This month, we’re profiling a member of our outstanding temporary staff with a full Q&A about her experience in Chicago working with North Bridge and our clients.
Mary Clare Semler is a graduate of Georgetown who’s working with us as an associate this summer before she returns to Columbia University to pursue her Master’s degree in Social Work; eventually, she’d like to be a licensed clinical social worker and family therapist.
What brought you to Chicago, and how has your experience been thus far?
I moved to Chicago for the summer because I had never been here before and I was looking to explore and experience new things while saving money for school. I was having difficulty securing a summer job on my own and reached out to North Bridge, and North Bridge had me working within a week of my interview. They’re the reason that I was able to stay in Chicago and support myself over the summer.
I love this city so much that I would definitely stay if I didn’t have to return to school!
What was your previous work experience? And what’s your feeling about temping, now that you’ve done it?
Within smaller non-profit or health care settings. By temping, it’s been valuable for me to be exposed to a wide range of other industries and professional settings. I highly recommend temp work for anyone who wants to gain exposure and skills, or to anyone who’s not sure about what field they’d like to pursue.
Do you have any other advice for temporary associates, or someone who is looking for employment?
The best advice I’ve received is to not be afraid to ask for feedback if you’re told you haven’t been picked for a position. I learned a great deal about my personal style of communication by asking for constructive criticism, and that’s helped me improve my interview skills.
What are some goals you’re aiming to accomplish?
First, to finance my graduate education, while still finding opportunities to travel, which is my favorite thing in the world. Temping has helped me save toward a trip to Santiago, Guatamala, this December, where my sister and I will be counseling at a camp for individuals with disabilities. Improving my Spanish is another goal, too, both for travel and for my social work practice.
My summer goal was to train for the Chicago Rock N’ Roll half marathon, which I ran last weekend!
What’s been your favorite part of working at different job sites?
Being new to the city, I have learned so much about Chicago and the “must see” sites just from talking with people at different companies. People have definitely gone out of their way to welcome me and help me out at each visit and they really could not be nicer overall. I was always made to feel welcome and appreciated at each site.
I also love the fact that I have worked in some of the buildings that I learned about on the boat tour. It’s cool to me to work in such historical buidlings. Traveling to different sites has really helped me to learn and appreciate the city.