Amanda starts focus(group)ing

Hello!

Despite the rain and thunder, I’ve been staying very busy so far this quarter. My practicum project is slowly wrapping up and the Capstone Event on June 3rd is nearing!

Next week, I will have my first round of focus groups with the Passion Works Studio Staff, where they will have the opportunity to give me feedback on the volunteer program and the orientation for volunteers. Hopefully, this information will help Laura and I make recommendations about possible changes and improvements to the program next year. Laura is also working on a Cost-Benefit Analysis for Passion Works, weighing time and effort put into training versus what benefits Passion Works receives from their volunteer capacity.

We are slowly gearing up to the Capstone Event at the end of this quarter. Invitations will be sent out by the end of next week, food is being finalized, all of the programs and catalogs are being designed and it all seems to be coming together. Keep your fingers crossed that it runs smoothly!

I also realized that in my last post, I neglected to let you know how the trip to Washington D.C. was! Andrew, Laura and I went on the trip together and were able to meet plenty of OU alumni there to ask about how they got started in D.C. and advice they would give to someone moving there or pursuing a job in the public sector. The people we talked to had a wide variety of experiences and were able to give us some great insight. The OU Alumni Association in D.C. is the largest outside of Ohio with nearly 4,000 members.  OU alumni are one of the greatest resources for OU students—we have intense loyalty to our school and fellow students.

We were also fortunate to be able to go to the IEDC (International Economic Development Council) Conference held in Alexandria. The IEDC is led by Jeff Finkle, an OU alumnus, who introduced us to many economic development professionals on his staff and from across the country. It was truly an invaluable experience.

Hopefully, this fall we can plan another trip to Washington D.C. during Spring Break 2012, so other students can take advantage of this opportunity. For anyone planning on moving to Washington D.C., I would definitely recommend a trip like this.

That’s all for now but I will definitely have more to report next time I write!

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