If you believe in the adage “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” then it’s safe to say that I’ve become an exponentially better person in the six months since I’ve known Vicki Weeks. Looking back on our first meeting last September (when she agreed to an informational interview despite the fact that, unbeknownst to me, she was busy preparing for the release of her Global Education book the very next day), it’s hard to imagine my life without her in it.
As a newbie to Seattle, I sat down with 22 (this is not is not a typo) professionals somehow related to the field of global education. I moved to Seattle after a year of intense coursework at SIT Graduate Institute and was desperately searching for a job to fulfill the practicum requirement of my degree; a prospect which seemed increasingly daunting the more people I spoke with about employment in the greater Seattle area. As tends to be the case in my life, I sat down for coffee with Vicki right around the time that I was on precipice of giving up. After an hourlong conversation, we both realized that we were meant to work together; Vicki needed help with her growing business and I needed a supervisor who valued collaboration and gave me some creative flexibility. Just like that, I signed on to became the first Global Weeks Program Development Associate for six months.
Our work styles naturally complement one another and our routine quickly fell into place; sometimes we would work together at Vicki’s home office or at our shared coworking space at Impact Hub, sometimes we would work remotely, and sometimes we would take walks to bounce ideas around. No matter the case, we were always collaborating via Google Drive, email, or Wunderlist (a shared to-do list app I highly recommend). With Vicki’s input and expertise, I took on much of the legwork of the New Orleans service-learning program design as the basis for my thesis and we simultaneously worked on a number of other projects. We created systems to stay organized and held each other accountable.
Looking back, I’m proud of how much we accomplished in a relatively short amount of time. In addition to our consulting work, we redesigned the Global Weeks website, instituted a monthly newsletter (if you haven’t already, check out the latest installment!), developed a plan for the weekly blog including monthly guest posts for the Student Journey Series (my personal favorite; I love reading about how students have been inspired by global education); the list goes on. In just a couple of weeks, we will culminate our work together by facilitating a collaborative session on service-learning program design at the GEBG Global Educator’s Conference in Miami. Most importantly, amidst it all, we built a friendship.
Endings are inevitably sad if they’re viewed in isolation, so I’m choosing instead to see this as a transition. From one chapter to the next, Vicki and I will undoubtedly remain in each other’s stories even though our work together in this capacity is coming to an close.