By: L Volpe
I was asked the other day about the quote “Silence Is Exhausting” (Robyn Ochs) that closes all of my e-mail communications. As I launched into my explanation — that every person, no matter who they are, deserves to be heard, taken seriously and treated with respect — I found it to be a wonderful representation of what my education and master’s degree from the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs means to me.
Through all of my classes I have taken in the MPA program, my professors have stressed the responsibility we are taking on by becoming leaders in the public/nonprofit sector. The roles that we will be stepping into have the potential to make a difference in a significant number of peoples’ lives. We are giving a voice to individuals who may not have one. Keeping in mind that “Silence is Exhausting,” we need to make intelligent and productive decisions that create public value.
I feel that this type of training is going to be an asset for us as we apply for jobs. Anyone can step into a managerial role, but the MPA program is setting us up to be progressive managers who will push the public/nonprofit sector forward. Remembering “Silence is Exhausting” is what makes me passionate about the mission of the organizations I am interviewing for and the difference I can make by performing my job to the best of my abilities.
I continue to be surprised by how much I have learned and grown through my experiences at the Voinovich School. The School has pushed me out of my comfort zone in my classes and given me the opportunity to gain practical experience as an intern with a number of organizations in the Athens area. Taking a step back and seeing the difference that I have the potential to make in the public sector or a nonprofit organization empowers me to be the manager who gives people a voice and helps lessen the burden — the exhaustion — of silence in our communities.