I am applying to the Peace Corps. It has been a recent development in my professional outlook. I thought I had a steadfast plan in my career path, however, I am realizing that after my internship experience and my rigorous academic track, I need something more fulfilling than turning in a paper or scoring that entry level position at “insert some big corporation here” type of job. This does not mean I have lost a drive for marketing and being in the business world. I know I have wanted to go into marketing for quite a while and I have followed through with the decision all throughout my college career. I developed a passion for working in the healthcare and medical sector of business and I think there is much work to be done within hospitals and healthcare operations. I care deeply about how people experience health and I am consistently researching ways to present information and resources to help make hospitals and healthcare a better experience for everyone. Throughout my education, a variety of service opportunities, and persistent mindset I thought I had a sure fire path to being a marketing manager in a medical environment. It has always been a clear picture in my head, however, mindsets are allowed to change, and mine is taking an interestingly, uplifting turn.
Spring 2016 changed this entire outlook. I went on a service trip to Bladensburg, Maryland to experience service in healthcare education, reform, and what it is like to experience healthcare resources from people experiencing homelessness, mass incarceration,and civil strife. This was not my first service trip and I know it is not my last. I realized that through this experience, I am still passionate about the healthcare and medical field, yet my capacity of being an advocate for change and for the people who are unable to have access and need access to resources, not just in healthcare, including education, social security, employment, defense, and global resources; I realized I want to be more than just a name behind a campaign on television and bus stops. I want to out with the people and for the people, and experiencing what the people need from those who are able to create change and follow though with a plan to take action.
I went into my Spring quarter of school with this mindset. It just so happened that the last class in my marketing program is focused on emerging markets and global affairs. My professor is an incredibly, aged, and experienced man, lets call him Dr. L, he is a veteran and has the world in his mind. Throughout the course we researched emerging markets, how relationships are built on a global basis, and connecting through culture across the world. One day he said something in his thick North-East vernacular that has built solidity in my decision, “Go out and take sum time for ya’selves, take a year or two to find who ya are, don’t rush it all, ya got time.” This was the most beneficial sentence I have heard in my entire college career. I started to act on this feeling of not wanting to rush into my corporate horizon and, me being me, I researched different experiences that I have found a significant yearning for. It did not take much for me to find my way to the Peace Corps website. I read through almost the entire website. I looked at the different positions, locations, and requirements. Nothing gave me any indication of thinking I should stop and not pursue this. In fact, I found my self breathing very rationally and thinking very clearly. I see myself here. The Peace Corps aligns with my core values of community, integrity, and a passion for helping whoever and whenever needed. Values have a strong weight in each decision I make, and to find something that seems to fall so solid in line with what I want out of any experience, there is no question that this is the path I want to take.
For those who are not fluent in the Peace Corps requirements, here is a brief overview of what I think I am getting myself into: it is a two year commitment of traveling to a country that I have a preference, yet no guarantee of a specific placement; there are different sectors of service a volunteer can participate in, I am looking into business and community development, since that is what I have a current background and interest in pursuing. I am by no means a professional with the steps beyond the initial program research and the application. It has been an interesting period for mental processing. Part of me knows that I am pursuing a path that is going to be very beneficial and only enhance my future endeavors. Another part of my mind is cautious from not taking a traditional path of climbing a corporate ladder. It is going to be an insightful year, and I have many steps ahead in my decision process. Get ready, this is the first of many posts to come.