Using my degrees – all of them

When I was little in elementary school we were presented the standard options for jobs; Teacher, Lawyer, Doctor, Fireman.  I spell badly, don’t really like blood or fire so I put myself on the lawyer track.  Funny enough, that early ‘you will be’ declaration never really left even when I knew by my teens that there were infinite varieties of other jobs and as a college graduate I looked at all the jobs I had never heard of and now as an adult I do a job that didn’t even exist then…

Before college, I had thought about what I would do with my law degree and I had the dream of doing international relations.  I looked at schools that had that as a major and there were two and both schools got off my lists for different reasons and at 18 I dialed it back from international relations just to the more general political science.

In college, I took the general government/pre-law track that was Political Science.  I figured that a solid knowledge of government and politics would do me well even if I didn’t go into law (because even as a freshman I had a suspicion).  I double-majored in History, a very natural double major and ironically minored in English because it is less about spelling and more about reading and by being a bad speller I’m actually a really good reader because minor errors never bother me so I can read translations and older versions of English and be just fine.  During college, I worked at a law firm in NYC and while I had a great time there and didn’t even mind the work, the partners and associates that told me every day to “save myself” and “don’t do this!” while probably half joking were a cautionary tale.  The fact they also slept in their offices, had food in their desks because they didn’t leave, and had extra suits in their closets actually were more telling and I wanted a life a tad more than a law career.

I graduated with honors, but in reality, the thing that matters is that I graduated since nobody since then has ever cared that I had a nearly perfect GPA.  With a degree doors opened and I took one that led me into purchasing and logistics and I really loved my time organizing and streamlining and getting things at perfect as possible for the different companies I worked with.  The ‘dream’ of law and politics went into the background as I had real word situations to work on.  My international relations came true in the form of overseas supplier and customers and knowledge of law is woven into all business so I’m glad I had a foundation.  I went on to my MBA and learned even more about how systems of business work and how to use what I know to make a company better or more effective.

In the back of my head, I have always loved law and politics but had put it on a shelf because of ‘real life’.  Until now… This week I accepted the Campaign Manager position for a local levy and bond and I’m officially in the world of politics.  I like that my hard hours of study about political demographics and parties are paying off because I know exactly what the analyst is saying about the best way to run this campaign.  I think I’m in this position not because of my undergrad level of knowledge of politics but probably because of the MBA that is basically a masters in being bossy and orginized – both things that make a good campaign.  I feel like I’m jumping into the deep end but there is a team that believes in me so I owe it to my self to have the same level of self-confidence.

I’m working on a campaign for a thing, not a person.  Technically I’m working to get money so our kids and schools can have a fighting chance.  I’m willing to give up my time so my kids and their peers can have a class under 30, supplies without begging, and the support staff to let the teachers teach not do everything else.  The budget in our district has been cut yearly, jobs lost, programs cut, but still, the school performs.  There is something special that keeps the teachers and administration keep working and doing a great job.  I can’t imagine what they would do if they were fully funded!

This is a sprint of a campaign, only 2 months, but there is a team and a plan and guess what – I get to lead it!

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