> Posted by Val Ng
At the Career Panel today, students got the chance to ask Dr. Rhyne personal questions on her experience with microfinance and her journey to her position with ACCION as well as asking for advice for their own lives. What I found most interesting was Dr. Rhyne’s statement that the success of microfinance due to the vast demand for services – need – and this led to the idea of responding to current needs, such as energy and environment. What needs to be done in the world today and what can we do? Dr. Rhyne says her own guiding principle for planning a career was to think about the biggest problem in the world that you can have an impact on and work on it. Ambitious, but inspiring at the same time.
Another big topic of discussion was what to do after the undergraduate years – gathering experience in developing countries and eventually pursing a graduate degree was seen as necessary for those wanting a career in development. Is Peace Corps the best way to go or is it better to scout for opportunities below the radar screen of formal employment? Small organisations—what are their pros and cons and how do we find them? I could see the students leaving the panel mulling over all that was discussed, and (I would guess) wondering what their personal journey was going to be like after college.
My favourite piece of advice from Dr. Rhyne: “Don’t put up with a bad job”.
Val Ng is a student at Beloit College and is our guest blogger reporting on Elisabeth Rhyne’s participation in the week of events surrounding the 10th anniversary of the Weissberg Chair Program. Elisabeth Rhyne is this year’s Marvin Weissberg Chair. Read Val’s first post here.