~When it rains, it pours.~
I’m sorry I’ve been so MIA lately. I used to be so good about updating my posts pretty much every day with my adventures and musings. I do have a valid excuse for this irresponsibility and I promise to remedy the problem soon. My inactivity on the blog front is due to my new volunteer position here in Dublin. This week I started new at SUAS Educational Development as a member of their 2011 Marketing Campaign. And when I say “a member,” I mean that the 3 other members of the marketing team are so busy with other things, that I’m basically acting point on the campaign until December. Before I jump into what I’ll be up to, a little on SUAS…
SUAS Educational Development is a non-profit organization that recruits volunteers between the “college” ages of 18 and 25 to help aid in under-resourced schools in India and Kenya. From mid-October until the beginning of December, the organization focuses heavily on finding those candidates that would be the best match for this type of program. There is an interview process at the beginning of the new year and then from February until the end of May, the chosen volunteers are trained for their roles at their destination school. Then, from June until August, 10 weeks, the volunteers (which have been placed into teams) work in one of SUAS’ partner schools bettering the education and lives of under-privileged children. It’s a really amazing thing that they do, only proven more by the pictures, videos, and testimonials I’ve seen in the past week.
How does SUAS recruit their volunteers? That is where I come in. Our team is spending the next five and a half weeks working with college marketing representatives (who have previously traveled to a school with the program) to get the word out about the program to colleges across Ireland and businesses that may have the demographics we’re looking for. I’ve joined on on a volunteer basis to help put some extra man-power behind this five and a half week campaign. I get into the office around 10 and I leave around 4…I know, damn; especially since I’m not seeing a paycheck!
I really do think the rewards outweigh the time and energy it will take to be a part of this organization, though. I’m getting fantastic experience in a field that I’m pretty unfamiliar with – today, I made my very first advertising cold call. I did call on the help of my sister to get me through it, though 🙂 Matt plans on helping me, too. I’ve got a pretty intense spreadsheet that could use some fleshing out. However, for the most part, I’ve been doing it all on my own, and the experience I’m picking up will be well worth it in the end (even if I don’t really have plans to end up in marketing or advertising, but that’s not the point). I’m learning so much that can spill over into my fields of expertise, and I sure plan on putting this on my resume. It’s also giving me a little chance to remain in the education field, even if it’s just in a small way. I like the feeling that I’m helping better the lives of those less fortunate than myself. And of course, the human interaction hasn’t been terrible either! The people in the office are friendly, nice, and enthusiastic. It’s been great getting to know them, and I’m sure once this is over, the lines of communication won’t end.
So, that’s where I’ve been lately, and that’s where I’ll be until December. Don’t worry, I’ve got plenty of exciting things happening between now and then to keep you entertained with, but I may have to report them during my lunch break. And I haven’t forgotten that I’m simply volunteering, so I definitely won’t pass up on interesting activities as they arise. Keep a look out this weekend, as Halloween festivities are sure to make their way on to Top of the Morning to You!