When I joined DSO in the fall, I had little knowledge of Africa, the social entrepreneurship sphere, how they could combine, or that I could play any role in that combination. Over the course of the year I learned more about all of these things than I think would have been possible in any class I could’ve taken or other program I could’ve been a part of. I had the opportunity not only to work with an incredible group of consultants and professionals in DC, but also with basically the coolest international social innovation firm in the world (Ashoka), and on projects that had an impact on communities in countries as far away as Kenya.
I learned how to work with a team through all sorts of challenges, small and large, got a window into the world of international development consulting and DC’s corporate culture, worked on my own business skills, but more importantly I got to work on a project that had an impact on the world and will continue to in the future. My DSO team worked for Ashoka’s Future Forward initiative, supporting Ashoka Fellows all over Sub-Saharan Africa as they combat the area’s rampant underemployment. Not only did I learn about the incredible work these youth innovators are doing, and how their work will revolutionize youth employment, but I got to assist them in their efforts by working to bring more attention to them.
Georgetown is uniquely positioned among elite institutions in DC, one of the world’s largest hubs of international development and innovation. I was able to take some of the concepts I was only just beginning to learn about in my classes, and walk across the Key Bridge to Ashoka’s Rosslyn headquarters where they were augmented by my professional Engagement Leads and turned into deliverables for our client. Today, I can speak with confidence about a variety of issues related to Africa and social entrepreneurship I knew nothing about a year ago, and will be able to use the skills I developed with DSO for many years to come. More importantly, I know my work this year will have some impact, however small, some of the most deserving communities in the world. Not only is my future brighter, but I got to play a part in making Africa’s future brighter as well.
Contributed by Lucas Brooks