This week’s post is a part of the Youth Speaks series. Development Three intern, Claudia Blackman gives insight into how she paving her way for a career in the not-for-profit sector.
My interest in community service started back in high school after I traveled to Guatemala with my parents. Guatemala has beautiful people (inside and out), who are happy with simple living and appreciate the simplest technological and economic advances in the area. After the trip, I came home with a new determination and commitment to helping under served communities with any opportunities available at school.
Two years later I went on to college in central Pennsylvania. Susquehanna University is a small liberal arts college with a commitment to service. Throughout my four years I participated in projects for homelessness, veterans, children, senior citizens, and animals.
As college graduation drew upon me, I thought about what was important to me about the line of work I entered and what would offer the most growth. I am now working full-time in inside sales, and have a great work-life balance that allows me to volunteer for Development Three as well as another non-profit called 4Ts Productions on a weekly basis with flexible hours.
Within the year that I have worked for both organizations, I have gained experience in marketing and business development. My experience has allowed me to aid in recruiting other volunteers, as well as providing advice for other aspiring non-profit professionals. Last Friday, I participated in a live Twitter chat with non-profiteers in the making where I provided advice about pitching your nonprofit to investors, staying motivated, finding other talent to work with your organization, and more.
I’m often asked about how I balance both volunteer positions with a full time job, but it has been fairly easy for me. For Development Three, I have weekly tasks that I can work on any time. For 4Ts Productions, I can schedule content to post to social media ahead of time. My goal is to get as much diverse experience as possible as early as I can; to me, the experience is more important than the money. My boss at my full-time job saw the drive I had by working so diligently with both nonprofits and has found ways to utilize those diverse skills within my current role. Working in the non-profit sector has been a great opportunity because it allows me to continue developing new skills and ideas.
I will talk more about that Twitter conference next week. For now, follow me on Twitter: @CLAUDIABLACKMA1
Claudia is a full-time Inside Sales professional in NYC and is a NJ native. When not working or volunteering, she spends time with her friends, family, and her dog Bob