Posts Tagged non-profit

World of Work: Deanna Cameron ’91, Ronald MacDonald House Charities

Posted on September 12, 2012 with No Comments

Deanna CameronDeanna Cameron ‘91
Program Coordinator
Ronald MacDonald House Charities – http://www.rmh-vermont.org/
Burlington, VT
Major: Social Work

What motivates you to go to work everyday?

I’ve always been someone who needs to really believe in the cause that I’m working for, so that personal connection to the cause is a huge motivation for me. My niece and nephew were born prematurely and Ronald McDonald House was there for my sister-in-law during the three weeks that the babies were in the hospital. I saw first-hand how the support of Ronald McDonald House Charities strengthens families at a very difficult time.

How would you describe what you do on a typical day?

My typical day consists of the following:

  • Our number one priority at Ronald McDonald House Charities is the comfort of our guests. So each day starts out with a house “check-in” in which we review our current guests, any new guests checking in, and address any guests needs.
  • I also manage the nearly 200 active volunteers who cover eight shifts daily in our programs. A large part of my job is ensuring that each of these invaluable volunteers has a meaningful experience serving our organization. I set up month-long volunteer schedules for both the House and in the Ronald McDonald Family Room located at Vermont Children’s Hospital at Fletcher Allen Health Care.
  • The second half of my job is fundraising. Depending on the time of year, I may be planning our next fundraising event. I update the agency’s day-to-day communications and social media to keep our supporters up to date on what we’re doing. I also do community outreach to share our cause and needs. And from time to time, I even get to snuggle a beautiful baby who is staying with us.

Tell us about your path to this position.

I definitely could not have imagined where my degree in social work would take me when I graduated. Early in my career my work was oriented toward direct service, doing case management with a variety of populations such as emotionally disabled teen girls and homeless/marginally housed individuals. From these experiences, I moved onto doing some program development in the housing field, which sparked my interest in this type of work.

The mix of direct service work with clients and managing the operations of service programs has proven to be the perfect combination of challenges to suit my skill set. I have been able to expand on this even more in my last two positions where I’ve also become involved in fundraising–both working with donors and on events.

What advice do you have for students searching for jobs or internships in your field?

Volunteerism is a great way to take your career in different directions as well as a means to network with a new circle of colleagues. In the non-profit world where every penny is accounted for, new projects are often started solely with volunteer efforts. As greater value and need is placed on these new projects, staffing can be added to the budget and those that volunteered may then be considered for the new paid position(s). I wouldn’t advise students to volunteer with the goal of acquiring a paid position, but as a way to enhance their talents and explore an interest that may not be fulfilled in other ways.

Internship of the Month: ECHO Lakeside Aquarium and Science Center

Posted on January 19, 2012 with No Comments

Kyle Pestlin

Intern: Kyle Pestlin
Class Year: 2012
Major: Biology
Employer: ECHO Lakeside Aquarium and Science Center
Internship Title: Animal Care Intern
Website: www.echovermont.org
LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/kyle-pestlin/21/945/963

Briefly tell us about the organization you were with:

ECHO is an aquarium and science center located on the Burlington Waterfront. Their goal is to provide a fun and interactive environment for kids to learn about the local history, culture, and ecosystems. ECHO houses 70+ species of fish, amphibians, invertebrates, and reptiles and provides various internship opportunities including a variety of education/teaching internships.

How would you describe the various projects you did in for your organization someone who is unfamiliar with your field?

I worked in the Animal Care department which strictly deals with the animals. My job consisted of cleaning tanks, feeding, designing and building exhibit habitats, medicating animals, and learning about ECHO’s water system. All the techniques I’ve learned in animal care are transferable to other zoos and aquariums across the country to the standards of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

What did you like best about this internship? What was most challenging?

What I enjoyed most about this internship was to learn about all the different aspects of animal husbandry. Working at ECHO has really improved my ability to create animal specific habitats that I now apply to my lizard tanks at home.

The most challenging aspect of working at ECHO was to remember all the different diets for each of the animals. For example, some fish get fish food that we make, while some eat fish, some eat earth worms, others eat blood worms, and that’s just the fish. Frogs, reptiles, turtles, and crustaceans all have specific diets as well.

How did you gain credit for this internship?

