As Ekram Sakhta pursues her dream of becoming a Brigham nurse, she has been eager to soak up any career guidance she can find. So, when invited to an event that offered the chance to meet with a member of the Brigham’s Human Resources (HR) team, receive feedback on her resume and discuss career goals, she jumped on the opportunity.
This was not the first time that Sakhta, who is pursuing a nursing degree at Simmons University and working per diem as a unit coordinator in the Shapiro Cardiovascular Center, has found a helping hand at the Brigham. She is an alumna of the Student Success Jobs Program (SSJP), which partners with select Boston-area public high schools to foster the next generation of talented, diverse health care workers.
A program of the Brigham’s Center for Community Health and Health Equity (CCHHE), SSJP matches high school students with mentors and paid internships across the institution. Alumni of the program continue to receive support as they enter college and the professional world through individual mentorship and events such as the recent career workshop.
The Jan. 9 event Sakhta attended in Carrie Hall brought together nearly 25 SSJP alumni with members of HR’s Talent Acquisition team who volunteered their time. In one-on-one and group meetings, HR staff offered career guidance and shared tips for resume writing, searching for and applying to jobs, preparing for interviews and more. Following the event, staff and SSJP alumni mingled in the Fish Rotunda at 15 Francis St. for networking with senior leaders from the Brigham and Mass General Brigham.
“The Brigham has been my rock ever since I joined SSJP during sophomore year of high school,” Sakhta said. “Every step of the way, I have received so much support from SSJP and my mentors here. Having the chance to sit down with HR staff and review my resume was very helpful, and I am looking forward to keeping in touch with them as I begin to look for job opportunities.”
Feels Like Home
Pamela Audeh, CCHHE’s program director of Youth Development and Economic Advancement, has known some SSJP alumni since they were in elementary school due to their participation in CCHHE youth programs. To witness these graduates come back to the Brigham with their resume in hand was a special moment, she said.
“Our students are very dedicated, and to see their ambition and drive is inspiring,” Audeh said. “For many of them, they grew up at the Brigham, so events like these offer them an opportunity to come back to a place that feels like home. It’s heartwarming to see them translate the experience they had at the hospital onto a resume.”
Michael Mirabile, Talent Acquisition manager in HR, was among the staff who volunteered at the SSJP event. He met with SSJP alumni to discuss their career paths and offer feedback on their resumes and cover letters.
“It was really exciting to meet the students and learn from each of them about their career goals and aspirations,” Mirabile said. “The job search process can be overwhelming, so we are here to help coach these students, listen to them and provide advice.”
Many SSJP participants are interested in pursuing a career at the Brigham once they finish school, and Mirabile said it’s a goal for his team to help the students identify how they might be able to grow within the system.
HR is also working to raise awareness about SSJP and its students so that hiring managers throughout the Mass General Brigham system are aware of this unique talent pool that brings Brigham experience to entry-level positions.
“This collaborative approach links our skilled, diverse SSJP alumni to roles that enable them to contribute to exceptional patient care at Brigham Health,” said Michelle Keenan, CCHHE’s senior director of Health Equity and Social Innovation. “I can think of no better way to live out our organizational values and realize our goal to contribute to a healthier community and world.”
Hiring managers and employees interested in becoming a mentor or volunteer for CCHHE youth programs can contact Pamela Audeh at firstname.lastname@example.org.