Wednesday, March 30, 2005

i Jordan 

This post is coming from the new Fundraising Director of the event management and public relations company i Jordan. That's right, I finally got a job! I bet you can almost feel my gigantic, sigh of relief emanating from your computer screen...

But let me tell you that three weeks of being stuck in a house doing nothing all day (in an unfamiliar city/without a car/where you don't speak the language) isn't as glamourous as it sounds...

My coworkers are all impressed when I tell them I have only been in Amman for 4 weeks and already found a job but it was only thanks to Ali, a rockstar co-worker of Shanes', who got me the interview. He also happens to have been one of my scuba instructors and his girlfriend Nada took me to the globalization conference (both events of which I wrote about below). So he definitely deserves a shout out.

Now about the job:

They are a five year old company and they specialize in organizing events/concerts for non-profits and charitable type organizations. They also do some random bookings like Sting and Bryan Adams.

They have always tried to get corporate sponsorship for each event without much success. So they created my position to try to beef up their sponsorship program. Basically, in the next couple months I am tasked to find big-money sponsors for a native Ammarin Bedouin tribe festival that still live in a tent camp near Petra, a Symposium on the results of the first-ever osteoporosis study in Jordan, and the "Star Academy," which is Jordan's version of American Idol.

This could be a ridiculously formidable experience since I have absolutely no donor relationships here. However, Amman is so small that everyone I have met here knows like 20 other people that are the owner of a successful travel agency, or a grocery store chain, etc. So my hope is that through the relationships of others I will be able to get in the door and pitch these noble sponsorship packages. We shall see! I'll keep you up to date and call it internet advertising when I do! Either way, everyone I work is has offered to help me build relationships. The office is 80% women under 30 and one of the owners is a young woman as well. It is actually a very impressive operation.

I feel like this is such an amazing experience. I will be learning so much about so many different projects, be using my expertise as a fundraiser to build a new program in a region previously unfamiliar to fundraising, and as a contractor I will still have flexibility as to travel around the world with Shane every few months. (Oh, and we decided on our first trip itinerary: South Africa, Zimbabwe for Victoria Falls depending on the political situation, and then Tanzania). Basically, I just feel incredibly lucky right now.


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