I met with Mary Beth Barritt at Career Services. She informed me of a course she was teaching that provides credit for internships (EDSS 239). The work for the course consisted of reading inspiring and thought-provoking articles and then writing responses to these articles while including relevant internship experience. This course helped facilitate the learning process in my internship by requiring critical thinking on aspects of the internship that otherwise would have gone without acknowledgement or appreciation.

What impact did this internship have on your career direction?

This internship really opened my eyes to what I truly enjoy doing. Just knowing that I am improving the lives of these animals by giving them care and attention makes it all worth it. This internship has also confirmed the importance of knowing you are contributing and making a difference in society.

What advice do you have for students searching for internships?

When looking for an internship you have to stay persistent and look for a job in a field you are truly interested in.

Why should students do an internship?

I feel having an internship is really helpful no matter what. Even if you hate your internship you then know that you may be in the wrong field. You may learn you enjoy certain aspects of your internship more than others, and it may not even be what you had expected. This helps narrow your overall career path to the job that will ultimately be best for you.

Doing Good, Doing Well: Make Money Doing What You Love

Posted on November 10, 2011 with No Comments

Meaning making & making money?

Are they mutually exclusive or is it possible to do both?  Yes!

Here are the steps:

  • Define what matters to you
  • Explore opportunities
  • Learn from others
  • Take a stand, take a step – get involved!

Soul Collage

Find out what is possible:

Considering a Non-Profit Career

Learn from the experts:

Idealist.org

Get in the conversation:

Join LinkedIn & their non-profit groups, including:

Non Profit & Philanthropic Job Board
Non Profit Network
Non Profit Professionals
UVM Career Connections: Non Profit & Social Services

Clarify your Mission:

Friday, Nov. 11, 1:30 pm: Creating a Personal Mission Statement & Action Plan,
Career Services L/L E 166.

Get Involved:

UVM is a great place to start

Do a year of service:

Non-Profit Fellowships

~Holly

Internship of the Month: Vermont Public Radio

Posted on September 8, 2011 with No Comments

VPR

Intern: Cody Searles, ‘11
Major: English
Internship Title: Classical Music Intern
Company: Vermont Public Radio
Website: www.vpr.org
Current Postion: A&R Coordinator, Putamayo World Music

Briefly tell us about the organization you were with: Vermont Public Radio is Vermont’s source for independent non-biased news, information, music and cultural exploration. Specifically, VPR Classical presents classical music with interesting historical background and hosts live performances of local musicians.

What did you like best about this internship? What was most challenging? The people. I was able to get a lot of guidance and experience through their instruction and patience. The most challenging part was to be self-sufficient and accurate. Especially working inside a massive database, I had to be thorough as well as productive. Being able to answer my own questions through critical analysis of previous work and entries was a key skill in order to be successful at my internship.

How did you gain credit for this internship? Through EDSS 239! It rocks! During my final semester at school, I had a serious revelation while sitting in the first week’s classes of an elective–it was senseless to take a class I didn’t care for rather than intern at a place which could extend beyond graduation. In retrospect this was a life-changing decision as I am now employed right out of school partially because of my decision to stay involved in internships in the music industry rather than take a “filler” class.

What impact did this internship have on your career direction? It had a massive impact. I transitioned from VPR to interning at Putumayo World Music at the end of the school year and into the summer and then was hired as A&R Coordinator. The work I did at VPR and the people there greatly influenced my abilities to fill this position. Basically, I could not be where I am now without my previous internship experience.

What advice do you have for students searching for internships? Aim high and apply, even if you think you can’t get the internship. You never know until someone tells you no. Once you get one, work hard! It’s worth it. And get credit! It is awesome to be able to lighten the class load and get real-life experience simultaneously.

What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Posted on June 3, 2011 with No Comments

Check out this recent article, “It’s Not About You.” by New York Times columnist David Brooks.  He discusses the problem of making a career or life decision amongst “limitless possibilities.”

The answer articulated in this article is not to focus on ourselves, but rather to engage with our communities and finds issues and problems that we want to commit our energies to. He writes, “Most of us are egotistical and most are self-concerned most of the time, but it’s nonetheless true that life comes to a point only in those moments when the self dissolves into some task. The purpose in life is not to find yourself. It’s to lose yourself.”

So, how do you find something to commit yourself to, “to lose yourself” in?

Click here for more.

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