DMU students help New York refugees with their interview skills


A group of students from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) have helped refugees to develop their interview skills while volunteering at a New York charity.

17 students have travelled to New York with #DMUlocal, where are they working with refugees and will attend a special Chat Series event at the United Nations headquarters.

Refugee interviews

They spent the morning at a refugee resettlement office at the Catholic Charities Community Service in downtown Manhattan, where they received a presentation about the work of the charity and the situation of refugees in the USA and then conducted mock interviews with refugees living in the city.

The activity was part of DMU’s involvement with the United Nations' #JoinTogether campaign. The university has been asked by the UN to take a lead in engaging universities across the world to find ways of successfully integrating refugees into communities, while spreading messages of tolerance and understanding.

In small groups, the students carried out mock interviews with refugees and provided advice and feedback which could make all of the difference to their applications for jobs and interviews with immigration authorities.

Second year Business and Management student Maya Lad said it was a rewarding experience to work directly with refugees.

“It was a really good experience because we got to see what they’ve been through in order to get to this stage,” she explained.

“From this experience I’ve gained how to relate with refugees and their journey here as well as why they really want a job and the fact that they want to start over with a new life.

“It makes you feel grateful because I’ve been really privileged. It makes me want to help more people in positions like this.”

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Agnes Nzomene Foda, who works at the charity, informed the students about the current situation of refugees in the USA and explained that the primary goal of the Refugee Resettlement Office was to help their clients feel secure and become self-sufficient members of their new community.

Aditya Sharma, a second year Accounting and Business Management student, thought the presentation gave a great insight into the life of refugees in the USA.

He said: “It was a great presentation. It told us about the refugees’ situation within New York and how difficult it has become for them to get the support that they require in order to self-sustain themselves.”

UN tour

The students also took part in a tour of the United Nations headquarters where they were given behind-the-scenes access of the iconic campus.

They will return to the UN on Tuesday when two students, Hamdallat Abdulsalam and George Coyle, will join DMU’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Dominic Shellard in making presentations as part of a special chat series. The event will focus on developing a positive attitude to migration and can be watched live on DMU’s Facebook page from 7.30pm UK time.

Posted on Monday 26th February 2018

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