This week has been a good one for reflections.
My 15-hour flight home from Cambodia allowed for many hours of “think time.” For those who travel extensively for work, we all know it can be one of the few times of solitude and a respite from constant phone calls and e-mails. On this trip, I found myself reflecting on how my role with Room to Read has influenced me professionally and personally over the last two years.
As a communicator, it has been the highest honor to provide my expertise to an organization I feel passionate about. Not only is Room to Read making a difference in the world, but it is delivering at a speed and efficiency that rivals or exceeds many corporations, and the passion that comes from every staff member I have met inspires me to do better and deliver more every day.
In addition to the support I contribute to the organization, the partnership has allowed me more opportunities to work directly with Ketchum's global network on a regular basis. Beyond Room to Read's presence in its nine countries of focus, it also has nearly 50 fundraising chapters throughout the world – a structure that has allowed me to connect these local chapters with Ketchum offices and affiliates for local market support. In doing so, I've been able to drastically expand my worldview and establish relationships with colleagues I would not have had the opportunity to work with otherwise, from offices like Sydney, Dubai, Johannesburg, and London.
On my flight home I've realized how my clients and colleagues have inspired me and fueled my passion for corporate citizenship, and I can only hope that in my role as a communication counselor, they have learned from me as much as I have from them. My exposure to a broader perspective of the world has opened my eyes to the infinite possibilities our profession has to offer, and I'm grateful that this experience will allow me to be a better PR practitioner in all aspects of my work.
Julie Ferriot is a VP and management supervisor at Ketchum West.