“Being challenged is inevitable, being defeated is optional” – Roger Crawford
Having heard about the Global Health Corps fellowship only forty eight hours before the deadline to submit an application, I had little hope of making the deadline with all my ongoing commitments. Nonetheless I put in all my effort and I was pleasantly surprised and privileged to have received an offer. I was overjoyed, as this meant I had an opportunity to come back home to Zambia after six years. However, there was a twist to the offer. The position I was offered was in finance, an area I was hardly familiar with, at an organization I had only come to know about before my interview. This did not stop me from accepting the offer.
After a long journey of soul searching, I had finally found a sense of belonging amidst my colleagues during my masters, a group of individuals from multiple disciplines with a passion for equitable health. The hope to keep this sense of belonging and expand my network of people with this passion is what led me to accept my offer for the fellowship and challenge myself.
As the beginning of the program approached, my nervousness increased. I have always feared making mistakes, and a new job in a new field meant mistakes would be inevitable as they are through any learning process. Little did I know that my fear would disappear within the first two weeks.
As I met with my supervisor and went through my terms of reference, it was soon realized that most of my deliverables were tasks I had never seen before and included administration, human resources, and procurement, in addition to finance. My supervisor requested that I keep these terms of reference with the promise to guide me through procedures and tasks I was not familiar with. I agreed to accept his request hesitantly and left his office wondering what I had signed myself up for.
Ten weeks have now gone by since I made a commitment not only to my supervisor, but to myself too, a commitment not to limit myself. The last ten weeks have been stressful as my responsibilities increased but they have left me feeling accomplished. I have had a great support system with guidance from my supervisor, tutoring from my co-worker and morale support from my co-fellows.
My journey has only begun, and as it twists and turns with no two directions being the same, I grasp this opportunity to embrace making mistakes and learning lessons.