100+ hours….100+ defining moments by Philip O’Callaghan

They say time flies when you are having fun…to be cringe worthy for one moment…time does fly when you are having fun but further to this time, flies when you are given so many opportunities in a short space of time. So many opportunities that a year ago I would never have expected to experience.

When I returned this evening (Wednesday) to my Host Family to recount the days activities my Host Dad made the point that the Class of 2012 have done so much more in terms of visiting historic landmarks i.e Capitol Hill, Library of Congress, Newseum (Yes Newseum!) and experienced opportunities such as Accenture Training on Project Management of the DC political scape than many Americans, this put what we had experienced in the last few days into perspective.
The week began with a talk from Lenore Martinez a host mam and an experienced nurse, this talk consisted of great tips on how to keep healthy during our time in DC! Having had to deal with two crickets in the shower on the first day I was aware of the extent to which bugs where an issue! Second up was Barbra Warner an award winning financial adviso


r, she spoke to the class about budgeting during our stay, she gave some great practical tips in terms of getting the metro and the main tenant of the paying for goods in DC….tipping!

At one stage during that Monday in the Brick Layers Boardroom I looked back behind my shoulder, when I did I noticed a sharp looking man in a sharp looking uniform, this man was Mr. Patrick Burke Assistant DC Police Chief. I felt an overwhelming sense of awe as if this man was the President of America. However, Mr Burke was extremely humble and his talk on staying safe in DC was very direct in one sense however it was helpful. With his offer to travel on a Police Boat on the horizon I hope to see Mr Burke again during the eight weeks!

‘Infectious Contagious Optimism’ was the key quote that I took from an amazing session with E.J Dionne and Mark Shields, these two prestigious political analysts took great time to discuss American politics with the class, to get the time with these two men for me created a sense of extreme gratitude to the WIP staff for organizing such an event and indeed to these two men for giving up their time. I took from that a greater understanding of the political scene in American and what we can expect in the months leading up to the Presidential Election.

What I am learning to do over these first few days of the Class of 2012is to take one or two things from the day and really think about them and challenge myself into thinking about them. The overriding aspect of Monday’s talk was a sentence that Mr. Kevin Sullivan the Chair of the WIP Board said during a session. Mr Sullivan said, ‘Just because you are young doesn’t mean that you have to wait your turn’. For years leaders who have been young have been stopped just because of that, because they are young. For me if skill and aptitude out weights age then that person should be given the opportunity to take the challange. This is one thing that I will take from the session, our time as the WIP Class of 2012 is now, thus we should seize every opportunity to lead that comes by.

‘If we are growing, we are always going to be out of our comfort zone’ ~ John Maxwell