For me, my stretch experience is an opportunity to better myself and hopefully others in the process. I chose to focus on religion in the end, because it is such a large part of many people’s lives; I should at least be able to understand it a little, right? With my own education, I could become more open-minded and tolerant, and encourage the same qualities in the people around me. My end goal is to use this time to create a program for people who, like me, are interested in learning about various religions. I started by devoting my time to reviewing religious texts, other books, and any information I can get my hands on. I’m not convinced that 200 hours is enough time to gather all the research necessary, but it is a good starting point.
About halfway through my stretch, my mentor took over as interim pastor and executive director of a local church (that will remain unnamed). The church was deteriorating, physically and spiritually. The building was in bad shape, the congregation was shrinking, and the business side of it was essentially non-existent.
My mentor was sent into this church to rebuild and he asked me to help. For the past month, I have been building their accounting database, setting up the office for the future accounting team, and assisting with the development of various procedures. I am so pleased that my stretch is related to my degree!
When I was pitching my stretch experience, I was asked multiple times how it was related to my career. And I always answered that it wasn’t. After appealing to extend the scope of my stretch, I can now have both; the research and learning, as well as relevance to my degree. One of my career goals has always been to work for a non-profit. Although a church is slightly different from a non-profit, accounting-wise, it is still such an excellent learning experience for my career and my stretch.
Thanks for reading!