Preparing for Life After AmeriCorps VISTA
Even if you've just barely begun your year of service, it's already a great time to start thinking about your next steps after AmeriCorps VISTA. A little forethought today will help you achieve your goals tomorrow, whether you'll go on to continue your education, advance your career, or serve again.
You can learn more about your education award, and how to maximize it in the education award section. The NCE page explains non-competitive eligibility, which is a lot more interesting than it might sound if you've ever wondered about a career in the federal government! If one year of service isn't enough, visit the serve again section to learn about other service programs, including AmeriCorps and Peace Corps. Finally, be sure to learn about close of service travel benefit, which will help you get home at the end of your term of service.
Starting your job search
If you’re looking for meaningful work that connects with, and values, your VISTA service, these sites are a great place to start.
VISTA Campus Job Board
The VISTA Campus Job Board connects VISTAs with employers who understand the value of your service
VISTA Alumni Spotlight
ThenAmeriCorps VISTA, Community Action, Inc. (CAI) of Rock & Walworth Counties, Wisconsin, 2009-10
On VISTA's InfluenceI learned the importance of collaboration and learning from others, the people you work with and the people you serve.
Erika's AdviceBuild on your strengths and learn about both what aspects of the job you like and dislike to make note for the future. Do not be too fearful of any weaknesses that you may have in the field, but rather look at them as challenges you can improve upon and outweigh with your strengths.
ThenAmeriCorps VISTA, 2000-01; VISTA Leader, 2001-03; Massachusetts Campus Compact
On VISTA's InfluenceMy years with VISTA affirmed for me that good and thoughtful research has the potential to profoundly inform the quality of policy debate in this country.
Karen's AdviceVISTA taught me the awesome power of belief. The more others believed in me, the more I believed in myself. The more I believed in myself, the more I found myself doing things I'd never dreamed I would do. Incidentally, this worked both ways: I saw students and VISTAs alike exceed their own expectations in the face of my relentless "I believe you can do it!" attitude.
ThenAmeriCorps VISTA, New York City Coalition Against Hunger, 2010-11; State VISTA Leader, Governor’s Commission on Community Service, Colorado, 2011-12
On VISTA's InfluenceIt showed me my strengths and weaknesses, and I was able to figure out what I wanted to do career wise.
Joshua's AdviceDo another year of service if you can. Don’t count out becoming a VISTA Leader. Keep the connections you make while serving as a VISTA. Keep in contact with the people at your PSO.
ThenAmeriCorps VISTA, University of Maine, Orono, Maine, 2008-9; AmeriCorps VISTA Leader, Washington Campus Compact, 2009-10
On VISTA's InfluenceVISTA created tons of connections for me in the non-profit and higher education world, in which I wanted to stay. I went on from VISTA to hold grant management positions that really utilized my passions and strengths that grew out of my VISTA experience.
Craig's AdviceMeet everyone you possibly can, be okay with questioning the status quo, talk about your experience with everyone, and find ways to be involved in all of the other little things that interest you in your surrounding community.
Adding a “Professional Profile” to Your Résumé
As a VISTA, you’ll develop and apply a wide range of skills that are attractive to employers. A professional profile is a short statement that appears on the top of your resume that highlights your experience, VISTA and otherwise, and the value you can bring to an organization. Read more...