Monday, July 23, 2012

Events of the week

This past week has certainly been an eventful one! First, we had a dynamic resume workshop with Mark Perriello, President of AAPD, Helena Burger, Executive Vice President of AAPD, and Rebecca Coakley, Director of Priority Placement in the Presidential Personnel Office of the White House. Mark, Helena, and Becca are wonderful people to talk with and we all got some valuable advice and tips for our resumes and got to hear some fun stories along the way. My favorite part was the lesson about name-dropping. You should only do it when it fits into the conversation and when you actually know and have checked with that person first!

I also had the chance to meet with Joyce Bender, Chair of the AAPD Board and Founder and CEO of Bender Consulting Services, to talk about my resume and future employment opportunities. I was so glad I got the chance to meet with her and also had fun afterwards catching up with some of my favorite people at AAPD! 

This week, my mentor, Yoshiko, invited me and my supervisor to attend an ice cream social event with Senator Leahy (D-VT), who has done a lot of work for people with disabilities, particularly in regards to healthcare.  Others from the National Council on Independent Living and AAPD were also there, so we had a lot of fun. We got to meet him and his wife, as well as their grandchildren, who had many balloon animals!

I’m continuing to learn and enjoy my work at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). This past week, I was part of a conference call talking about a Disability Symposium for program managers and coordinators who work with people with disabilities. There were many valuable ideas about workshops that were discussed. I like being part of collaboration between different offices in the Federal Government. I also got to attend a meeting of the Hispanic Council on Federal Employment, which was a new experience for me. This group helps advise OPM on employment practices that help with the recruitment, hiring, and retention of Hispanics in the Federal Government. I appreciated this experience because it gives me the opportunity to learn about the employment challenges that other diverse minority groups are facing and seeing how those challenges are both similar and different from employment difficulties faced by people with disabilities.

I cannot believe I will only be here in Washington for three more weeks. I plan to make the most of it!

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