Non-Profits Provide a Wealth of Knowledge

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I enjoyed Larisa Redins' article, about working at non-profits. Having interned at one non-profit and worked at two non-profits, I highly recommend it. However, it's important to know what you're getting yourself into. If you're a college senior, I suggest taking an internship with a non-profit. Why? You will get to see first-hand the amount of work that goes into working for a company like this. You will also do more work than most people at corporate-style internships because non-profits actually NEED your help. At a year-long internship my senior year of college, I WAS the public relations department. I loved every minute of it and truly believe it steered me to my first post-college job - a similar position at another non-profit. I learned the ropes in college, instead of at an entry-level job. I took that skill set with me to interviews, which is an advantage over most other college graduates.

Larisa mentions that PR jobs at non-profits can be highly coveted and this is true. Often, the PR or communications department is the face of the non-profit and (in my biased opinion) the hardest working people at the non-profit. While others may have to fundraise, communications people have to make volunteers camera-ready to get the word out there about the specific cause. So if you are a communications major or recent college graduate, I do recommend looking to a non-profit to gain wonderful experience. Just remember: you will work harder than your PR agency friends, and make less.

Lastly, what drives most to work at non-profits is belief in a cause. I fortunately supported causes during college that led me to non-profit work and, at least with my first post-grad job, I truly believed in what I was doing because the cause touched people in my family.

Whatever your background, I encourage you to apply to non-profit jobs especially in this down-trodden economy. These companies need good employees now more than ever.

You can also read more helpful information at http://www.collegejobbank.com/


Amy Muldoon graduated from Penn State University in 2005 and worked in corporate public relations for three years before returning to graduate school to become an English teacher. Her strengths include: drafting speeches, writing talking points for media interviews, making corporate presentations, and writing for publications.
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