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NOVEMBER 2012: Issue No. 12

The November 2012 AmeriCorps Alums Career Newsletter is Exclusively Sponsored by:
No 1: Monterey Institute
No 2: Career Corner
No 3: Board Member Of The Month
No 4: November Career Webinar: Best New Jobs

Monterey Institute: Be the Solution

The Monterey Institute of International Studies offers professional graduate degrees with an international focus. Monterey Institute students, faculty, and alumni work on some of the most critical issues of our time. The goal is to be the solution to challenges of international development, conflict resolution, nonproliferation and terrorism, public administration, sustainable business, environmental policy, translation and interpretation, and international education. The Monterey Institute’s unique master’s degree programs are distinguished by:

     • Foreign language integration in all master’s degrees
     • Practical, hands-on training for professional skills needed in the field
     • Immersive learning opportunities to earn credit during a semester working in a professional environment

AmeriCorps alumni attend the Monterey Institute because they wish to transfer the knowledge and skills of their service into an international career. The Monterey Institute values the service of AmeriCorps alumni and provides the following benefits: a minimum of 10 annual merit scholarship awards to qualified AmeriCorps alumni, plus Segal matching funds for graduate study! Learn more at

Here is what AmeriCorps alumni have to say about attending the Monterey Institute:

"At the Monterey Institute, I was able to put development theory and research into practice.  Group consultancies with local, national and international organizations gave me the opportunity to learn and understand best practices, identify, evaluate, and leverage strengths and weaknesses, develop creative and effective solutions, and implement them in real time, with the mentors, networks, and research. Utilizing theories and research to design frameworks and put action plans into practice allowed me to become a strategic, thoughtful, and effective leader.” – Serena Kelsch, MPA

"As an AmeriCorps alum, I was attracted to the Monterey Institute because of the Peace Corps Master’s International program. Now I am serving in Peace Corps in Ecuador as a Natural Resource Conservation Volunteer and earning credit toward my master’s degree.  The Monterey Institute offers a truly internationally focused program, which was of great interest to me as I wish to work in international environmental policy development and management.” – Jhon Arbelaez, MAIEP

For more information on Monterey Institute programs, visit

Career Corner: Becoming An AmeriCorps Program Manager- An Alum's Perspective
by Sara Haas

As an AmeriCorps member, I had little idea about the mysterious (or so I thought) happenings in the life of our AmeriCorps Program Manager. I had no awareness of the many rules and regulations they navigated on a daily basis, the paperwork they had to complete, or the outcomes they were held to statewide. I just knew that they provided me with support, training, and a paycheck.

I soon found out what happened on the other side of the curtain. After my year of service, I began work at the Texas State Service Commission, the OneStar Foundation. Incredibly lucky to work with a group of passionate, smart alums, I quickly learned from them, and found myself a Program Officer after a few months. As a Program Officer, I worked with a diverse set of AmeriCorps Programs from around the state, and not only provided them with training and technical assistance, but also learned an immense amount about the realities of running a program. This experience set me up for my first effort running a local program at New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity. I found myself recruiting 29 AmeriCorps National Direct and VISTA members to serve 11 months after Katrina supporting rebuilding efforts. My role quickly became boss, compliance officer, counselor, landlord, mediator, supporter and human resources professional, few of which I had knowingly signed up for.

After an intense year in New Orleans I returned to Atlanta to manage a regional VISTA program with Habitat for Humanity International. While in that role, I again had a significant human resources role, as well as the opportunity to train local supervisors and develop more efficient systems and processes.  I have continued this work supporting a national VISTA program at Points of Light. In this role, I worked with a team to develop a new education VISTA program model, rolling this model out to a national network of nonprofit organizations. My work with AmeriCorps program management has afforded me the opportunity to gain a diverse range of skills, many of which I did not anticipate. I have developed a strong network of colleagues over the years that I continue to connect with. I can definitely thank my AmeriCorps service for my career, which has now led me to seek a Masters in City and Regional Planning, with a specialization in Community Development.

Points of Light and BoardSource Launch Board Member of the Month Award
by KaCey Venning

Recently, the topic of serving on a board has been a trending topic on the AmeriCorps Alums LinkedIn Group.  It is encouraging to see so many alumni continuing to serve their communities by applying their skills on local nonprofit boards. As a follow up, AmeriCorps Alums recently learned of a program that is a great way to recognize those alumni who are serving on boards or even others who are serving on boards who may not be AmeriCorps alumni. Two organizations, Points of Light and BoardSource have teamed up to offer the Board Member of the Month award.

Points of Light and BoardSource know the importance of boards in ensuring that the missions of organizations are realized to their fullest potential. And for so many smaller and community based organizations the work of their board is sometimes unnoticed on a national scale. That is why they are partnering to launch the Board Member of the Month award! It is a chance for organizations to applaud and appreciate the work of their board members. Many of you are board members yourselves, and at the very least, know someone who is a deserving board member.  Now is your chance to nominate them to become a Board Member of the Month. If you would like more information on nominating a board member, please visit here.

November Career Webinar: Best New Jobs Suited For AmeriCorps Alums

Looking to make your mark or make a move in your career? Want to hear from Alums working the hottest, fastest growing fields? Recently, CNN Money highlighted 6 of the best new jobs in our country, and we believe our Alums possess the skills, experience, and talents to thrive in those professions. Join us on November 27, 2012 at Noon ET for our November Professional Development Webinar where we’ll feature panelists in those selected career fields to share how their AmeriCorps service helped them succeed in one of the Best New Jobs in America. You won't want to miss this webinar.  Click here to register for this event.
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