“At 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 degrees, it boils. And with boiling water, comes steam. And steam can power a locomotive. One extra degree … makes all the difference. And the one extra degree of effort in business and in life … separates the good from the great!”— Simple Truths “212: The Extra Degree” Video
M3 Group was recently approached with a unique request: to create a three-week job shadow opportunity for a Bosnian student, Fatima, who is here in America on a scholarship from the Jericho Foundation. Through community connections, we became aware of the need for a company to provide the opportunity for her to learn more about journalism, marketing and the like. With no hesitation, we volunteered and started the planning process for when she would arrive.
And the water started boiling
Like any new endeavor, you may not fully understand what you are agreeing to when you say “Yes.” I started to question whether we could pack a worthwhile experience for her into nine days. While M3 Group has a great internship program, this job shadow was unique in that we had never met Fatima and didn’t know anything about her except that she is from Bosnia and only in America for five weeks.
And then came steam power
Over her nine days with us, Fatima shared what life is like in a country still in transition from the Bosnian War that took place 1992-1995. “Because of war country is destroyed and has two entities and this political system does not work good together for the people,” says Fatima, “There is problem of no jobs and unemployment of 60%. Without education from university you can’t get job and you can’t accomplish a life.” She explained that life is especially difficult for women in this patriarchal society.
What we originally thought was simply a favor we were doing for someone else became an invaluable learning experience for us.
Looking at our Capital Area Women’s LifeStyle magazine through Fatima’s eyes shines a new light on the importance of being a source to 25,000+ readers, especially women, every month. Looking at M3 Group through her eyes and seeing a 12:7 female to male ratio and a woman President and CEO reminds me of the opportunities we have in our country that are easily taken for granted. Hearing her ambitious plans to help her country by creating social change and career opportunities for women shows me how powerful that one extra degree is.
Fatima shares her experience with M3 Group and her inspiration towards active leadership:
“….I also worked with M3 Group, agency for marketing and media….I worked with editor of magazines, she gave me advices on writing articles, how to write interviews and advertisements. And I was on interview at GM company with three women who are being featured in next months magazine. I was able to watch the questions they ask them and also it was great experience to see how they produce automobiles in America. This is really important for me, and give me opportunity to create more ideas and visions in my head about that how I can help my country!”
Next time you are faced with an opportunity to go that extra degree, don’t hesitate to take it. Great things happen once that water starts to boil.
The Jericho Foundation was founded by Joanna Shields through chain events starting with a Lansing Christian graduate and Lansing area resident, Collette Webster. Visit http://www.jerichofoundation.org/ourstory.php to learn more about the story. You may also email Marcie Beckwith, Advisory Board member and Student Sponsor Coordinator, at Marcie@JerichoFoundation.org for more information on how to come alongside the foundation in helping Fatima and many other young women like her.