why cloud servers come in and how helpful they are to small companies.
4/28: Today I learned a little bit about customer service feedback and how important that is. The only way to improve your service and become more able to meet their expectations is to get feedback from them on what they feel the company could improve on in order to meet and surpass the client’s standards.
4/27: Today I learned a little bit about troubleshooting a computer and what steps to take when trying to get the BAP lab back up and running.
4/26: Today I learned a lot about Excel. Keep in mind that I had never used Excel before coming to intern at this job. At first I felt overwhelmed and just knew I would never be able to operate this program. After a short overview of the program I feel much better about what I need to be doing and I am happy! It’s kind of funny that learning about a program made my whole day! Funny, right? It didn’t even take ice cream.
4/25: Today at Lifetrack I learned a lot about customer service. I found that even when you are a little upset you still have to smile and keep your interactions with customers positive. I have applied a very old phrase that my mom told me when I was young. “Give a man a fish and you'll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime.” This is what I feel Lifetrack and the Broadband Access Project are doing for our community. They are teaching our community to “fish” through technology. This program is such a blessing to our community. I'm just so honored to have a small part in it.
4/22: Today in class we talked about networking and how important it is to get out, to meet people and to sell myself. One of my job coaches told me that only about 5% of jobs are found on the Internet. Most jobs are found through networking and personal contacts. This tells me that I have to be personable and able to sell myself and, of course, to be respectful to everyone I meet. I never know who may be my next employer or who can help me out. I could be sitting next to someone on the bus and find my next job lead. So for this weekend, my goal is to get out and meet people, get contacts and work on my networking skills.
4/21: I finally started working on some of my data entry projects today. I’m trying hard to keep my fingers on the home row when I type!
4/20: Today I took an Advanced Excel Class. This was my first time using Excel but I learned a lot, like how to make a pivot table!
4/19: I met the trainer from Wells Fargo who teaches our Personal Finance workshops. I even got to sit in on the class about Buying a Home and learned about different types of mortgages.
4/18: On my first day I went through orientation for our computer lab. I learned how to help a lab user fill out an intake and I learned about a program I can use to improve my typing speed.
About This Blog
At Your Service is a dialogue about customer service best practices and star customer service businesses in the Twin Cities. This blog is maintained through Lifetrack Resources’ Customer Service Training program, which prepares jobseekers to provide exceptional service to local companies.
Authors of the post are the program’s Trainer and its students. We encourage local employers to join us in these conversations!
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