When I started classes in August, I had two choices. The first choice was to float through my two-year program and simply get my degree…however I chose to enhance my education at the Voinovich School by doing the following:
1. Getting to know my cohort… Getting to know my cohort has enriched my experience at the Voinovich School because the MPA program attracts all different types of people, who are looking to pursue a variety of careers. We all have had different experiences to draw from and challenge one another’s points of view during classes. We get together each week to compare homework answers, meet between classes to discuss readings, compare notes on what elective classes we’re taking and edit one another’s papers. Outside of the classroom we relax together at yoga, attend lectures and meet up for happy hour. Because there is no one on campus who better understands what it’s like to be the MPA program I feel very lucky to be surrounded by such a supportive and distinct group of people.
2. Visiting my professors… We had not even finished our first week of classes the first time I met with my advisor, Dr. Millesen, and by the time we were finished with that meeting I had an internship opportunity with the Foundation of Appalachian Ohio, knew what classes I needed to take in order to focus my education in nonprofits and I had the name of two additional contacts to reach out to in order to pursue my interest in women and gender studies. While my success in the MPA program sits squarely on my shoulders, my professors have shown interest in my future plans and want to help me achieve my goals.
3. Getting involved on campus… It is easy to start feeling a little quarantined having every class up at The Ridges. While the quiet and calmness of the Voinovich School is the perfect environment to hunker down and get some serious work done, the time I have spent volunteering with the Women’s Center has been an incredible way to meet new people, helped set the tone for my research project and has given me invaluable practical experience working with a community-based nonprofit organization. Through connections I’ve made at the Women’s Center I have been given the opportunity to train as a Safe Zone Facilitator in November and apply become a mentor for an undergraduate woman who shares my interests career aspirations. My involvement on campus has allowed me to turn theory from class into practice in the field.