Any Alumni who worked in refugee resettlement? What you did after your service?

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Hi everyone!

I am trying to find some VISTA alumni who previously completed their year of service in refugee resettlement. That is what I did, and I am struggling to figure out what to do with my life next. I want to know- did you go back to school and what for? Or did you find another job and what company? 

Thanks in advance for sharing! 

Hey Anushka,

I realize you posted this a few months ago but I figured I'd reply. I'm currently a VISTA at a refugee resettlement agency in Michigan. I'm wondering if you've decided what to do? I'm currently mulling over options for grad school in sociology, but still don't know what to do with the year I'll have between my service ending and a grad program starting. 

Is refugee resettlement an area that you want to work in moving forward? I love my job here but I think my career goals are more focused on academia rather than social work. I'm interested to know if you've made any developments in the process of figuring out what's next!

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Hi Allison, 

It's cool to hear you're serving refugees like I did! I truly loved my year in service. And thanks for asking for an update! Maybe my response will help you, or at least offer some words of encouragement. It's hard to know what could be a good next step. 

I am not sure if refugee resettlement is exactly where I want to be, but I know I want to eventually have a permanent position serving international populations. I have been doing research and I think I will apply to grad school soon to study international human rights. In the meantime, I am working in the development/capacity building side of my local food bank. It's not exactly what I envisioned to do, but it definitely fits in the ballpark of where I want to be.

If you are more interested in academia, have you considered City Year? I know they have a 6 month program. I have heard organizations like Peace Corps have shorter options to serve/teach internationally too. Some cities have nonprofits with educational programs/after-school initiatives for underprivileged students, and that could be something you could look into. Just suggestions though! 

Lastly, I would like to say that many people really respect AmeriCorps and value it as true experience on your resume. It's a great way to show your capabilities for any job moving forward. I am confident that you will find a good opportunity, because former AmeriCorps VISTAs just have that go-getter quality about them :) Keep in mind, though, that your next job might not be exactly what you want. However, it will be good experience and it will teach you something new. Opportunities are never a waste of time. :) Good luck! 

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Hey Anushka,

Thanks so much for your kind words & recommendations! I'll definitely check out the programs you mentioned. I'm not sure what your timeline looks like, or if you'd be interested, but I know the Global Health Corps has quite a few year-long fellowships that might suit your interests serving international populations. They have many opportunities abroad but also some domestic placements, although they are usually focused on public health issues so that may or may not be up your alley. I'm actually working on an application for one in Boston & the application is due in a few weeks.

Whatever you do, I wish you good luck! Thanks again!

 

 

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Hello Everyone,

My name is Jonathan and I currently work at a refugee resettlement agency with AmeriCorps VISTA and I have finished my PhD in Sociology. Good luck everyone with whatever you decide to do in the future. I do not think that there is really a "wrong" choice and it is more about the experiences that you have along the way. I got my PhD because I really wanted to study a problem that interested me in depth and at the end of it decided I really wanted to enter into a career where I could serve people directly and influence policy in a practical way as opposed to studying about these problems and needing to produce a steady stream of academic journal articles. So whatever you do now is really a stepping stone to what you do next. Have fun. 

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Hey guys!

I'm currently serving in a resettlement organization, and going in to my service a few months back, I was completely set in not going to grad school right away. However, in the short time being here, I've decided to go back to school and get my Master's in Social Work with a macro/global emphasis. From the research I've done, it combines the basics of a human rights degree with an international relations/policy degree. I'm still in the preliminary stages of my decision, but the more I look into it, the more excited about the future I get!

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Jessica,

It's awesome that you replied to this message because I was just looking into macro social work programs the other day. I'm thinking macro social work can be a great option for working in nonprofits but not necessarily working on the direct-service side of things. I'm curious if there are specific programs you are looking at? I was really interested reading about Case Western's program but then I saw that it is $22 thou per SEMESTER and that made me want to cry.

Are you applying for next fall? Good luck with it all!

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Allison, 

A lot of the programs I've seen in intial searches are so expensive! Washington University in St. Louis has a great program from what I've heard, but it's about $22k per semester too. I am planning on applying for next fall. Luckily, I've seen a lot of schools saying they'll waive application fees and have merit scholarships for VISTAs. 

My site supervisor mentioned that some schools will allow VISTA service as practicum, so I want to look more into that. But the idea of working full-time and going to school full-time sounds really intense. 

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