NHHI Hiring Spotlight – Shawnda Jenkins

February 14, 2023

Shawnda Jenkins

Tell us about your current roles at Yale.

I currently work as a Medical Assistant in the Yale Medicine Ophthalmology department. In my role, I assess patients’ peripheral vision to plot a map of what they can and cannot see. The Visual Field process I administer can detect glaucoma, stroke, and brain tumors and help the doctor to find early signs of diseases.

What is next for you?

My goal at Yale is to continue to learn every day. I plan to return to school to continue my education and become a nurse, hopefully in the ophthalmology field.

What advice do you have for job seekers?

I advise job seekers to connect with New Haven Works and trust the process. The team at New Haven Works is excellent. They collaborate with you on your resume and find the job that is the best fit for you. Before joining New Haven Works, I was willing to take any job as long as it was at the university. New Haven Works helped me to focus on positions in my field of study and to work diligently to make that happen.

My advice for a Medical Assistant is to remember that the perfect job is out there for you; it just may take a little time. As a friend once told me: I can get one thousand “no’s,” but it only takes one “yes.” Interview after interview is what I kept in my head, and it helped keep me going along the way.

Tell us about your search experience.

I gave myself a year to find a job at the university, and luckily, I found a job in three months. I started as a casual lobby screener while continuing to look for a job in my preferred field as a Medical Assistant. I was getting interview after interview but started to lose hope of getting a job in my area after not qualifying.

Through New Haven Works, I had the opportunity to participate in a career pathway program, obtaining an On-the-Job Training (OJT) position in my field. Toward the end of my OJT, I started getting nervous again as I did not have any offers. I was worried I was never going to get a regular job! But this time, when I interviewed for a Medical Assistant position at the Spine Center, I was more experienced and got the job. Shortly afterward, I moved to Ophthalmology, where I currently work. This may not have happened if I did not receive on-the-job training.

Tell us about yourself.

Here is a little about myself:  I was born in Florida, moved to Boston, MA, and then moved to New Haven. There was always something about Connecticut—I never wanted to move away once I settled in the Dixwell area. I never thought about a job at the university, even after I finished school and became a Medical Assistant. I am a hardworking, humble person. Even while writing this, I am at a loss for words because I do not usually talk about myself. I love to sing. I am a God-fearing woman. I love to challenge myself to do better, be better, to go beyond the next day. I am a people person. I become outgoing, funny, and courageous when I open up. I was the same way in my job search. Looking for a job was a scary process, but looking back, every minute was worth it.