Reflecting on Transformative Experience of Middlebury Social Impact Corps [Adam Schreiber MPA ’20 and Emily Hoang MPA/IEM ’20]

2019 Cohort

2019 Cohort and Staff

Adam and Emily reflect on their personal experiences in the Middlebury Social Impact Corp (MSIC). Each writer discusses what they found most challenging, their favorite components of the program, and how they further developed their policy and communication skills. … Continue reading Reflecting on Transformative Experience of Middlebury Social Impact Corps [Adam Schreiber MPA ’20…


Adam Schreiber

My internship with Middlebury Social Impact Corps was a unique learning opportunity in many ways. Along with the rest of the six-person cohort, I had the chance to travel throughout Monterey County, making personal connections with many local leaders as well as “typical” community members. I enjoyed being able to learn about my immediate surroundings and the community that I currently call home while also gaining valuable experience in leading and managing a team. Because of the ambiguity that our cohort faced throughout the summer, we had to adapt to new information every day and adjust our strategies accordingly.

It was often challenging to discern how to allocate our time for maximum impact, however we gradually became more comfortable in taking initiative and pursuing opportunities as they presented themselves. Perhaps one of our biggest accomplishments as a group was the extent to which we navigated that uncertainty by proactively identifying opportunities to move the work forward. Each member of the team was able to provide input on key group decisions and there was ample opportunity for individuals to pursue aspects of the work that they found particularly interesting.

Perhaps one of our biggest accomplishments as a group was the extent to which we navigated that uncertainty by proactively identifying opportunities to move the work forward.

I appreciate that my work this summer allowed me an inside look at community collaboration and informed my understanding of Collective Impact. I have continued to work with United Way in supporting Impact Monterey County’s 2019 assessment and look forward to contributing to the next phase of the project.

I was very impressed with the undergraduate interns in our cohort, both by their overall competence and ability to work collaboratively on a daily basis. I enjoyed the mentorship aspect of the internship and feel as though I learned a lot from the experience of leading and supporting the undergraduates.

The role required constant communication and role-sharing between my MIIS partner and I, which was certainly challenging at times. However, I think that we worked effectively as a pair and complemented each other well in terms of interests and skills that we brought to the team.

Emily Hoang

Summer 2019 was the first time MSIC had partnered with United Way Monterey County (UWMC). As an inaugural program, we did not have the benefit of previous cohorts’ experiences to rely on. While this gave us the freedom to create our own orientation and on-boarding process for our cohort, it also left us with the heavy responsibility of ensuring that we properly introduced the cohort to Impact Monterey County, the county itself, and the expectations for our work and roles moving forward.

We constantly questioned how best to lead the cohort in the face of “ambiguity”. As leaders of the cohort, we emphasized open communication from the beginning and strove for transparency as we navigated confusion at different stages in the project. Because we did not have pre-determined tasks to complete, approaches to abide by, or guides to follow, our work over the summer took shape day by day as we responded to new information and shifting priorities. This adaptive approach required daily conversations within the cohort to determine how best to move forward and contribute most effectively to the IMC assessment.

That ambiguity necessitated a level of communication and adaptability that brought us closer together as a cohort while also teaching some important lessons about the realities of professional work environments.

It is worth mentioning that ambiguity throughout the experience was connected to some positive outcomes, both personally for cohort members as well as collectively. That ambiguity necessitated a level of communication and adaptability that brought us closer together as a cohort while also teaching some important lessons about the realities of professional work environments.