Written by: Kim Schmahl
Here on My Fisher Internship, we are all asked to give some advice for Fisher students and my fellow bloggers have given a lot of good advice so far! This summer, I’ve learned a lot about the non-profit world, through both my own experiences and observations and from the people I’ve met. So rather than repeat any of the words of wisdom already posted, I’ve put together a list of tips for anyone with an interest in non-profits…
Pay attention in class! Even though a lot of the classes here in Fisher focus on the corporate sector, I’ve realized this summer that most everything can be applied to non-profits too!
Read Good to Great and the Social Sectors. If you’ve already taken Bus Adm 499, then you probably remember reading Good to Great, by Jim Collins. After writing it, Collins wrote Good to Great and the Social Sectors to explore how the principles he described in the original book apply to non-profits and government agencies. It’s a short monograph to the original–no more than 45 pages long–and is a fast, interesting read if you are interested in non-profits.
Volunteer! If there is a non-profit organization that you are really interested in, start volunteering there–you’ll not only be doing something good, but it’s also a great way to get your foot in the door. I recently started volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House here in Columbus and almost every employee I’ve met there started out as a volunteer!
Get involved on campus! Ohio State is huge–if there’s a cause that you are passionate about, you can bet there’s a student organization that supports it to get involved with. Or if you’d like to get some real-world experience check out Students Consulting for Non-profit Organizations (SCNO). I joined SCNO this past year and have had the opportunity to work on marketing projects with two local non-profits (I told you–what we learn in class really does apply to non-profits!). Getting involved is a way to get leadership experience and an opportunity to network–plus it’ll give you something to talk about in interviews!
Intern! Get an internship at a non-profit organization. To find one, you can search on Fisherconnect, or online at ColumbusInternships.com for local internships or Idealist.org for non-profit internships around the country. You can also visit OSU’s Non-profit Career Fair in the spring and of course, network with the people you’ve met volunteering or in your student organization!
Check out the Columbus Foundation Summer Fellowship Program! To conclude, I’m going to shamelessly promote the Columbus Foundation Summer Fellowship program, which my internship was through this summer! It’s a really great program because the “fellows” or interns, not only work at a local non-profit organization for the summer, but we also had other opportunities throughout the summer to learn about non-profits. More about the Summer Fellowship Program in my next post….