“Do you know who I am?” the gentleman shouted from the other end of the phone. “I’m Gaddi Vasquez, the director of the Peace Corps!”
“Oh, Mr. Vasquez” I replied, “how may I help you?”
“Who are you?” the sharp, impatient, booming voice stated “where is Katie? I like to know everything that goes on when I am away! Who are you?”
“I’m Jessica Begenyi, and I am an intern in the department of communications. Mr. Vasquez, how may I help you?”
And again he shouted “where is Katie?”
“She had an appointment this morning, but she will be back at her desk by 1:00 pm. Again, Mr. Vasquez, what can I do for you?”
“Connect me to Amanda!” he shouts as my shaking finger reaches for the transfer button.
I spend the rest of my morning filling in for the secretary and answering phones. After a chaotic morning, I return to my desk, and eagerly begin working on my project. Earlier in the week I went through the three major recruitment books calculating the percent of each region in each book, and then how that correlates to the number of Peace Corps Volunteers in each region. In addition, it was important to calculate the ethnicities represented to make sure we present an equally diverse group of volunteers. These recruitment tools are seen by every applicant, and need to encourage people of all races, socio-economical status, and ages to join the Peace Corps.
My internship at the Peace Corps Headquarters connects and combines two important things: experience in communications and marketing, and the second, the ability to be creative. The choices I make directly affect the applicants that apply. My job is to represent America with a range of people who want to truly make a difference. This job is also creative because I have to put each piece together to form a much larger picture.
Through my internship, I found out first hand how much difference on individual can make. Here I am, one high school intern, making decisions and helping design a brochure that ultimately may convince many potential volunteers to join the Peace Corps. Specifically, The photographs In the Brochure’s for the current slogan “Life is Calling…How far will you go?” illustrate the love and deep friendships that are made between Volunteers and their new families. When I view these photographs, I feel invigorated about the next years of my life. How will I reach out, and expand my heart? The exact process is unknown, but the fact that it will occur is inevitable. Leaving for the next four years is a lot like joining the Peace corps. Departing for College is answering my life’s calling, and I’m eager to see how far I will go.
As I am putting the final touches on the recruitment books, one of the most important people who works under the director passes by my desk. He says with a good natured laugh “I heard you were baptized this morning”.