Name: Emma Gamble
City: New York, NY
Job Title: Leadership Curriculum Advisor
Educational Background: Master’s of Social Work student at Columbia University; Denison University (Undergraduate)
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do
As Leadership Curriculum Advisor, I assisted the Re:Coded team in designing a formal soft skills curriculum. Although there had been soft skills workshops in the past, there was no standardized course curriculum. During the summer, Marcello and I reviewed the desired units and subsections for the soft skills workshops and I worked on the lesson plans and presentations, as well as collection of additional resources, for the formal soft skills curriculum. I primarily worked on the curriculum in Istanbul and piloted the workshops in Erbil and Gaziantep. The workshops focused on business etiquette, professional communication, and creativity.
How did you get started? What are you studying and what are your plans post-graduation?
After graduating from undergrad at Denison University, I moved to New Orleans to be a co-teacher in math to middle school students (ages 10-13). During that year, I enjoyed not only working with students in the classroom but also through the school social worker doing behavioral interventions with several students. I enjoyed the direct behavior work with my students so much that I chose to pursue social work as my field of practice along with graduate school for the following year.
I am currently beginning my second year of my Master’s in Social Work degree from Columbia University in New York. My focuses include Social Enterprise Administration and Contemporary Social Issues (within the US and abroad). I am interning at Hot Bread Kitchen as a Workforce Retention Associate, running soft skills trainings and providing case management services to the women participating in HBK’s culinary training programs. Post-graduation, I hope to continue working within organizations, like HBK and Re:Coded, that focus on economic empowerment for greater social mobility.
Best part of your internship?
It’s very hard to pick a best part about this internship because there were so many parts that made it so great! However, since I am forced to make a decision here, I would say running the soft skills workshops in both Erbil and Gaziantep were the highlights of this internship. After spending time developing lessons and presentations, it was nice to put all that work into action through the workshops and receive feedback. In Erbil, we had great discussions about how to market yourself to employers, and in Gaziantep, we reviewed and practiced active listening. The participants across both sets of workshops actively participated with the material and provided necessary feedback to improve the curriculum for future bootcampers. I am so glad to have met so many great people through these workshops!
Hardest part of your internship?
Many of the soft skills I was teaching this summer were not only skills I have personally learned over the past few years, but also skills that I am still in the process of learning and refining. For these reasons, it felt intimidating to present on these topics to fellow professionals who were both my peers and/or more experienced than I. Even with my experience, I was unsure if I would be taken seriously.
For me to feel comfortable in my role, I was reminded that the workshops should be considered a learning experience for all. Even though I was the presenter, I was not there to be “the expert”, per se; instead, I was there to facilitate the learning and discussion of a certain topic that got all voices in the room involved. We were there to learn from one another. I encouraged all participants to challenge or add-on to what they saw and heard throughout the workshops so that everyone in the room could grow. No matter our age or level of experience, we all can continue to learn and change over time. This trip was a good reminder of this.
Anything exciting you’ve got planned for the next couple of months that you want to share?
I am excited to be starting my final year of my program and my classes. One class that I am particularly looking forward to is called “Advocacy in Emergent Technology, Digital Media and Society”. The landscape of activism and civic engagement is rapidly changing through recent technological advancements. Online platforms have transformed the way individuals and group actors access and mobilize around issues, and engage in action for social change. This course is designed to build a critical foundation for understanding the role technology plays in social welfare and social change and the important role of social workers in that space. I look forward to how this course will increase my ability to analyze and utilize emerging civic technology tools and support future pursuits.
Quick and Random
Fave Social Media Channel?
Instagram! I’m on it far too much.
Fave book or podcast?
All About Love by Bell Hooks
Fave show to binge-watch?
Although I have not watched it as much in recent years, one of my favorite shows of all time will be The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. I have always been an early riser and spent many mornings watching that show growing up, and it can still make me laugh to this day.
Although a hard choice...tacos!
Best Career Advice You’ve Received?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It does not show weakness, instead, it shows your determination to do your best work.