When FMU alumnus Everett (Robbie) Robinson graduated in May he was unlike many of his fellow graduates because he knew just where he was going.
During a time when many graduates are struggling to find jobs and pay student loans, Robinson is secure in knowing that he not only has a job, but more importantly that he is following his dreams. After much consideration and research, and a long application and interview process, Robinson was granted an assignment with the Peace Corps, serving in Ghana, West Africa.
“I did my research on the organization and fell in love with it,” Robinson said. “It felt and still feels like something I need to do.”
This strong urge to do something has already taken Robinson through an exciting college career which included acting as president to the Student Government Association during his junior year. While completing a double major in mathematics and computer science, he also served as secretary for his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha. In addition he served on the Provost Advisory Board and the Student Advisory Board during his junior and senior years. Yet with all of his involvement, Robinson still felt a calling to do more.
“Growing up I enjoyed helping people,” Robinson said. “I love people and all the differences we have. The Peace Corps gives me the opportunity to help a lot of different people as well as learn from them. If I can make a positive change to the lives of those living in that area then I will have accomplished my main mission over there.”
While helping people will fulfill a calling in Robinson’s life, he believes that it is also true that there is much to be gained personally from his upcoming experience. According to Robinson, so much of the American mindset is geared towards complaining. He feels those complaints stem from a lack of appreciation for what we have in this country. He hopes to use his time in Ghana as a way to educate Americans about how blessed we are as a nation.
“I think serving in the Peace Corps will give me a greater appreciation for my life and the things I have,” Robinson said. “We honestly have no idea how good we have it over here. Whenever you think you are at the bottom, just look down, because there is always someone worse off than you.”
Robinson, who will serve a 27 month stint in Ghana, said he believes his time in the Peace Corps will also benefit him professionally when he returns to the States to find a job. According to Robinson, learning how to adapt to any type of working and living situation will help prepare him for a future job. He said the ability to work with all different types of personalities on different teams is important in any work environment.
When asked if he had any advice for current FMU students, Robinson had plenty, including getting involved on campus, utilizing the Career Development Center and working hard.
“My motto when I was there was ‘study hard, so you can play harder,'” Robinson said. “It hasn’t failed me yet. You also need to go to the Career Development Center and start working on things like your resume. This is basically a test to employers of what you have been doing in college, so make sure something worthwhile is on there. Also, it is important to get involved with different organizations on campus. You have to learn to step outside your comfort zone. I couldn’t tell you how many life and job skills I have learned because of getting involved.”