Deepti Mannan

Although she was a medical doctor of ayurvedic medicine and surgery in her native India, Deepti Mannan’s educational background was not equivalent to the level required to become a physician in the United States. So, when she moved from India to Queens, New York, nine years ago, she took a position as a nursing assistant to begin her healthcare career in the United States.

Then she took some time off from working while she had two children (now ages six and three) and also completed an online billing and coding certification program through the American Health Information Management Association. After her family settled in Poughkeepsie, Mannan was ready to look for work again.

But, she struggled. Her English language proficiency wasn’t where she wanted it to be, finding affordable daycare was a concern, and she lacked confidence after prolonged time off. She decided to visit the Dutchess County One Stop Career Center to avail herself of their services. There, she heard about the Jobs Waiting program and immediately signed up. It was a turning point.

“It wasn’t easy for me, coming from another country with a different language. I was scared to speak in public. I didn’t know how to sell myself. But the Jobs Waiting boot camp changed that for me,” says Mannan.

She says that during her five-week boot camp, the support she received from her instructor and her fellow participants was invaluable. She met others who also lacked confidence and found the job search process challenging.

“I discovered I was not alone. We helped each other. I improved my English. I became more confident in my public speaking,” she adds.

Following the boot camp, Mannan applied to the Ulster County BOCES School of Practical Nursing. The Jobs Waiting program paid for her tuition, and covered childcare costs for the duration of the 10-month nursing program—resources that she says have made her future possible.

“I really would not be where I am now without Jobs Waiting. The program took away the stressors involved in furthering my education, and I was completely focused on my studies.”

Mannan ended up graduating with honors, winning an award for being the top-rated student in her class. The honor came with the opportunity to speak during her graduation, something she could never have fathomed doing just over a year ago. The praise she received from her teachers for her presentation was particularly meaningful.

“That made me feel professional,” says Mannan.

With her new-found professionalism, she began applying for jobs. She has already received an offer for a full-time nursing position. Now, she is busy studying for the board exam to receive her Licensed Practical Nurse credential. And she’s got big plans ahead: she’d like to become a Registered Nurse, and eventually, connect her skills in coding and nursing to pursue a career in clinical documentation and healthcare management. Her interest in furthering her education is inspired by her boot camp instructor, Laura Finestone, says Mannan.

“She told me to never stop learning. And she sets a great example because she got her master’s degree at age 60! I am always looking for online courses and webinars to take in my free time. Thank you to Jobs Waiting for instilling in me a passion for learning. I see my whole future now.”

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