Applying My Peace Corps Experience to My Corporate Career and Beyond by Jack Edwards
Reprinted with permission from NPCA's WorldView Magazine, Winter 2013
In 1968 I was in graduate school, but was looking to start a new chapter: I was tired of school, not ready for a career, didn't want to go to Vietnam and was hoping to change some small part of the world. Peace Corps offered to send me to Colombia and I was assigned to work with the Colombian Agrarian Reform Agency (INCORA) on a new project near Santa Marta, in the Banana Zone by the north coast of Colombia...
At INCORA, my team walked farm to farm to help farmers improve their livelihoods and plant new crops like melons peanuts and okra. Our team of change makers inside a government agency helped farmers repay their debts, gain confidence and revive a dying agriculture area.
Since this experience with the Peace Corps, and throughout my career, I have been drawn to apply my business skills to help solve social problems. After the Peace Corps, I married a wonderful women from Colombia (We've been happily married for 41 years) and I started a 30-year business career with a multinational, Cummings Engine Company. I joined Cummings because it had a strong integrity and was a pioneer in corporate social responsibility. Cummins hired former Peace Corps Volunteers to help their international expansion in ways good for the company, but also good for the local community.
(For the complete article, please see page 26 of the the Winter 2013 edition of WorldView at www.worldviewmagazine.com)