Let’s face it, by education I’m a computer geek. Growing up, I enjoyed working with computers, and in college I found myself gravitating toward a career in that field without giving a lot of thought to the alternatives. In truth, I never thought much about the Peace Corps then. I’ve been employed at IBM now for about 4 years. I can describe what I do in a lot of techno-babble, but basically I solve problems people are experiencing with their computers, to make them operate faster and more efficiently. I like what I do, and I’m good at it.
So how does a computer geek become interested in the Peace Corps? People are not one-dimensional, and that’s even true of computer geeks. As an adult, I became exposed to people and cultures which I never encountered growing up. I am often referred to as a cultural assimilator by my friends. I always take any chance I get to go to a new cultural event. I’ve had opportunities travel abroad. These cross cultural experiences have been very enriching to me. They have opened up a whole new way to think about how the world works. They have changed my views and, more importantly, led me to think in broader terms about what it is I should be doing with my life.
It is natural (or so it seems to me) to want to make a positive difference somewhere. And if such a desire is natural, it follows logically that it is natural to want to make the biggest positive difference possible, consistent with one’s own capabilities. I feel I would be good at the Peace Corps. To the Peace Corps I would bring not only my training as an engineer and my ability to tackle unfamiliar problems, but also my love for the world and my desire to help a lot of different people. With no disrespect for the many other individuals of diverse backgrounds who serve in the Peace Corps, I believe I could be useful in ways that many people can't. The Peace Corps would allow all of my skills to be developed and put to use in a single place. I hope to be able to broaden my own skills and experiences at the same time that I contribute something of value for the benefit of other cultures with which I come in contact.