Sunday, October 22, 2006

It's been a while.

Work has been wonderful. The piece of the case I'm working on centers on organizational behavior issues. During undergrad and Wharton I took quite a few classes on this stuff because it interests me. It's kinda cool to actually use the stuff I've learned. It's been kind of surprising actually, the classes that are relevant to nonprofit consulting. I quoted one of my OPIM professors the other day. If you told me last year that I'd quote my OPIM professor, I'd tell you it was time to lay down the crack pipe. But even operations is relevant. (The quote you ask? "When you look at a process that's broken, ask yourself what's changed to get to the root cause of the problem.")

Beyond the organizational issues, I get to think about systemic change. One of the big theories in the nonprofit sector is that societal systems (economic, political, social, health, etc.) are broken. Nonprofits work to correct these broken systems through the use of various subsidies (lower staff salaries, direct funding, training, patient capital, etc.) and through efforts to change the system. We're working with our client to help them think about their "Theory of Change" - what the believe about the current system and what they believe will change it. It's really cool to contribute to that kind of thinking. Hell, it's really cool to be asked to think period.

Not only is the work interesting, but I truly enjoy being around my co-workers. They're smart, funny, compassionate, and not afraid of being a little bit nerdy. I admire them a great deal, and I'm grateful to be given the opportunity to work with them.

But all is not sunshine and light - I'm still trying to figure out how to rediscover that other part of me. I feel like I go to work, come home, sleep, repeat. I need something else. I just don't know what I would do or when I would do it. The great thing about Wharton is that you just have to show up, add water, and stir and POOF - there you have it. Instant friends and other activities. It's a little bit more difficult this time around. I just feel incomplete. And sometimes a bit lonely. Most of my friends are on the east coast. With the 3-hour time difference, it's really hard to connect with people. And living in the suburbs has exacerbated that situation at times. Now that I'm settled into the Bay area, I'm starting to look into some of the San Francisco neighborhoods as possible places to settle. Noe Valley and Potrero Hill have piqued my interest. So despite my aversion to moving I may move to the city once my lease is up. Something tells me living closer may help create more opportunities to be involved in SOMETHING.

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