The MARA program provided me with a foundation for greater effectiveness in my workplace. During my first semester at SJSU many inner doors of awareness opened for me as I learned that leadership skills can be cultivated and exercised at any level of an organization. I also learned that the archival profession is in need of leaders and champions to build more responsible corporate culture around records management and to break down silos between records management and other disciplines. Hearing about how others have successfully negotiated seemingly overwhelming obstacles in their organizations has encouraged me to position myself as a leader simply by asking questions and sustaining a (well-documented) dialogue over time.
I am grateful to my undergraduate art degree for giving me a strong appreciation of the importance of language in making connections with people. I am able to recognize when people with different points of view engage or disengage when discussing an issue. This is a strength that I have brought with me that is vitally important when building partnerships and trying to find common ground among stakeholders in any enterprise. It is especially critical when building bridges between professional disciplines that each have unique terminology and perspectives.
The MARA program has helped me to become comfortable with the gaps in my own knowledge because I am confident in my ability to tap into the experience and wisdom of my peers. I intend to take advantage of professional training in technology-related areas to expand my knowledge base and also possibly seek other certifications. I plan to continue attending conferences, meetups and other DAM- and records-related events. There is an important social component that was not available to me in this online MARA program. Quite possibly I would not have even considered the MARA degree had I not understood what an amazing community of people is out there. Fortunately I was inspired by individuals that I met through my work and was compelled to move forward in this program. I look ahead with great anticipation with the intention of making my skills and talents available as broadly as possible and seeking out opportunities to empower myself and others in protecting our truth in the form of records and information.