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  • REI

How a Calling Can Take You to Unexpected Places

Updated: Dec 20, 2022

Maryellen Morgan, Director of Recruiting, REI HQ


As I approached college graduation, I thought about the concept of calling. Most of my peers knew exactly what was next for them after they crossed the stage, and for one of the first times in my life, I didn’t have an answer. To be honest, nonprofit work was one of the furthest things from my mind. Yet, each of the jobs I’ve had since graduating have been with nonprofits in various capacities.


Looking back on my time with REI, I think again of calling, how mine has formed and taken me unexpected places. Here I am now working in a new role with the privilege of helping lead others to their callings and impacting overall global development.


When you think about overseas work, what immediately comes to mind? Being a world away from friends and family? Moving to a place you’ve only ever read about – or maybe never even heard of? A grand adventure? Or perhaps changing the lives of others?


REI's new director of recruiting, Maryellen, at a collegiate conference recruiting young professionals

In this role my appreciationfor othersand the world is expanding. My eagerness for placing professionals in a developing world is unmatched. Still, amidst all of this, there's an underlying and sometimes overwhelming sense of need.


As a mobilizer, I am committed to matching those called to REI’s mission with positions in our countries, where they can work to build people to build nations. Currently, there are 26 job descriptions (job openings) across six countries, where country leaders who need staff are pleading for help to help fill these placements. This isn’t only a desire from our overseas staff, but requests made from those institutions (hospitals and universities) with whom we partner in our countries.


It's my aim to fill these needs for our REI teams, to place people in positions where they not only grow personally, but inspire growth in others, and to see nations thrive through those who share our vision. What would it take to find everyone we need to fill each open position in our countries?

Maryellen with newly recruited staff preparing to head overseas

I rejoice when a candidate embraces their calling and makes the decision to partner with us in our work overseas. But then it’s back to work, more motivated than ever to find more new candidates and help mobilize them too.


As REI grows and opens new countries, needs for new staff to help in our global effort will only grow. And so, it seems my calling has found its home where I never expected to find it, in a growing organization where I am actively recruiting and mobilizing those professionals looking to match their calling with REI’s global vision and mission.

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