City Year Boston's 18 Minute Networking is a day of learning, connecting and thinking about the future for our corps members. This year, the event helped them think about future success on multiple levels - targeted sessions gave corps members specific, technical support (like ideas on how to leverage their City Year Boston service in cover letters and interviews); the alumni panel gave broad, inspirational advice; and breakout sessions with nearly 50 Boston professionals from nearly 20 fields offered a mix of both.
The panel of alumni speakers highlighted the diverse directions career paths can lead after City Year service. The four panelists are now in the fields of government, education, business, and social work:
Rick Jakious '99, District Director, Congressman Seth Moulton
Nikki Tabron '99, '00, Vice President of Education at Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center
Alex Cooke '11, Client Transactions Services Corporate Resident at Wellington Management
Isabel Barros '12, '13, School Adjustment Counselor, Somerville Public Schools
The panel geared toward AmeriCorps members in the midst of their year of service, advising them on how to leverage their service experience to achieve their dreams.
Rick Jakious '99 reflected on the benefits of a service year for a job of any kind: "[During my service year] I learned to work with people who were different from me- to connect with them without sacrificing my own authenticity. To be true to myself, and comfortable, but also able to listen and understand other people's perspectives."
Alex Cooke '11 spoke about the City Year value of excellence: "The main thing I took away from City Year service was surpassing my own expectations for myself every day. I learned to ask myself every day, 'What are my goals and how will I achieve them?'"
Nikki Tabron '99 shared the connection between service, failure, and leadership: "I failed so much at first; failure is an important way to learn. Be authentic, be flawed, be vulnerable. That will move people."
Current AmeriCorps member Jenna Wendler, serving on the DePuy Synthes Companies of Johnson & Johnson team with Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School, says, "The top thing I took away from [the event] was inspiration to schedule a lot of informational interviews. As a person who does not want to go on to become a teacher after City Year service, I appreciated what I learned from the alumni panel about leveraging national service experience to fields that may appear, at first glance, unrelated.
I particularly enjoyed the higher education breakout session. The facilitators balanced the discussion very well- they spoke to the flexibility of higher education as a field. I'm interested in college admissions, and they told me it's not necessarily a disservice to not have done admissions, which was helpful."
"The top tip I got from 18 Minute Networking was Just go for it. Nothing is stopping you from pursuing your post-service plans but you!"
-AmeriCorps member Jenna Wendler
Big thanks to event sponsor Deloitte for their annual sponsorship of this event and their constant support of the development of our AmeriCorps members. and Deloitte speaker Dan Marchini '13, who also joined the event as a facilitator later on.