A Piece of Advice for Corps Year and Beyond, #CYgrad

By Jessica Mah, City Year AmeriCorps Recruitment Project Leader on the Bain Capital Team.

“Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.” – Peter F. Drucker, American Educator and Writer

Part of being an effective leader is having the ability to be self-aware, reflect on successes and challenges, taking the time to maintain perspective and re-centering of one’s values.

Understanding this concept was crucial to my leadership development. Many times throughout the year, I became so engulfed in my work that I would forget the ‘big picture’ or wonder what skills I was actually learning and at one point I lost sight of one of my most treasured values: empathy. Serving a corps year was tough and serving a senior corps year is even harder, but no matter how overwhelmed I became this year I would make it a priority to reflect on my service.

Whether I reflected in formal settings, with my fellow senior corps members or by myself, it was these reflection periods that helped me re-energize and re-mobilize to continue serving with excellence. I would evaluate my successes, critique my challenges, revisit my personal and professional goals as well as ask for feedback from individuals I led. Through these actions, I not only learned about my leadership style, my strengths and weaknesses but I also regained perspective, which in turn fueled my motivation and enthusiasm for my service. Now of all the lessons I learned this year, I will not only be taking away value of self-reflection but I will remember to utilize it for years to come!

After my realization, I would like to set-up the incoming and outgoing corps for success by offering some advice: make it a priority to reflect throughout the year because this skill is not only beneficial during your service year at City Year but also for your leadership development in your life and career.

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