Why Atlas Corps Fellowship is Exceptional
Fellowships are an opportunity to “do something exceptional.” Fellowships often provide you the resources, support and professional networks to pursue goals that you might not otherwise be able to achieve in a typical job or internship. Because of this, certain fellowships like Atlas Corps are more competitive than some top graduate programs. The title of “Fellow” alone indicates a position of prestige. Here are some of the major advantages of pursuing Atlas Corps, professional fellowship.
1. Exposes you to invaluable professional networks
Atlas Corps has one of the best and largest professional network in the world. This professional fellowship introduces a mid-level generation of professionals to established leaders in their fields. Atlas Corps fellowship include trainings, mentorships, Global leadership labs and other networking opportunities to connect fellows with executives, speakers, and mentors, many of whom are fellowship alumni themselves.
For example, I now serve at Open Government Partnership in Washington, DC, and I have been able to have coffee with the Presidents and Executive Directors of some of the leading DC think tanks in Governance and Diplomacy field. My CEO in OGP was the vice president of World bank for many years. I can ask them questions about their varied career experiences in government, public policy and academia, and get insights on how to pursue further education or work in the foreign service. Through these important personal connections, fellows are able to cultivate relationships that can lead to a new job, graduate school reference or long-term mentor.
Also, as an Atlas Corps Fellow, I am part of a fellowship cohort, whereby I am constantly engaging with other fellows through professional training, seminars, education, travel, or a group project during the fellowship period especially during the Global leadership labs an immersion. The advantages of being in a cohort of fellows is the opportunity to build a professional network of peers and a social circle for non-work activities. This is particularly valuable because Atlas Corps places Fellows from different parts of the world in different cities in the US with little or no established network.
2. Atlas Corps Fellowship engages you in challenging, varied and interesting work
Depending on the host organization, some host organizations are structured to provide fellows exposure to a specific type of work or provide an opportunity to pursue a self-designed project. This is highly dependent on the way the fellow participates in the development of the Fellow Training Plan and success check-list provided for by Atlas Corps Program Contact during the first month of the fellowship.
The expectations of participants in this fellowship are well beyond what is typically expected of a recent graduate with no prior work experience, but this is exactly what has made my experience so valuable for my professional development.
During the fellowship, fellows have the opportunity of studying other languages like Spanish, Arabic, Swahili and deepening one’s English language. These are opportunities many Fellows may not have the time or resources to do before the fellowship. These are just a few examples of the experiences one can gain in Atlas Corps fellowship.
3. Atlas Corps Fellowship Provides Opportunity to travel and work abroad
Before I became an Atlas Corps Fellow, I was really itching to live and work abroad as a professional. However, I found out quickly how difficult it can be to secure a work or volunteer position abroad especially in the US, let alone the financing to support relocation, living expenses, and insurance.
Atlas Corps fellowship provided all the resources I needed for my experience here in the US, including a professional placement at Open Government Partnership (OGP), a monthly stipend, a visa, insurance, roundtrip airfare and logistical support throughout my fellowship experience and this, I don’t take for granted. My sincere appreciations goes to Scott Beale the CEO Atlas Corps and his great team of highly professional staff: Shea, Zachary, Meredith Alissa and Abby among others for the awesome work they are doing.