‘The road taken’ by Louise Mackey

The question “what will I be when I am big” is one that has always reverberated through my brain and I have often envied Robert Frost faced with only TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood.  Being an over achiever to the end I have found an ocean to cross instead, the Atlantic to be specific, thanks to the Washington Ireland Program.

On a professional level I have been given an amazing opportunity to work in the Concord Coalition.  The Concord Coalition is a non profit making organisation whose raison d’être is to educate the public about the causes and consequences of federal budget deficits and how to build a sound foundation for economic growth.”  Having just completed my under graduate degree in Law and Accounting and planning to continue my studies in taxation in order to instigate some much needed change in this area, I can’t imagine a better match for myself.

In reading one of the Concord Coalition’s articles I stumbled across a quote by Diane Lim Rogers, a Senior Economist, stating “Doing the right thing”..in tax..  “..requires strong leadership unencumbered by unrealistic campaign promises.”  The term leadership is multifaceted as everyone has their own view of what constitutes a good leader.  In many ways strong leadership skills are what I want most from the 8 weeks in DC, and as DC is a haven for aspiring and established leaders, I really feel that I am in the right place and in the right time both geographically and personally.  I have only been here 3 days and already I feel more ambitious, challenged and hopeful that I can make an impact when I return home in August.

One of our guest speakers, Mark Shields, stated that power is the perception of power and this is something that I have pondered over for the last few days.  Being Irish through and through, I have a tendency to doubt myself and my capabilities, however I have come to realise that if you view yourself in this way others will reflect this sentiment and you will become a prophet of your own demise.  Therefore I have added yet another objective to my list of summer goals, believe in yourself!

In reflection maybe Robert Frost hadn’t it as easy as I once thought.  Whilst the road I am venturing down is unfamiliar and frightening, I am not alone.  I have several alumni guiding the way and 29 true friends by my side therefore I know this 8 week journey WILL make all the difference.