So, I started my new job on Friday, September 16th.
My title: Employer Engagement Coordinator.
I'm working for Kamehameha Schools, the school I went to from 7th grade to completion of high school (see here for a little background on why this school is so special to me and other alumni).
I'm working in a department at the school called Strategy and Innovation. So far my understanding is that this is the department that is thinking of, developing, and piloting new ways of providing educational services that are culturally appropriate and building capacities for Native Hawaiians to be successful now and in the next few decades. Something like that, don't quote me on it.
My main focus is going to be a tool that, best way for me to describe it is this: LinkedIn + a learning management system specifically for beneficiaries of Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate. Which, if you know what I was working on before we moved to Hawaii, is kinda neat because I feel like there's tons of parallels to what I've studied over the past few years; heck, it's an area in which I tried to start a consulting business! Basically I'm developing work-based learning opportunities for students, and this tool is the...well, tool, for getting the work done. From connecting with prospective employers to providing training modules to students on stuff like interviewing or cover letters and lots of other stuff in between and beyond. Really cool stuff. At least, the way I feel about it so far.
Here's the coolest thing about my experiences at work so far though: I'm surrounded by intelligent people who are passionate about the school's mission and vision and who, at least so far as I've experienced, are genuinely giving their best effort to make a positive difference in the lives of Native Hawaiian kids.
Here's the close second coolest thing about my work: I am kinda geeking out from the few meetings I've been asked to join since I started. Why? Because the mana'o, the information, the ideas being shared and dissected and evaluated etc. etc. in these meetings is so exciting. At least for me it is.
And it's seriously like drinking through a fire hose. I feel like I'm back in graduate school again.
Someone mentioned to me today that at least the water's been clean for me so far. Which I get, you know? I know it's not going to be all fun and games, but so far I'm very excited to be joining the team at this point in the game and I'm humbled by and grateful for the chance to participate and contribute what I can. I honestly feel very lucky.
The lady who hired me is pretty dang amazing, too, I hope and pray I can be the help she needs to get this project up and running and successful.
And lots of my KS '91 classmates work for Kamehameha and/or are very involved in Native Hawaiian, er, stuffs? Which means there's a possibility of a min-class reunion nearly every day. Well, almost. Hope I can represent well.
It's an amazing opportunity for me to work for an organization with a higher purpose that reaches backwards to my history and ancestry at the same time it's reaching forward to the future, which impacts my own family.
I'm rambling, sorry. Just know I'm very excited to be working in this organization, in this particular role, at this particular time. Humbled and grateful.