My Fifth Year
A Column by Rebecca Harshbarger
For the first time, May will no longer denote the start of summer for me. My first 9-to-5 job will not be interrupted.
I’ve been told by those older than I that time will seem to speed up each year as I get older, and I have to agree. This first year since my graduation from Penn State Altoona has gone by so quickly, and as I discuss events for spring 2015 with my colleagues, I see how time will continue to fly.
June will mark my one year anniversary of working in the Development and Alumni Relations Office, and I have learned so much. I have learned to work with many different types of people and manage my time effectively as I coordinate many different events and fill many roles.
I have been able to see how large-scale events such as the Speaker Series event with Ina Garten come together, but I have also gained an appreciation for the work entailed with smaller-scale events like the corporate luncheons I have planned, where alumni and friends are given the opportunity to intermingle in a casual atmosphere. Both events, although completely different in nature, had one major goal: to engage people within our Penn State Altoona community.
Our office has the opportunity, because of our strong affiliation with the community and alumni, to be a part of so much. Whether hosting events on campus or thinking of ways to engage alumni in other parts of the country, we are eager to make things happen.
Also, in terms of development, through our community outreach initiatives and fundraising efforts, we seek to raise awareness about philanthropy and its impact on our students. Events like the Student Benefactor Dinner hosted by our office each fall are inspiring because one can see the impact giving has made in the lives of students, and one is also able to see how these gifts impact the lives of donors.
I have been able to meet a lot of new people, while still being very connected to those I already knew because of my ties as a former student and alumna. I wasn’t ready to leave Penn State Altoona last May, and I am very happy to still be playing a role. I guess this really is my Penn State Altoona.