By Anita Lantz, Service Leader serving on the Henry Wilson Elementary School Team.
City Year’s official slogan is “Give a Year. Change the World.” That’s a massive feat to accomplish in just one year. You come here dedicating a year (or two) to changing the world. You’re building relationships with students and your partner teacher, lesson planning, afterschool clubs, Camp City Year, tracking time with students, professional development, living on a stipend, and the list goes on and on. You can get so caught up with changing the world, that you don’t realize the world is changing you; and the world is waiting for you at the end of your service year. Thank goodness City Year has the supports built in to keep you on track. This support comes in the form of Leadership After City Year (LACY) workshops.
LACY workshops play a major role in the corps member success after their service year. We’ve connected with other National Service opportunities, received support on university and graduate school applications, been paired with mentors in the community, and gained concrete job application skills at Comcast Career Day.
For Comcast Career Day, the Manchester office of Comcast NBCUniversal hosted the CYNH corps for a few hours of workshops. These sessions included Social Media and Networking (aka LinkedIn,) Interviewing for Success, Professional Goal Setting, and the “Art” of Resume Writing.
The session I found most beneficial was called “Preparing for Your Next Adventure.” This was a panel of Comcast employees answering questions from the corps. The panel was an incredible way to gain advice from seasoned professionals. One of the major pieces of advice was to advocate for yourself in the workplace, simply because you must; it’s not a choice. We all know that advocating for yourself in the workplace is quite difficult. A few ways to make it less stressful is to seek advice from a mentor and practice starting the conversation with the manager in mind. The employees gave an example of spinning a situation or ask into a win-win situation. Another extremely valuable bit of advice the Comcast employees offered is to embrace failure and rejection. Failure and rejection are a form of feedback. Take what you experienced from the rejection and grow from it.
The beauty of Comcast Career Day and other LACY workshops is that they aren’t designed to just hand you the answer to “Give a year, change the world. Then what?” I’ve had a year and a half of LACY programming and I still don’t know the answer. My answer could be teaching, grad school, or maybe even STACY (staying at City Year.) Whenever I decide, I know I have the resources and advice to get there and thrive.
On May 4th, we will have another chance to work with Comcast to host a day of service called Comcast Cares Day. On Comcast Career Day, Comcast employees gave us a glimpse into the professional world. On Comcast Cares Day, Comcast employees get a glimpse into the service world. I am so excited to serve alongside Comcast employees to beautify some of Manchester’s schools!