My Aspire Story
“Social Work involves entering into the lives of people who are in distress, conflict or trouble. To do this requires not only technical competence but also qualities of integrity, genuineness and self-awareness.” (Lishman, 1994)
I have recently become an Aspirer. I delayed sharing this experience on purpose, as I had to let it sink in for a bit. The programme was resourceful, thoughtful, and inspiring; hence a better analysis was preferred. I started with the quote above to exemplify the curriculum which made me reflect on my objectives and action plans.
Aspire Professionals is a unique educational and professional development experience where I had the chance to interact with Ivy League professors and inspiring leaders.
I have built strong connections with the other young leaders participating at Aspire, and we were inspired not only to be more active in what concerns climate change, but also to give back to our society. Special thanks go to Steve Jarding for the insightful sessions. Steve is one of the most influential educators through his highly sought-after courses “Making of a Politician” and “Political Campaign Management.’’ After having advised Presidents, Prime Ministers, Members of Parliament, Members of Congress, Mayors, Governors, I am thrilled to have participated to his courses as well, through Aspire Professionals. I was more than delighted to see that the Professionals have been moved by Steve’s call to action, and I am convinced that Romania is in good hands for the future, should these people decide to get involved and start a political career.
Dr. Sam Potolicchio is the teacher we’ve always wished for either at university or high school. There is no surprise that he was named one of “America’s Best Professors” by the Princeton Review, after taking part in his courses.
I was also impressed by Anastasia Soare’s story, who moved from Romania to the USA, and built an empire! We have millions of Romanians living abroad, and she surely stands out, not because she is a beauty icon, or a self-billionaire, but what I want to emphasise is that she has shown ambition and self-determination, something I always find in the Romanian communities abroad.
Finally, one of my favourites was Jenn Donahue who is a civil engineer and US Navy Captain. I was so impressed by her story and her career; she is a real female model and I am grateful I had the chance to take part in her course on leadership. Over her 25-year military career, Jenn has built a bridge across the Euphrates River during the Iraq war, commanded an 800 personnel Battalion in Afghanistan, and constructed combat outposts in the middle of deserts filled with insurgents.
Leadership means different things to different people around the world, and different things in different situations. But for me, the speakers, and the professionals I have met at Aspire, were all leaders in their domains, and I am so grateful I was there!
The organisations and institutions I worked for, were all cultivating a culture of people development. I consider myself to be a fast learner and have observed the advantages of continuous learning. I try to keep up with my area of expertise through reading professional journals, attending seminars, and taking the occasional class, either online or in a traditional classroom. But I must say, Aspire has exceeded my expectations at all levels.
Personal development is a lifelong process. We continuously need to assess our skills and qualities, consider our aims, and set goals to maximise our own potential.
What Aspire offered apart from the wonderful network I made there, the following courses on:
- Corporate negotiations
- Authentic leadership development
- How to build an effective team
- Strategic planning
- Design Thinking
Thank you Aspire for creating an inspiring vision for my future!