Jesse Sandman: Residency Reflection...a year later
What follows is a reflection upon my work as a part of the Society of Mad Philanthropists during the summer of 2015.
I joined SoMP because of my ability to See Differently, a skill which was expanded 10-fold over the course of my Residency. When I first stumbled upon SoMP I was immediately struck by the brand and overall presentation of the message. I had spent the past few months seeking, unsuccessfully, to find a home for my weird and experimental ideas. After soaking up some of the Mad Principles I knew that my search had finally come to an end. I typed out that oh-so-important first e-mail breaking the ice and expressing my interest in joining SoMP. I had sent many e-mails like this before, and knew the content and form by heart. I could practically copy/paste the body from dozens of other e-mails I had sent to various organizations around town. Although, what happened next was totally unexpected and even to this day I’m still not entirely sure why, but I got a response—almost immediately. After a quick and cordial back-and-forth I managed to arrange a meeting with Megan in order to discuss my ideas. I was very excited, but at the same time very nervous. My ability to See Differently hadn’t always bore fruit, so to speak, and I wasn’t certain how smoothly sharing my ideas would go.
Luck was with me. I met with Megan and quickly learned the residency program was very unlike any other internship opportunity I had pursued at school or abroad. People's Liberty focuses on the development and expansion of their people. Once someone's skills and interests are identified, watch out—SoMP’s ability to offer real-world experience and connect you with potential mentors is unrivaled. If you’re not careful you’ll find yourself growing in unexpected ways, even stepping out of your comfort zone...a lot.
My experience with SoMP greatly expanded my perspective on the world and in doing so opened a variety of doors which I never knew existed. For me, one of the greatest takeaways from SoMP has to do with the process of turning ideas into action. While in residence, I had a front row seat to some of the most inspiring ideation sessions I’ve experienced. I observed, in real-time, crazy ideas go on the drawing board and take shape from our collective input. Seeing this process from beginning to end had an huge impact on me and my understanding of how to create change.
SoMP offers early-career talent a unique and expansive experience unparalleled in our great city. Although, what you get out of that experience depends entirely on you. Be a bump on a log if you wish, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Use the amazing tools and resources available to those initiated in SoMP. I managed to learn much during my time, too much to share all, but by far the most important thing was learning to contribute. Get involved, speak up, share your ideas and don’t be afraid of sounding like a lunatic. The truth is you’re not alone. SoMP is out there waiting for you and your ideas.
Until next time dreamers, be well and do good.