My name is Caleb Larkin. I am a watcher, a recorder, an adapter, and a problem solver. I am a writer, a journalist and a international relations expert, and I want to take this opportunity to expound upon three attributes that I have developed which are essential to any individual working for a nonprofit organization. First, I have the unique ability to observe, interact with and read people; Second, I am adaptable and skilled in learning; and Third, I am a problem solver which allows me to be an asset to any work environment.
An ability to observe and understand helps us communicate accurately and connect with people on a personal level. Through my experiences as English teacher in both India and China and as a working journalist, I developed an ability to relate to diverse people. This also helped me in my effort to connect with others. As a teacher, I perceived my students needs, and I could respond and react to spoken and unspoken cues, maximizing positive and minimizing negative experiences. This capacity was further developed as a missionary volunteer for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My relationships became more valuable and more sincere as my ability to understand and communicate with others continued to grow and evolve.
The ability to learn is essential in any quick-paced environment. In my experience living abroad in India, China, and Denmark, the learning of the language was necessary in communicating with the native people, as well as in adapting to and understanding the culture and different lifestyle. Through living abroad, I began to learn and adapt quickly to the challenges placed before me. I have also experienced fast paced in work environments and have been able to excel and produce. Working as a desktop technician at Unisys, our goal was to provide quick resolutions. After only a few months, I became one of the top agents with less than half the average handle time of the agents on the account as well as a high percentage of first call resolutions.
Problem solving and the ability to quickly assess situations is an invaluable skill for high stress and new situations. Through my experiences, I have learned to logically process information and identify solutions to problems. This skill has allowed me to excel in my schooling and other endeavors, as is made clear by both my grades and travel experience. These skills are further evidenced by my performance in math and computer science, each of which requires logically assessing and finding solutions to problems. An example of using this skill came in my position as an Afterschool Program Director at Northwest Middle School. I worked solely with refugee students who had a myriad of behavior and learning issues. Along with a refugee coworker, I was able to communicate with the students and develop behavioral standards and help improve grades for each of the 15 students in the program. Despite the chaos that seemed to reign at the start of the program, students were able to learn in a safe and comfortable environment where they felt heard and important.
These skills allow for a better capacity to adapt and thrive in new situations. My experience in investigative writing, international travel, and working in technology centered companies gives me an advantage in adaptation; an invaluable quality to possess in new and challenging environments.