Program Director, CAC AmeriCorps
Design and manage systems to optimize national service opportunities in East Tennessee.
My work combines:
Day to Day
A "day-in-the-life" varies significantly by season, but my role can be broken down into several major focuses. Orientation/Acclimation of Corps (August - September), Program Design and Grant Writing (October-January), All the while recruitment is happening, site visits are happening, and partnerships are being developed and maintained for the purposes of sustaining and expanding opportunity. Service events are being planned. Fires are being put out.
Skills & Qualities Beyond School
All those soft skills that people talk about that you can't buy, those are important. Being able to shift focus between vision and specifics, thinking creatively and challenging existing constructs, not to mention being timely, gracious, kind, patient, and forgiving. Find opportunities to not only advance yourself and your cause but figure out ways how your vision can interact with other systems for mutual improvement of the systems and those impacted by them.
Advice for Getting Started
Here's the first step for everyone
To break into the national service sector as program or CNCS staff, the best advice I can give you is start by serving as a member. In addition, the vast majority of positions will require a Bachelors Degree, a Masters Degree won't hurt. Focus of Bachelors is less important than Masters, would recommend business or public administration if looking to serve as executive management within the national service sector. In some cases masters can be different if it supports a program focus.
My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:
Fine/Studio Arts, General
Natural Resources Management and Policy
Business Administration and Management, General