transcript  Professional Growth: Internships, School, And Opportunity


Professional Growth: Internships, School And Opportunity. The following video features individuals seated in an office conference room speaking to the camera about their experiences with the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind or MCB. They're each talking about the subject of “Professional Growth: Internships, School And Opportunity” services and experiences available to MCB Vocational Rehabilitation or VR clients. Speakers include, in order:

Mayanne MacDonald-Briggs (MCB VR Counselor)
Brittany Taylor (MCB VR Counselor)
Elena Regan (MCB Client)
Brendan Foley (Teacher Of Visually Impaired Students)
Joe Buizon (MCB Employment Services)
Brandon Rollins (MCB Client)
Jimmy Lopez (MCB Client)
Tanja Milojevic (MCB Client)
Richard Curtis (Employer of MCB Clients)



Mayanne MacDonald-Briggs: Once we determine students to be eligible for services under Vocational Rehabilitation, one of the things that we need to do is write an individualized plan for employment.



Brittany Taylor: They're not going to be successfully employed until many years down the road. They're going to have to go through high school, they're going to have to go through college potentially, if that's their goal, some people even graduate school before they are successful in employment.



Elena Regan: I got put in contact with the Polis center. They do a lot of, like, career exploration work, where I got to go to different job sites, learn about all sorts of different careers and actually have some internships, which were really important for me in kind of determining what I want to do with my life.



Mayanne MacDonald-Briggs: So it's finding people that they can speak to in those fields, who happened to be visually impaired and can mentor these students through the college path or whatever.



Brendan Foley: The way Mass Commission for the Blind operates, the availability of their counselors and their opportunities are seriously some of the best in the world, from what I've experienced.



Joe Buizon: They're hearing from past stories that they can resonate more with. They…they go, “Oh, it is possible.” So then I tell them about what's available. What can…what's the next steps? How about internship, apprenticeship, job fairs, informational interviews, and being out there and letting them know that I am talented and I'm also visually impaired coincidentally.



Brandon Rollins: I had some internships that were…that were absolutely incredible. I know the one that I always go back to was the one after I got back from the Carroll Center. And it really was that moment where it's like, okay, I really want to do something in the human services, social work, psychology sort of fields.



Jimmy Lopez: Prior to my first internship, I had never done any interviews, I had never applied to any jobs. So you know, Joe was essential to my success in that area. And after working on my resume, which was the first part of it, we began to look at different jobs and opportunities in the market for internships. And once I applied to some, we began, you know, preparing for the actual interview itself, when throughout all that prep I was able to feel more confident in my ability to interview with people.



Tanja Milojevic: One of the things that MCB really did was helped me with the confidence in that first interview, from learning the proper soft skills, and also showing the interviewer a little bit of my process of how I would get things done. And MCB was very clear with them that they would be able to adapt or create a script for my screen reader that would work with their database to make sure that while I was moving around through the fields and doing the expected tasks, I was able to access that.



Joe Buizon: We have employers that are core partners, i.e. State Street, and they're taking three interns.



Jimmy Lopez: I really worked hard to, you know, to make a positive impression on the team. And at the end of the summer, the manager, he told me, he invited me to another internship for the next year. And I accepted because I was excited. And I was like, “Oh, like I love it here. You know, it's awesome.” And I really did. It was a good experience. I really got to learn a lot about the financial services industry.



Richard Curtis: MCB was very helpful in educating our managers and our workforce and the decision makers going forward. They always had an open door policy of showing the training that they do and some of the technology they did. And they also exposed our managers to other avenues of partnerships that they had. And the companies rely on their expertise when they do have questions for individuals in the workplace, or for future candidates that are coming on that we might not know how to accommodate.



Joe Buizon: So we bring them kind of not just hope, but we give them an action plan that will lead to success.



To learn more about and contact the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, find them online at Or call 800-392-6450.