The Value of a Continued Education

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of sitting in Benojo’s Acquiring and Building Corporate Partnerships workshop. Every Tuesday, a group of individuals working somehow in CSR have the privilege to participate in a two day workshop where they learn new tactics about forging relationships with corporate partners, gain insights into corporate’s perspectives, and get feedback on how they would go about pitching to a corporate. In addition, participants receive four units of competency for the Cert IV in management upon completion of the course. Observing this all day event was eye opening, and made me realize how important an ongoing education is.

 My first day of school ever, September 2002.

My first day of school ever, September 2002.

In May of 2019, if all goes as planned, I will graduate from the University of Richmond with a Bachelor of Arts, a lifetime of memories, and a gigantic urge to never step foot in a classroom again. After 16 years of schooling, of late night cramming and early morning wake ups, of caffeine crashes and fierce finals, of coming up short on too many exams to count and praying to some higher power that I would somehow survive, I will be done. Do I sound a tad dramatic? Maybe. Am I grateful that I was able to receive the education I have? Of course, I would not trade it for anything. But, it is a little unreal to think I have spent my entire life in a hamster wheel of schooling.

For a long time I thought the second I got my diploma, my formal education would be over. I don’t necessary see myself going to grad school at any point in the future, so that would be it. Of course, as humans we are never really done learning, but after completing a degree, I thought I would be equipped with all of the proper tools to be successful in my industry. Sitting in on Acquiring and Building Corporate Partnerships workshop taught me a lesson that was not in the course’s description.

 The winners of the elevator pitch challenge with their coveted trophies!

The winners of the elevator pitch challenge with their coveted trophies!

Workshops like these are invaluable. Not only do participants learn all of the things previously mentioned, they are given the opportunity to network with other people in their industry. They can learn from one another and share experiences. They receive refreshers on things they may have learned a long time ago. They are reminded why they got into the rewarding world in philanthropy. They are given a day out of their normal office life to enhance their tool belt and come back a better and more efficient worker. Is that not priceless?

The concept of a continuing education relate directly backs to the step of “Grow and Tell” from What Successful Companies Are Doing. In order to thrive professionally, it is essential to make sure you are staying up to date with the latest trends and patterns in your professional sphere. Participating in workshops like the one described in this post enables just that.

You can never know everything, but courses like these will get you even closer.

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