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Organizatonal Collaboration: Connecting with Others

July 12, 2013

A smiling woman with glassesKatie Donahue is completing her Graduate Degree this fall. She is earning a Graduate Degree in Human Development and Leadership with a concentration in International Education Administration. She has previously studied abroad during the summer of 2010 in Seville Spain and had a great experience, which convinced her to pursue a master’s degree in International Education Administration. After she earns her degree, Ms. Donahue hopes to work for either a university in a study abroad office or hopefully work for a study abroad organization. She wants to assist other students with disabilities to study abroad.  She believes that with determination and the right people to help them along their journey, they, too, will be able to study abroad!  She is completing her  Youth in Development (YIDA) internship at World Learning, which works to empower people and strengthen institutions through education, exchange, and development programs.  USICD’s YiD internship program has brought seven students with disabilities to  Washington, DC, to complete summer internships at various international organizations in the DC area.  In this blog post, Katie shares some of her recent experiences at World Learning.

Connect with Katie Donahue via her LinkedIn profile at www.linkedin.com/in/katiedonahue.

Recently at World Learning I got invited to lunch by Linda who is the Monitoring Report Learning Officer. She was interested in learning about my undergraduate degree in Organizational Communication from Murray State University. While earning my degree I learned a lot about organizational culture, how organizations operate as unit and each department in organization communicate with one another and what connects an organization as whole. Linda told me that her department is planning to bring together Innovation and Youth Exchange departments to work together as team this would involve changing the department’s organizational culture. Linda and her team want the Youth and Exchange and Innovation department to work together as one department and be open to sharing ideas on projects and proposals. When Linda proposed this idea to both departments she said most people from both the Youth and Exchange and Innovation departments were on board with the idea of working together. There were some people who were hesitant about the idea of working together. World Learning often works in their own departments and many times do not always get the opportunity to work with other departments on a project.  Linda asked for my thoughts on how to get more people on board to working together and changing their department culture. I told Linda to start writing up a plan of how this would work and who is going to be working together. I also suggested to Linda to have a meeting with both the Youth Exchange and the Innovation department to open up the floor for their ideas, and state to both departments that this would be opportunity for colleagues to share ideas and collaborate with one another on projects and ideas. Changing the organizational culture can be a challenging but I believe when you get people working together outside of their own department this creates an opportunity for shared learning, collaboration and being more productive.  Linda was very open to my ideas and agreed with how this new change of organizational culture would have a positive outcome.

I was very glad to have the opportunity to share my ideas and knowledge with Linda.  It made me feel much appreciated and part of the World Learning team. This experience showed me that collaborating with other staff and sharing ideas generate opportunities for connecting with others.

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