My Aha! Moment. What’s Yours?!

It’s exactly mid-year o’clock now and I got the privilege to evaluate my gains and contributions made on this fellowship journey I embarked on 10 months ago both with my friends, family, and supervisor. Yes, I call it a privilege because it’s amazing and important to have a great support system in place, people that cheer you on, push your agenda forward together with you, hold you accountable and tell you that it’s alright to fail sometimes as long as you get back up and try again. And to you reading this piece now, whatever you’re doing resist the pressure to feel the mid-year achievements syndrome, just stay in your lane and celebrate those small wins and push towards the greatest wins!

In my past professional life before the fellowship program, I was already in my mid-career, however, I wanted to diversify by learning how nonprofits operate having spent a huge part of my career in a profit-making sector. I mostly wanted to learn how nonprofits raise and manage funds in an international or the U.S context, and how they sustain their projects with different constituencies and how I could tap into this knowledge to further develop my skills and become an expert in what I do. This was why I quickly jumped at an opportunity to become an Atlas Corps Project Management fellow at the Institute of Global Homelessness at Depaul University.  

I have a journal given to me by my previous host family before I moved into an apartment with my current housemate. She encouraged me to record my journey here in the U.S by keeping the great memories in ink, she said the things we write down are the ones we quickly remember. “ Even the crazy moments that when you had just arrived here you used to get lost in this city for an hour or so are okay to share”. My response to her on sharing this particular experience was that disapproving look thinking why would I want to share my lost in a city shenanigans. In the end, this conversation encouraged me to share the experience with my friends and family who taunted me for a week, but it was fun and when I look back to those moments now, they melt my heart somehow, I end up laughing at myself too. I share this with you because this was the beginning of my content crafting journey in my personal space here.

Professionally, I discovered that I could actually amplify my skills and expertise gained from the private sector in communication and content development and transfer them quickly to do the work that I am currently doing. This realization made me become more open to and confident in tasks relating to content development at my host organization as we work to solve global homelessness. I am happy and proud to share with you my debut published blog titled Through the Eyes of Change and there are more to come, hoping that I get the creativity and motivation soon. In line with the content creation context, I run my organization’s blog project, produce monthly newsletters, online platform resource hub management, and contribution towards social media content. I discovered that producing content makes me happier and using my previous knowledge to sail through my current opportunity in a most innovative nonprofit context to contribute is delightful.  

This discovery has not given me a lieu to neglect my designated responsibilities and learning more about the things I had intended to learn on this program. I am more satisfied that in my quest for learning the things that I wanted to gain expertise in, I also learnt the extras which actually seem to intrigue me more at the moment. This discovery has helped me to add value to my host organization when it comes to newsletters production which also among other things translate into our readers database growth.

I look forward to leveraging and hone this new found skill in my career journey and future opportunities in my post fellowship life .