I’m Doing it My Way

In early October, I was sitting in the Career Center at Luther College. I had just found out that I had been accepted into the Lutheran College Washington Semester program. Dan, a career counselor, mentioned PLEN to me. Since I’d be in DC for the spring semester, I could attend. I told him I was interested, but didn’t think much of it after I left the office that day.

Fast forward to February. I received an email from Carol, another career counselor, that told me I might be interested in PLEN. Because of my internship, I was uncertain if I’d be able to attend all the seminars. However, that turned out not to be the case. Soon enough I was in contact with Ellie Shaw and not long after that, I was registered for the seminar, Unlocking Nonprofits: Innovations and Careers.

When I attend seminars, I never know what I am getting myself into. However, PLEN’s seminars have helped me make connections. Because of those connections, I have a better understanding of the path I want to take. I also have the support of like-minded individuals who share similar passions. I also have the resources to help me figure out where I’m going and what I’m going to do.

I learned a lot of valuable information at PLEN’s seminar. Some of this information is already in practice even two weeks after the conference.

Seminars are places where an individual learns about certain topics that are of interest to them. I learned information about a career in the nonprofit world. I also learned a lot about myself. For the longest time, I believed that I had to complete a predetermined list of activities to get to where I want to be. By attending PLEN’s seminar, I learned that there is no predetermined list because everyone has their own path. Further, there’s no such thing as a wrong path.

Rest assured, I am not checking off activities from a long list. Instead, I am chasing after opportunities that I want in life. I am not going after opportunities because others are, I am going after opportunities because I have a genuine interest. I am doing things my way because it’s the best approach that I know.


katie peterson


Katie Peterson received a scholarship sponsored by Ellie Shaw, PLEN Board of Directors, to attend the 2015 Unlocking Nonprofits seminar.  She attended the seminar as a junior at Luther College.

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