After graduation day: The Amelia Schmidt Story

Category:  News
Wednesday, April 27th, 2016 at 10:02 PM
After graduation day: The Amelia Schmidt Story by Kimberly Firestine
In about two months, Amelia Schmidt will be starting a job with AmeriCorps.

For some students, the end of April means the close of another spring semester, possibly graduation or trying to get a summer job set in stone.

For Amelia Schmidt, it means getting ready to move to another part of the country and start a job with AmeriCorps and the Civil Conservation Corps (Triple C).

In just over a month, Schmidt will be moving to Vicksburg, Mississippi to begin training for a leadership position with a Federal Emergency Management Association Corps team, a program run by AmeriCorps and Triple C as a continuation from the Great Depression era “make-work” programs.

“There’s no other point in my life where I felt I could jump into something like this with both feet and not really having no one that’s dependent on me,” said Schmidt. “I am a single unit that can go, so it was time to do that.”

During her training, Schmidt will be in charge of a group of people ages 18-24 and will be learning to manage the finances for that group of people and making sure that disciplinary matters are handled properly.

Following her two months of leadership and team training, Schmidt and her FEMA Corps team members will be certified to work on specified tasks and will then be disbursed to work all over the 50 states and U.S. territories.

Schmidt, who would prefer to stay in the south for her program, stated, “I could be in New York. I could be in D.C.. I could be in San Diego — it’s really where the need is.”

Schmidt says she found her inspiration to apply for the program recently while binge-watching “Parks and Recreation” on Netflix.

“Throughout the course of the final season the character April really struggles with what she wants to do. She’s not sure if she’s happy in her position; she’s not sure if she’d be happy doing something else,” said Schmidt.

“At the tail-end of the season she decides to do a bunch of career exploration opportunities — I Googled the name of the program she was in while watching it because I thought ‘that is exactly what I want to do because I don’t really know what I want to do.”’

As for making the move from northwest Pennsylvania to the south, Schmidt said that diversity is something she craves in an environment.

“I do my best work when I’m around people that are fundamentally different than I am, and I’m excited to be in an area that is different from the area in which I was raised at a very basic level,” she said.

With a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and a minor in journalism, Schmidt said she would love to do something in journalism or teach at a collegiate level after her time with AmeriCorps.

“I would rather do more of telling people what’s happening, but I got the degree I did because that was where my interest was — in the political system,” said Schmidt. She also noted that she would love to get into Pennsylvania’s government branches.

“I also want to be a senator for Pennsylvania, but we’ll see what happens,” she said.

Schmidt attributes her acceptance to the leadership and team member positions to her experience working with Edinboro’s campus radio station, WFSE.

“I had been the news director the year prior, I am currently the programming director, so I was able to use my experience to my advantage and say ‘I am very qualified for this position,’” said Schmidt. “I definitely think that the number one reason I got the position I did was because of my experience at the radio station.”

Schmidt strongly believes that getting involved in campus activities such as campus media is what is going to get someone a job in their chosen field.

“It carries a lot of weight to say ‘I was a midlevel manager at this radio station’ or even just at the small beat level. ‘I’m the news director’ or ‘I’m the sports director’ — that means something to people. That carries significance,” said Schmidt.

“There’s an understanding of a level of responsibility there that you need to use — you can and you should use to your advantage. That’s what’s going to get you the job. That’s what’s going to get you into the program that you want.

” When it comes to words of advice for those looking to do something different with their degree and college experience, Schmidt says “take chances as they come; take your job seriously; do good work in the role that you’re in now, because it’s going to help you get the one you want.”

Kimberly Firestine is a Senior Staff Writer for The Spectator.

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