North Texas Chapter of AmeriCorps Alums Hosts Successful Continuing Education Series Event with Clinton School and Bush School
Today’s guest post comes from the North Texas Chapter of AmeriCorps Alums. It originally appeared on the North Texas Chapter of AmeriCorps Alums blog. During 2013 and 2014, AmeriCorps Alums is conducting Continuing Education Series events with school partners dedicated to national and community service. In November and December, the Clinton School of Public Service and the Bush School for Government and Public Service are tag teaming to sponsor events with three AmeriCorps Alums chapters. The events are designed to provide alumni and current members a sense of how education can impact their career success, and offer insight into career options available in the field of government and public service. The North Texas event is chronicled below.
On Wednesday, November 20, 2013, AmeriCorps Alums of North Texas hosted the Clinton School of Public Service and the Bush School of Public Service in our first ever graduate school fair. AmeriCorps members and Alums from all over the North Texas region showed up to hear Alex Thomas from the Clinton School of Public Service and Kathryn Meyer from the Bush School of Government & Public Service discuss their programs–and get some delicious free food from Scalini’s and some tasty desserts from Katdid’s Kreations!
The event ended with a panel on the state of education and public service with Alex and Kathryn and two dedicated local panelists:
- Stephanie Feniri – Manager of Homeowner Neighborhood Support at the Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity, Stephanie got her start as an AmeriCorps member with CitySquare and is now concurrently completing an MPA and MCRP at the University of Texas at Arlington. Stephanie has sparkle, and advocates, “spreadsheet your life.”
- Jennifer Rajkumar – Director of AmeriCorps at CitySquare, Jennifer and her organization are cornerstones of the AmeriCorps community in North Texas with over 300 active members making an impact year round! Jennifer got her MPA at the University of Texas at Arlington.
Some memorable moments from the panel:
AmeriCorps is your chance to experience what is needed in public and government service. – Jennifer Rajkumar
AmeriCorps gives you substantive experience in public service. – Alex Thomas
If you are serving in AmeriCorps, start looking for your next step…but whatever you do don’t leave early. – Jennifer Rajkumar
We are looking for AmeriCorps members because they have that real experience. – Alex Thomas
Students are coming to us to be challenged. – Kathryn Meyer
If you are just leaving AmeriCorps, now is the time to seek a masters degree. – Stephanie Feniri
Marketability is something to think about. You can have passion. But do you have experience? If you have this education you can put passion to work. – Jennifer Rajkumar
It’s incredible to be surrounded by all that knowledge. – Stephanie Feniri (speaking on the educational environment in higher education)
Lot of growth in private sector/for profit public service. Tom’s shoes is an example of that. – Alex Thomas
Government contracting is really growing as well. That’s where the jobs are. – Kathryn Meyer
The connections you build through AmeriCorps or education are important, as is exposing yourselves to what is going on around you. – Jennifer Rajkumar
You need to spreadsheet your life. Plan. Be flexible. Be willing to adapt quantify your work. That will stand out. – Stephanie Feniri
Have awareness of your knowledge and skills as something verifiable. Don’t sell yourself short. Research to know what you are bringing to the table. – Kathryn Meyer
AmeriCorps is over and you have an existential crisis: “What am I going to do?” Don’t take the 30th step from now. Take the next step. You don’t have to collapse under the weight of “What’s going to happen?” – Alex Thomas