NAILED IT! Employment!
Every now and then a student just nails it. I mean nails it!
My vocational training students are job hunting and I am working with the team of teachers to setup 80 hour unpaid internships at hotels, bars and restaurants so that my students can get their foot in the door, get some more training, and get a positive professional recommendation for their resume (if not convert that internship into fixed work).
Kathy, the A Ganar program coordinator, in a stroke of genius sent each student to an assigned business with their resume and instructed them to get some face-time with the manager. The idea behind this was that the students would hear, “no” and the world wouldn’t end.
Impressively, one 17 year old student went to a restaurant, spoke with manager in a very mature manner, explained her training (instead of focusing on her lack of experience) and got an interview. The next day, she showed up 15 minutes early, she could tell that the manager wanted her during the interview. He proposed a schedule of 5 days per week and a monthly salary of RD$7,000 (USD $161).
The normal minimum wage is RD$8,000 but she is a minor so it would be really good money for her and her family! Remember, my students aren’t “well off.”
Instead of taking the first offer, she asks, “Does that include tips?” And the manager responded that it did. She then respectfully declined his offer and thanked him for his time.
“Wait, wait, wait. Ok, you can keep the tips.”
She then asked, “What is the average take home for daily tips?”
(YES! This is text book. Text book! You would be amazed at how often my students take the first offer. They have felt hunger and a job offer, no matter how one sided, often seems like the assurance that they won´t go to bed without supper.)
300 – 700 pesos!
Wait. My 17 year old student just went from RD$7,000. To RD$7,000 plus (300 tips x 20 days/month = 6,000) to (700 tips x 20 days/month = 14,000)!
Meaning that she could be taking home a monthly salary of RD$13,000 (USD$300) to RD$21,000 (USD$485)! That might be more than her parents make. That is way more than your favorite Peace Corps Volunteer makes.
Ladies and gentleman, in the Dominican Republic, that is enough to go to college, grow as an empowered and financially independent woman, support a family and get a modest house in a few years! Plus, she´ll probably be able to improve her English.
She is my student, I helped teach her that strategy, I am so proud.
By the way, all of this resulted from walking into a business cold (with no introduction or phone call).