At GPA, We Seem to Get Each Other

by Catherine High, GPC; Rosemary West Scholar

This was my first time at the GPA National Conference, and my scholarship from GPF was certainly a great help in persuading my agency to let me go. I don’t think that will be a problem in the future! I came back with so much information, and so much renewed enthusiasm for my job, that I am certain to be a regular attendee.

As a one-person grants office, I do it all, and my duties are expanding as we receive more grants from differing sources. So, I attended break-out sessions on all sorts of topics, from managing federal grants to fine-tuning my role within the organization. I even managed to attend a session on improving my writing skills. I only wish I could have learned more, but often, the sessions I wanted to attend were running concurrently.

I was very reassured that, although I am quite an anomaly within my organization, there are many people just like me in the grants field! Sometimes I feel a bit of a freak at work, but at GPA, we seem to get each other. My only real complaint was that the weather was not as warm as I would have liked – I did make it to the beach, but it was definitely not sunbathing weather.

I most certainly recommend the conference to anyone who is considering attending next year. I plan to be there. Within a few years, I hope to have built our grants office to the point where I can bring a colleague with me.

By the way, I have put my favorite ribbons outside my office, and people love them. I like them because they help me look more social, which isn’t always easy.