Corporate Social Responsibility
Team Synpulse USA, Corporate Social Responsibility – CEO Event
Team Synpulse participated in the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) event organized by New York Cares. This event was about training and preparing previously incarcerated people with interview skills to help them receive employment opportunities.
The event first started with a briefing by Carole Kessie who was the lead event organizer for this project. She informed all the volunteers participating that we would be training two people in the allotted time. To ensure we were fully prepared, we were given helpful guidelines and tips prior to the training.
Throughout the training, we touched on proper etiquette, appropriate mannerisms, and how to answer tough interview questions. All the participants were eager to learn to new skills and to improve upon their technique. Their ambition and drive to get a job was impressive, and it was clear that they appreciated the help.
This event helped each one of us to do our bit for the society and help better the community we live and work in. We were able to help those who were formally incarcerated to increase their chances of finding employment opportunities and, ultimately, a better life. The New York Cares foundation strives to continually help people of all different backgrounds get back into society and assists with the process of getting certifications, which lead to better jobs. It is our hope and goal that our participation will go a long way in shaping up the lives of these people.
Though each volunteer had a different experience, we all found the event rewarding and are looking forward to future opportunities and events like this. To learn more about our experience at the CEO event, read the quotes from the Synpulse USA team below.
«The mock interview experience with CEO left me feeling bittersweet. On the one hand, I’m glad that I was able to help two people improve their interviewing skills so they can get jobs. However, what left me a little sad was how they both really ask for so little. The guy I worked with, loved his old job of cleaning the ovens at Quality Eats because he was able to eat some of the leftover food. The girl I worked with just wanted a job in retail with no drama. I had to explain to her that workplace harassment includes emotional harassment and she should not accept jobs where she’s not feeling safe. Yet, the social stigma of having gone to prison leaves them both with few options and only in programs like CEO, can they have a real shot at another chance. Overall, I’m glad we did this event and personally, I think I will do this again whenever I get the chance.»
- Shuchen Lin
«It feels good to be able to help but I wish there were more resources available to support the CEO clients. Something like a skills assessment to find the right job to make an employee happy (and therefore stay longer) paired with a long-term mentor program (6-12 months) would go a long way in making sure CEO clients feel like they have a support system. On top of that basic interview prep and etiquette is something they never learned, and a little time spent on it goes a long way. Lastly positive feedback was really well received, as I encouraged the people I worked with I noticed their confidence growing. Every time we practiced “telling me their story” they felt better, smoother, and more self-assured. The fact that I could see so much improvement in such a short period of time shows me that this is working there just needs to be follow through. I thought this was a nice experience and is something I would happily consider again in the future.»
- Jesse Karasin
«It felt great to help the previously incarcerated people with their interview preparation in getting better jobs. I appreciate the work done by the New York Cares team as well and for giving us a chance to work with them and do our bit for the society. I wish there would be more emphasis on better job opportunities and to train them to be more ambitious. It would go a long way in helping them lead better lives and get into an environment where they could contribute more to the society and provide a better life for their family. I think the whole experience was very positively received by the people and it clearly showed that they were there to learn and be successful in what they did. They also felt more confident after speaking to us and after having their questions and concerns answered. I think it was a positive experience for me and something I would happily volunteer to do again in the future.»
- Veeraj Gadda
«During the interview training sessions, I was able to draw on my own experiences to help two people who were recently incarcerated prepare for upcoming job interviews. It was inspiring to see how motivated they were and committed to putting a bad life experience behind and move forward. I am so glad that we from Synpulse were able to help them even just a little bit on this journey.»
- Sanya Thapa
«I had an amazing experience during this event. It felt really good to help someone get back on their feet and start over. It gave me the chance to interact with people of different background and know their stories.»
- Ankit Pathak
«Conducting mock interviews with 'people re-emerging to the job market' at the Center for Employment Opportunities gave me exposure to a whole different world that is only four minutes from the Synpulse-NYC office. It was very interesting to be given a list of typical interview questions, one that I might share with younger peers, and have to think about answering these from a new perspective. How do you tell your employment history if there is a 10 or 15 year gap? How can one market oneself after being in jail? What I learned is that this both possible and that people are highly motivated given their own set of personal difficulties. I would definitely do this again and am happy Synpulsians could use their professional skills to help give others a second chance.»
- Anika Bahra
«The CEO event was an eye-opening experience. It was inspiring to see all the men and women eager to get back on their feet and move towards creating a better life, not only for themselves, but their family too. Their positive attitude and drive made the process and training very rewarding.»