Forte Connect
College Success

College & COVID-19: I Said Yes to an Opportunity Called Feed the Front Line

Hello, my fellow aspiring young professionals.

I know how easy it is to sink into that plush piece of furniture with your favorite at home snack and watch movies all day long. Heck, I am also sitting on the couch with my favorite snack and watching an occasional movie.

But I want to share with you my personal aspirations for these months stuck at home, and some of the best advice I have received and reflected on in hopes of energizing the community, and helping you in the future.

Now is NOT the time to say no.

Some of the best advice I have received from mentors is the importance in searching for accelerated growth opportunities as a young professional. The ones that get ahead in their careers are those that take action now instead of waiting for later. When the opportunity to join the Feed the Front Line Chicago team presented itself, I knew this was a unique chance to get hands-on exposure running an organization that does not come along often.

Feed the Front Line Chicago is a 501(c)(3) pending nonprofit in Illinois that is raising funds to pay restaurants for large quantities of meals in an attempt to keep their staff on payroll and prevent their doors from shuttering permanently.

At the same time, we’re providing meals to the front line heroes who are working to combat COVID-19 and are putting themselves and their loved ones at risk every day. We’ve donated over 1,000 meals in the past few weeks and are on track to donate thousands more over the coming weeks.

You don’t have to enjoy your work 100% of the time.

I often feel like whether recruiting for a firm, working on a project, or exploring what you want to do in the future, there is a huge elephant in the room. No one wants to say that they don’t love what they do. While you should definitely avoid complaining and love the career path you are going into, I believe sometimes expectations are overly magnified when one is entering a job. We think, “we have to have fun the entire time we commit to doing it.”

From my own personal experiences, of course it’s important to have fun, but don’t expect it to be sunshine and rainbows all the time! When training for a race, I did not have fun sweating buckets, fighting blisters and shin splints. When joining Feed the Front Line Chicago, I knew I was taking on responsibility and sacrificing hours that could have been devoted to my own hobbies and goals.

If you are facing an opportunity that you know will be an overall great experience and something you are interested in, don’t stray away from it just because it isn’t always going to be fun.

Use every opportunity to grow relationships.

The COVID-19 outbreak has allowed me to value my personal and professional relationships even more. Now it is easier than ever to communicate virtually with professionals, and that is something I hope you all take advantage of!

I am so grateful for the opportunity to work for Feed the Front Line Chicago, as it has given me the ability to stay productive and work hard during these times. Furthermore, it works to help those on the front line, but also local restaurants stay afloat.

Stay happy. Stay motivated. Stay inspiring.

My name is Anna Li Radcliffe and I am a current junior at Indiana University studying Finance and Business Analytics with a minor in Mathematics. I am the Undergraduate Programs Intern for Forté. My motto in life is to aspire to inspire daily, and I am passionate about giving people the tools to help themselves through philanthropic work and mentorship.

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