Molly Burns '90
FROM MERRIMACK TO BOTSWANA
Molly Burns, a 1990 Merrimack College graduate, currently serves as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Botswana. The main objective of the organization she works for is to improve the livelihood of the San people. She does this by providing education, training programs and activities for the children.
Molly was an accounting major at Merrimack College. She started off working at State Street Bank as a Fund Accountant, as did the majority of business majors who graduated in 1990. Similar to the recent economic crisis, the job market was extremely tough at that time.
Molly Burns, 20 years later, is now serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Botswana. She lives in D’kar, which is a village of around 1,500 people. D’kar is home to the indigenous group of people called the San, who are believed to be the first humans to have occupied Southern Africa. The Peace Corps main purpose in Botswana is to help in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Southern Africa is now the worst affected area in the world. Molly, along with other volunteers, works to incorporate health topics in each of their programs.
Molly never imagined that she would join the Peace Corps, as she only started to consider it a few years ago. She was looking for a change when a friend of hers mentioned that a colleague of hers joined the Peace Corps and was going to Malaysia. Molly was amazed because this person was around her same age. Molly had initially thought that the Peace Corps was just for 20 year olds. Then when Molly researched the organization, she began to envision herself participating in an experience like the Peace Corps. Molly was at a place in her life where she could easily pick up and leave for a couple years with no pressing family or financial obligations. So, she took the leap and made a drastic life change! Her service is for two years, and she’ll be in D’kar until May 2011. Molly says, “It has been the hardest thing I’ve done so far in my life, but the most rewarding.”
Molly stated that she has been very fortunate professionally because of her Merrimack College education. She’s always been able to find a rewarding position, thanks to her accounting major and Merrimack’s good reputation. Her words of advice are “You will inevitably have many successes and failures in your life. It’s all part of the process.” Recently a friend of hers in the Peace Corps shared this thought with Molly, who wishes to share it with her Merrimack College colleagues, “If you are going through a time of discouragement, there is a time of great personal growth ahead.”