Mandolyn Orrell | Week 1

Boot Camp


A one-word description of this week: Whoa.


Coming into this Fellowship, utterly jet-lagged from flying in from Korea, I had entirely different expectations than what it will actually entail.  I knew Not For Sale was more progressive and innovative than many other NGO’s with a similar mission, but I still thought the fellowship would be the same as a traditional internship.  You know, being assigned something and doing it exactly how ‘the boss’ wanted, which I wasn’t really looking forward to but knew I would need to “pay my dues” to be able to get into this as a career.  The biggest thing I could take from this week is that this fellowship will be FAR from the traditional.   The NFS Crew are all focused on using your own creativity to get work done.  If you have an idea on how a project can go, you better be ready to step up and take the lead on it because no one is going to do it for you or tell you how to do it.  I love that there is freedom to use our creativity and innovative thinking to get projects done.


This week has been meeting after meeting, but they have all been great.  We have met with each staff member about what their current platform is, and what needs the fellows could meet in each platform.  There is a huge emphasis on the fellows getting plugged in, and being flexible to do whatever is needed to get things done.  There is no hand-holding here, a fantastic aspect of the program.  There is loads of support, so it isn’t a “sink or swim” atmosphere either.  I think I’m going to love it.


After all the loads of meetings all week, plus a great BBQ (thanks, Keturah!!!), on Thursday I had to write out my expectations for the program, and choose the platforms I would like to focus on.  On Friday, I found out that I will be Jill’s right-hand woman, working on all domestic and international CAN programs, as well as ZTCs.  Also, all the fellows be working on different things for the upcoming Global Forum on Human Trafficking.  I’m stoked.


Hmmm…. what else can I say about Week one?  It’s been a whirlwind!  Definitely had to hit the ground running, since my plane came in from Korea, and I arrived at the fellows house, less than 24 hours before the fellowship started!  The dynamic at the fellows house is quite unique.  I feel like I am on The Real World, minus all the ridiculous scripted drama.  You could not have four people living together (the 5th fellow commutes) who are so completely different.  I am sure I will learn loads from these great women, and am looking forward to getting to know them, and all of the staff, over the next 6 months.


One response to “Mandolyn Orrell | Week 1

  1. Walter Johnson

    Sounds like a great beginning. Thanks for the update.

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