Walk through the door at Brook Farm and you will experience our warm, welcoming culture. The same can be said of our staff, who have come from all over the world and found their home within Brook Farm. Maria, a Brook Farm alum and past Administrative Assistant, shares her experience at the practice before moving into a position with an accounting firm.
WHERE ARE YOU ORIGINALLY FROM?
I was born and raised in a city called El Puerto de Santa Maria, located in the very south of Spain in the Atlantic coast.
WHEN DID YOU FIRST COME TO THE US?
I first came to the United States on August 11th, 2014. My first job was as an au pair, taking care of an 8 month old baby. Originally, I came for just one year to learn about the culture and to experience life in America. I was very lucky, because my host family and I were very close and age and we developed a very close relationship. I wanted to test myself, and I succeeded.
I ended up living with a family that didn't speak my language, who had a different culture, had different beliefs, and ate different food. Ten months later, I had to make a decision to stay or go. I decided to stay. Much to my surprise, the family allowed me to continue staying with them while I got a student visa and received an accounting degree. That changed all my plans - and my life!
HOW DID BROOK FARM HELP YOU FEEL AT HOME?
Only one week after I started working at Brook Farm, I had a family emergency that deeply affected me. But even though they didn't know me and I had just joined their team, the Brook Farm Family took me in and cared for me as if they were my blood family. I've gone through struggles, and each time, my BrooK Farm family has supported me. When I was months away from graduating with my Bachelors degree in Accounting, they gave me the support and flexibility that my schedule needed. I don't have enough words to thank everybody for everything they've done for me!
WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO WORK WITH THE BROOK FARM TEAM?
I had been living in the USA for 4 years before I started working at Brook Farm, but I am proud and happy to say that it took me those 4 years to find the people who became my friends.
In Spain, the stores close two to three hours in the middle of the afternoon so that people can go home, have lunch with their family, and enjoy their siesta. In America, however, you spend more time at work than you do with your family. I am lucky to say that I felt like I had a second family at Brook Farm because I bonded with virtually everyone. From the Animal Care Assistants and Client Advocates to the veterinarians here, I always had the laughs and support I needed to get through the day with a smile.
WHAT LESSON DID YOU LEARN?
I learned that good people still exist - and that you'll find them at Brook Farm.