Global awareness and service learning encompass an important part of Messiah College’s mission. The ability to interact and work with people in countries other than our own is something many people desire and strive toward. For ’14 grad Colin Shiner, serving as HOPE International’s Accounting and Communications “Fellow” in the Dominican Republic has allowed him to work globally for good purposes, as he uses his Economics and Spanish majors to impact the world on a global scale. Life as the Accounting and Communications Fellow provides new opportunities for advancement of his knowledge and influence every day, as he works on several different types of projects. With regard to accounting, Shiner engages with auditing and inventory; he is currently working on an audit of a savings program in the north east Dominican Republic. He also works on document digitization and workflow design. On the Communication side, he has completed surveying among HOPE/ Esperanza's associates (the people who participate in the savings and loans programs) and also assists with translation on trips that come from the US to visit the programs in the Dominican Republic.
The catalyst for Shiner to pursue his current career came after reading “When Helping Hurts” by Steve Corbett for one of his Economics classes. After reading this book, Shiner decided to pursue work toward helping those who have good intentions for helping abroad, but lack knowledge about best practices for these endeavors. He says, “It was a pivotal moment in my undergrad career, because it changed the way I thought about helping people. It made me much more constructively critical about programs that intend to do good, but sometimes miss the mark.” This experience proved effective in helping him decide upon what to dedicate his life.
Shiner emphasizes four things for prospective and current students to engage with to have successful college careers: prayer, academic experimentation, involvement with the study abroad program, and communication with professors. Along these lines, Shiner says, “One great thing about Messiah is that the professors are very approachable and love to talk about their fields, which gives you a great way to learn more about a major you might be interested in!” This applies to the idea of academic experimentation to find out exactly what you want to do with your life, and discussing majors with professors to have any questions answered.Shiner values the experiences he had the privilege to receive with during his time at Messiah College. The lasting connections he made with peers and professors, and the progress he made academically and spiritually were unmatched. As he lives his life post-Messiah College, Shiner uses his degree to help others on a world-wide scale.