Ramil has a job.

This week, I started my few first days of work at Acumen Fund as the Fellows Associate.

And it feels great to be able to say all of those things: Acumen Fund... Fellows Associate... WORK! It's been a rough last couple of months since I started this blog back in January, but I believe I've grown a lot in a short time. I've learned how to balance priorities, how to run on far less sleep, and (perhaps most of all) deal with rejection. I've realized what it means to be honest about strengths and weaknesses, and that it's actually quite empowering to know what my limits are.

While I'm glad to be moving on, my biggest regret is not being able to stay at the Gulf Coast Fund for Community Renewal and Ecological Health. I had developed very strong relationships with my colleagues there, and I felt like I was finally getting my projects off the ground. GCF allowed me to travel all over the Gulf, meet the most amazing people, and gave me the chance to be part of the recovery effort of one of the biggest ecological disasters in history. Everyday, I really felt like I was contributing to something that was going to make a difference in peoples' lives. However, in the end I knew that I was a little bit out of my element. My interests are still so broad, and I need my first job to extend beyond philanthropy.

That's why I'm so excited to be at Acumen working on the Fellows program. Acumen combines philanthropy with entrepreneurship to create lasting solutions to the problems of global poverty. And the Fellows program adds to the equation an education and leadership development piece - something that I see as being a strong part of the rest of my career. Already after just my first week, I have met so many interesting people, and I know that I will meet so many more. When I was learning about organizations like Acumen at NYU, I often imagined that I would end up working in a place like it, but it seems so unreal now that it's actually happening.

I feel enormous gratitude to everyone who has helped me with this process - all of my friends who put up with canceled plans and endless banter about career planning... My teachers and advisors who nudged me along while never giving me the easy answers, and had the wisdom to let me make my own mistakes... My bosses and colleagues who helped me to realize what professionalism means, and that I'd probably be better off with less of it... My family who has always believed in and supported me, no matter what kind of person I thought I wanted to be that day... But the person who I owe the most thanks to is my sister. You're the Chair of my Advisory Board, you're the president of my fan club, and you've without a doubt been the greatest sister I could have asked for. Even though you can overwhelm me with over-planning and dozens of daily bike/job listings, I know that I would have never made it through this without you.

The getting-a-job process has been by far the hardest thing I've ever done, and I will not soon forget what I went through. With this under my belt, I have a lot of new goals and challenges: being successful at my job, finding an apartment, becoming a Jeopardy! champion... but I'm confident that I can handle just about anything that comes my way now. Over the last couple of years, I have been searching and searching for the beginning of my career path, and for the first time in a long time, I feel like my life has a clear direction and purpose. I don't know where this road will take me in the future, but I know that the first steps are to get comfortable with losing control, to never stop questioning, and that hard work - even though it might not seem like it at the time - will eventually pay off in the end.

Goodbye for now,


LG said...

Hi Ramil, I came across your blog because I'm actually moving to NYC and looking for jobs at similar organizations- you give me hope! Thank you and good luck!

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