Board Spotlight -- Ed O Brien, Mentoring Director

Get to Know RPCV/W Board Directors & Committee Members!
Name:Ed O'Brien
Country of service:Panama
Home state:MASS

Why did you join the board? 
I was helping out with the mentoring committee and I wanted to get more involved.

Favorite board memory?

Running my first speed mentoring event and having people actually show up! It was fun and exciting to meet new people in the community. 

What advice would you tell the incoming board?
It is helpful to have a clear idea and goal that you can focus on for RPCV/w. For example, as mentoring director my job is to connect as many members to other members for career and recent return mentoring, and to improve the quality of connection if possible. Many people come to the board asking for help for their group or for their cause, or for ideas for the program. I always ask "How does this help our members connect to other members, or improve the quality of that connection for their career or for returning from Peaces Corps?" That question focuses my efforts on actions that actually add value to our members, and keeps me from burning out spinning my wheels on things that don't.  Also - a lot of people have a lot of ideas on how things should get done. It's good to take suggestions, but don't let perfect be the enemy of the good - make sure to focus on having events and connecting people, don't get paralyzed by worrying about making it perfect.  If you're organizing events and you're helping RPCVs  meet other RPCVs they wouldn't otherwise meet, you're adding value.  Don't worry about being creative about it, just make it happen. 

What is your favorite thing about serving on the board?
Serving on the board gives you the chance to grow by running events and helping to build a community. It also gives you a chance to meet people here in DC as you partner with business owners and leaders in the area for creating events. It's also great to meet all the other RPCV/w members in the area who are all very interesting and solid people. It's an excuse to get out of your comfort zone, try something new and meet leaders in the area.