JANET, HUMAN SERVICES PROGRAM COORDINATOR

Janet, '06

Human Services Program Coordinator for the State of Wisconsin


Please provide an overview of the kinds of duties you perform at this job.
I am the bilingual worker in my office, so I handle all communication with Spanish-speaking clients. The office handles centralized processing of applications for public assistance benefits, mainly health care, food assistance, and prescription drug programs. In addition, I also translate policy and coordinate communication between coworkers and their Spanish-speaking clients.

What additional training (beyond your undergraduate degree) did you need for your current job?
I completed a 12 week training program and approximately 6 months of on-the-job training provided by the State for this position.

In your current position, do you use any of the information or skills you learned as an IECA major in particular (a foreign language, understanding of economics, politics, cross-cultural sensitivity, research, etc.)?
I am always using my Spanish language skills, whether I am speaking to a client, translating documents, or writing letters and notices to clients. I also use a lot of the research skills learned while studying IECA, as typically I have to find unique ways of obtaining the information that I need. I also try to explain to my coworkers and my boss why some things are said slightly differently or explained differently to Spanish-speaking people, so I refer quite often to cross-cultural sensitivity. I also encounter a lot of politics on a daily basis, as my job is centered around public policy, so understanding how politics function is vital to understanding what will happen next in my job.