Things happen (and don’t) for a reason

I’ve had my Pandora radio station on the soothing sounds of Sigur Rós the entire day, having worked on putting together Rural Action’s electronic newsletter, the Rural Rambler, my Organizational Theory & Politics paper on decision-making strategies and Human Resources reflective paper on my previous internship experience. Time has been passing by at an exponentially quick pace, and before I know it summer will have rolled around. As a result I’m working hard to finish strong. Although I’m proud of the work I’ve done so far, I can’t help but wish that some things would have worked out better. Much time had been put into some ambitious opportunities for summer applied learning experiences and internships that fell through at the last minute for one reason or another and it had me down. But hard work always pays off, even if it’s in a way you don’t expect. I’m sure that whatever I end up doing will be meaningful because I’ll keep on looking for opportunities to grow.

Even though the study abroad program was ultimately cancelled, I want to use this space to thank the Voinovich School faculty in both the MPA and MSES programs for having taken the time to deliberate on ways in which I could have earned credit toward my MPA degree and Environmental Sustainability graduate certificate in Ghana this summer with the African Culture through the Arts program. Specifically, thanks to Dr. Millesen, Dr. Buckley, and Dr. Morrone. It’s a shame that not enough people signed up for the study abroad program, which would have enabled me to earn ten credits and great experience working with community benefit organizations in the Volta Region of Ghana. It’s the Voinovich School’s flexibility and faith in its students that have made my two and a half quarters in the MPA program so special. I look forward to the many other opportunities that will surely present themselves over the course of the year ahead.

For now, I will continue to develop my marketing skills with Rural Action and contribute to its mission to serve the Appalachian community, share my experiences with others online, build my theoretical foundation in public administration with Dr. Burnier’s Organizational Theory course, and develop my mathematical and problem-solving skills with Dr. Ryu and his Financial Management course. All the while, I’ll be poking at different opportunities in which I can apply it all. Oh, the possibilities!

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