The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Rockefeller Student Assistant Profile: Maryna Marchanka

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This winter break, we are taking the time to appreciate the many student program assistants that help the Rockefeller Center run smoothly. Without the support and time of these students, many of our programs would not yield the same impact and outreach that currently exists for Dartmouth students. This series of posts will document the daily tasks of student program assistants, what they do, and anything else they care to share about their experiences. The first student to be featured is Maryna (Marina) Marchanka, a graduate student pursuing a Masters of Arts in Liberal Studies.

What are you involved in on campus?
I am currently a Rockefeller Center Program Assistant, a Baker-Berry Library Student Manager, and a Feldberg Library Student Assistant.

What is your position at Rocky? If you have held other positions, what have they been? 
I've been involved with Rocky's Global Leadership Program (RGLP) since January 2012. I've assisted with the direction of the program, including the design of the pilot program, and as a GLP facilitator.

How did you hear about Rocky? What made you want to be involved? 
Due to my primary interests in international politics/relations, I always attended the talks that Rocky organized with politicians. Through this exposure, I heard about this new pilot program that was to be launched in the spring and I thought I'd contribute my own experiences and gain more knowledge of the Rocky program's practical application.

What has been your experience working at Rocky? What are some highlights and difficulties you have encountered on the job?
Since I've always been on "the other side" of workshops and leadership discussions, it was exciting to be the person who ran the workshops this time around. You learn a lot from the participants and always engage in dialogues that lead to improving one's own leadership and presentation skills while teaching the participants of RGLP about the more globalized world we're living in now.

Are there any particular skills you have used as an assistant that you have utilized in other organizations/clubs on campus or in an internship?
Absolutely! Being a program assistant has taught me to translate my expertise into workshops and become a better team-player. This experience allows you to understand where your interests lie and determine what kind of worker you are (whether you prefer to work on your part of the project individually or in a group, whether you like to give presentation to large audiences vs. small, etc.). It has helped define my professionalism and pointed out certain things that I need to work on.

Has it been difficult to juggle an on-campus job with your academic and social commitments? 
It depends. I would say that as a graduate student, you're already expected to put 200% in your school work, so having one or two jobs certainly puts added pressure. However, if you're smart with your time and understand that sometimes you need to choose between social and professional/academic life, you can get your priorities straight and be fine.

What advice would you give students who may want to get involved with Rocky through public programs or as a program student assistant?
Be active. Follow whatever opportunities there are for students and talk to those who are already doing what you might be interested in!

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