“A Reflection on the 2018 NPCC” – Meghan Pfau ’20 (Guest Blog Post)

I applied to the Non-Profit Careers Conference (NPCC) this fall as a sophomore discerning study abroad, my major, and, of course, future career paths. I thought the conference may help me in choosing career paths because I believed the non-profit sector could align with my skills and interests, however I had minimal knowledge on working in non-profits. The NPCC took place a week before classes began this past January and was one of my most formative experiences at Holy Cross thus far. The busy week included working alongside motivated Holy Cross students and inspiring alumni, listening to fascinating and informative talks, reflection, and so much more. The experiences and knowledge I gained went far beyond simply learning about what the nonprofit sector does. I was given the opportunity to reflect on my gifts, gained an understanding of the variety of career opportunities within nonprofits, and learned how to create a successful path towards work in non-profits. Ultimately I learned what I value in a future career and the importance of finding a career I am passionate about and stimulated by each day.
Some of my favorite sessions of the week included “Introduction to Vocation & Discernment,” “From Charity to Justice Conversation,”and “Professional Development: Tips for Standing Out in a Candidate Pool”; however the opportunity to see Holy Cross graduates put their education into action at the Young Alumni Panel and Alumni Dinner was the most beneficial. There is nothing more helpful than talking to actual people working in non-profits, learning about how they got there, and asking them honest questions.
Additionally, an unforgettable part of the NPCC experience was the opportunity to be paired with a community partner and work on a case study. Jeff Warden, Fatima Oseida, and I were fortunate to work on a case study for AVID, Advancement Via Individual Determination. AVID is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to closing the achievement gap by preparing all students for college and other postsecondary opportunities. Our duty was to develop a comprehensive plan to recruit generational tutors (tutors over the age of 50) for the AVID program. Our team observed AVID classrooms at Worcester Public High schools, spoke with AVID students and AVID teachers, and ultimately made a presentation on the last day to present our ideas, findings, and marketing proposals to our community partners.
The Non-Profit Careers Conference was beneficial in an endless number of ways – I am now motivated to pursue a career I am passionate about in an environment where there is a shared goal.  I have learned the challenges of working in a non-profit, but I also learned that I believe the joys and rewards of working for a cause of passion outweigh these obstacles. As for these next few years at Holy Cross, I am looking forward to continuing involvement in volunteer work for non-profits and am applying for internships with nonprofit organizations this upcoming summer.
I am forever thankful for the people I met and lessons I learned at NPCC 2018!

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