Career Corner: Transferring AmeriCorps Skills To Your Career
Today’s guest post comes to us from Ashley Romanias, who served an AmeriCorps State term in 2009-10 with Abundant Life Ministries in Charlottsville, VA
After completing a year of service with AmeriCorps (State ’10), I started a new job as the pro bono coordinator at an international law firm. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was excited to learn about the structure and operation of the firm’s pro bono practice. I had no idea how much work went into this operation, but quickly learned how valuable and applicable my AmeriCorps skills would be in my daily work.
During my AmeriCorps year, I started an afterschool theatre and dance program for a group of 5th-8th grade students living in poverty in Virginia. I learned how to write curriculum, design and manage a program, and oversee groups of volunteers. I also recruited student participants and guest instructors. I spent many hours talking to artists, developing program content, and visiting students in their homes.
These managing and design skills apply directly to my work as pro bono coordinator. Part of my current job involves clearing conflicts for new pro bono matters. In a given day, I may work on as many as 10-15 potential new matters. My AmeriCorps experience taught me how to manage many projects at once, and to thrive while wearing several hats.
AmeriCorps also encouraged me to use my imagination to visualize a solution to an unmet social problem. When creating an afterschool theatre and dance program, I learned how to translate an idea into a reality (in this case, the afterschool program). In my current work, I followed this same process to create a tool to track all pro bono matters and every day, I continue to apply AmeriCorps skills to my work.
Although it might not be obvious during an AmeriCorps term, the skills gained during service are highly transferable; they can influence the daily responsibilities of a future career. Skills learned during my AmeriCorps service helped me get hired, and I continue to thrive and use these skills each day.