Maggie Walter: The Many Benefits of a Business Degree
When people think of business school programs and business degrees, they often think of them as a pathway to working for private corporations or start-up businesses where the primary goal is profit. I have to admit that was my own perception until recently. But working with the non-profit organization Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County (CCSCC) has opened my eyes to the possibility of using my business degree in a far more meaningful way. I now see how my business degree can also serve as a great pathway to bettering society, as many of the skills I have learned in business school translate very well to working for a non-profit. Some of these transferable skills include relationship-building, communication, strategic planning, time-management skills, budgeting and problem solving.
Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County is a non-profit organization that works everyday to change lives for the better by working toward poverty alleviation, community engagement and the provision of social services to people in need. They aim to help people of all cultures and beliefs to rise out of poverty and overcome the barriers to self-sufficiency and wellness. I was thrilled to get the opportunity to work with Catholic Charities as a Marketing and Communications Intern as I saw it as an opportunity to hone the marketing and general business skills that I have learned at Santa Clara University while also helping my community. After six months of working with CCSCC, I can see how well the skills I have learned at the Leavey School of Business actually translate to working for a non-profit organization.
For instance, in my role at CCSCC I am using my relationship-building and communication skills to strengthen CCSCC’s relationship with donors and seek additional donations to fund CCSCC’s programs. Working as part of a team at CCSCC, often remotely, has also required strong communication skills so that we are all on the same page and working in unison. The skills I developed working on group projects in my business classes helped me a great deal with this. Moreover, since I am working while still a full-time student, I have had to rely a great deal on the time management skills I have gained in business school while balancing multiple classes and projects. Being able to apply my business school education to a role at a non-profit has been incredibly rewarding and has made me envision new professional possibilities for myself after completing college.