Myha Truong

The remaining days of my summer internship are dwindling rapidly. And the act of wrapping up my projects and preparing a presentation to the Multilingual Community Interpreter Services’ management and board of directors to debrief them about my experience and projects, has forced me to reflect on the events of the past three months. 

Myha Truong

Based on my own observations, the business school courses that generated the most amount of grumbling amongst the student body were those in organisational behaviour (OB) and human resources management (HRM).

Some students were unhappy with these courses because there was no “right” answer, meaning that grades would be assigned based on subjective rather than objecdtive criteria. Others felt their tuition money and time could be better spent on courses that equipped them with concrete marketable skills, such as learning how to value a company. Finally, there was a subset of students who felt these courses were of little relevance to them since they were already well regarded by their peers and superiors with respect to their leadership abilities. 

Myha Truong

When I meet up with my family and friends whom I have not seen since starting my internship in June, I am invariably asked the question “what aspects of your schooling have you been able to apply to your internship?” 

Myha Truong

My biggest concern for the performance evaluation and measurement framework is its successful implementation. While I can develop a detailed and top-notch implementation plan, it will not succeed if all the necessary ingredients are not in place and the organisation’s actions do not reflect the recommendations contained in the plan. 

Myha Truong

One of the social impact targets that MCIS has is to facilitate the entry of newcomers into the labour force by providing interpreter training.  Training is provided at no cost and financial support for the program is funded through profits generated from MCIS’ interpretation and translation activities.

Myha Truong

I am happy to report that my proposed performance evaluation and measurement framework was well received and approved by the board of directors.

The next step in this project is to develop operational strategies and tactics to get the framework running. Part of this work entails reviewing existing business practices to determine whether or not they will support the framework. 

Myha Truong

With a month left of my internship, the push is on for me to finish developing the performance evaluation and measurement framework that I was hired to develop.

Several interesting challenges have been encountered in the development of this framework.

The most interesting and frustrating challenge has been helping some members of management understand the issue and importance of alignment. Specifically, the performance measures chosen should be aligned with the organisation’s goals and it is these goals that drive the development of the performance measures and not the other way around. 

Myha Truong

This is our "intake" centre and the hub of our operations. The centre is where all interpreter requests are taken, co-ordinated and dispatched.  The centre operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and reflects the Multilingual Community Interpreter Services' commitment to serve the needs of those with limited English and non-English speaking people in accessing social services, especially individuals experiencing domestic violence and sexual assault.

The centre is where all interpreter requests are taken, coordinated and dispatched. The centre operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and reflects the Multilingual Community Interpreter Services' commitment to serve the needs of limited and non-English speaking persons in accessing social services, especially individuals experiencing domestic violence and sexual assault.

To date, my professional career has been a series of occupations that would invariably draw blank stares and a litany of questions when I tell (highly educated) people what I do for a living.

When I worked as an urban planner, I was often asked if I planted trees for a living. Things did not improve when I became a policy advisor in the areas of municipal management and housing. I was repeatedly asked if being a policy advisor meant that I was a secretary.

You can imagine the fun I am having this time around when I tell people I am interning as a strategy consultant for a non-profit social enterprise. What puzzles people the most is not my job title, but rather the term non-profit social enterprise. While most people understand what a non-profit organisation is they are less knowledgable about social enterprises. I will be honest and admit that, a few months ago, I too was one of these individuals. 

Myha Truong

About a week into my job, I quickly realised that the prices we charge for our services invariably result in a heated debate about what the “right price” should be.  Nowhere was this more evident than in the meetings we held to discuss pricing strategies for the requests for proposals.

Within the organisation, there are two schools of thought on this issue.  The first argues that we should offer our services as cheaply as possible. MCIS after all is a non-profit organisation, therefore it should not be concerned with making money. Rather, its focus should be on ensuring that limited and non-English speaking persons can access social services through the use of interpreters.  

Myha Truong

I have now surpassed the halfway point of my three-month internship with Multilingual Community Interpreter Services (MCIS) in Toronto. For the past 8 weeks, the bulk of my time has been devoted to writing responses to Request for Proposals (RFPs) and developing a framework to help MCIS work towards its social impacts and measuring the outcomes of these impacts.

While a generalisation, it is accurate to say that many non-profits devote a large portion of their time and resources chasing scarce and short-term funding, in order to stay in business. It comes as no surprise then that I have written two RFP responses to date. I admit, I do feel the pressure of writing a winning response to these contracts because they are vital to MCIS’ financial sustainability and in turn MCIS’ ability to pursue its social justice agenda. The pressure to win has meant working 14 hour days. The first year MBA experience, with its punishing workload, has certainly prepared me well for these working conditions.