Live United!

By: Gashaye Melaku Tefera

It has been two weeks since I started serving at United Way Worldwide, the fifth biggest non-profit organisation, as operations fellow. I would like to share the lessons I learnt in this short period of time to my dear fellows and Atlas Corps family.

Be Open

Coming from a different country with different background doesn’t mean you have nothing to share with people in your service environment. Your points of differences are actually the spices adding magnificent test to your stay at your host organization. At the same time, remaining open minded and readiness to take others´ ideas is the key for developing yourself. Starting from the way people greet each other, everything might look so different. But remember that you are a social being and the most dynamic creature able to adjust to the situation. Embrace what you have around and try to enjoy the tasks you are dealing with. Trust me the day will end with a big smile!


´´Don‘t be that modest. This is America“ was one of the statements in my first day orientation at my host organization. This doesn’t mean you don’t need to be polite or humble. It means you have to speak and let others know you. Do not wait until they come to you or ask you. Go and initiate conversations, tell them your experience and let them understand what you have to offer. The more you share what you have, the more you will get from your colleagues. As we were oriented in our first week, communication determines how we will be successful in our service settings. Speak up!

In the middle of an ocean

Being at United Way Worldwide feels like being in the middle of the ocean. With its diverse departments and teams, the organization is built on a very solid and vast professional ground. You will find every kind of professionals here and makes you feel you are back to school. Yes, I am back to school as learning never stops as far as one is ready for it. My dear fellows, I hope the same is true for you. So let´s embrace this huge opportunity and continue swimming in the ocean of knowledge and experience.

Yes, you can

Believing in your self is the key for your success and to make the best out of your stay at your host organisations. I start every day with readiness to confront new challenges and learn new ideas from people around me. If you want your supervisors to believe in you, believe in yourself first. That is where productivity starts. One last statement: We have reached here, we will go far!

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