When I graduated from college in May, 2011, the job market could not have been more competitive. Every listing I found said the same thing: “at least 2 years experience in a relevant field.” It seemed like a paradox – how was I supposed to gain job experience if every position I applied for required that I already have it? I knew I would always be up against many qualified candidates, all of whom had one thing I didn’t: Experience. It was an employer’s market, and even with a good degree, I was just not what the employers wanted.
Luckily for me, I found AmeriCorps! Spending a year as a Community Resource Corps AmeriCorps member, where I divide my time between the Goodwill Volunteer Department and the Goodwill Good Prospects program, has allowed me to gain experience in both office and classroom settings. Additionally, I have received trainings in critical skills like grant writing, volunteer coordination and job preparation. I know that when my AmeriCorps term ends , my resume will be more complete and I will be equipped with the practical skills that employers are seeking.
But, as it turns out, AmeriCorps is so much more than just a stepping stone to a good career. I came into the program hoping to develop professionally, and I certainly have; but what I could not have predicted was the amount of personal growth that I would undergo during my term. It will certainly feel good when I come out of my term with a great new resume – but that will barely scratch the surface of the true depth and breadth of experience I have gained, surrounded as I have been by such passionate, dedicated, and creative world-changers, as an AmeriCorps member at Goodwill.