As my year in Promise Corps comes to an end, the questions “ What’s next?” and “Do you want to go into teaching?” have continuously come up. The answer I give is a simple, “I don’t know yet.” After graduating from the Pennsylvania State University, being a highly involved student leader in THON, serving as an intern with the Borgen Project and working as a Promise Corps CCA, I know two things: I love working with kids and I love providing them with the resources they need to succeed.
So on April 16, 2018 Promise Corps hosted an “Alternative Careers in Education” panel to give members like myself a chance to learn about careers in education, working with youth, corporate giving management, counseling, immigration, and law. The event took place at 6pm 1234 Market Street. Panelists in attendance included:
Dr. Guy Diamond: Director of The Center for Family Intervention Science at Drexel University
Paige Joki: Independence Foundation Public Interest Law Fellow at the Education Law Center
Elizabeth Galez: National Manager of Corporate Programs at City Year
Kristian Ogungbemi: Current teacher and participant of UPenn’s Urban Teacher Residency Program
Carolina Torres: Office Manager at Juntos
Andrea DiMola: Community Schools Senior Supervisor
The event started with a brief introduction, followed by questions for the panelists, and ended with light refreshments and time to network.
What seemed to be the big theme of the night was networking and building relationships. According to Dr. Guy Diamond, “People who do well meet people and make connections.” Personally, I could not agree more. One of the things I am most thankful for is the strong alumni network I have behind me and the people I have met and formed relationships with through my college and AmeriCorps experience. Going along with networking, Paige Joki encouraged us to, “Let people know what you want to do. Tell people. You have no idea how supportive people will be and how much they’ll want to help you and introduce you to people.”
What do you do after forming those relationships and continuing to strengthen your network? The panelists say translating your experience into the job you want and goals you have is important. By having the title “AmeriCorps member,” being able to help build capacity at an organization, having a strong work ethic, being more experienced, flexible and adaptable is a given. The thing that is going to make you stand out is how you translate those experiences into numbers and the impact you’ve made. “Be prepared to tell your story in numbers,” one of the panelists mentions. Your story is something you know better than anyone else. Be prepared to tell it. Tell it in your resume and make your cover letter personal because your story matters.
I want to give a big thank you to Bethany and Kerry for organizing this event. It answered questions I had and gave all of us an opportunity to meet some incredible and inspiring people. Thank you to all the panelists who came. Your advice and knowledge of the field you are in was very valuable to the rest of the CCA’s and myself.
– Yaczin Hernandez, College & Career Ambassador at Overbrook High School