I've always been drawn to the crossover between education and
business. Whenever I've looked for jobs, I've first looked at
the mission and the leadership.
Catherine Carrington recently joined Management
Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) as its Manager of Strategic
Initiatives. A sector switcher changing from a private
company to a nonprofit organization, Catherine took some time
to tell us about her thoughts on her career path, her new
role, and the nonprofit sector.
Q: You worked in the private sector before.
What drew you to the nonprofit sector and this opportunity
with Management Leadership For Tomorrow (MLT)?
A: I've always been drawn to the crossover
between education and business. Whenever I've looked for
jobs, I've first looked at the mission and the leadership. My
former company, StudySmart, and MLT have very similar
missions: to assist students in achieving their academic and
career goals, thus ultimately being in a position to give
back to future generations. When I learned about the MLT
opportunity through Commongood Careers, I sensed very quickly
that MLT was the type of place that would reward
entrepreneurship, creativity, and hard-work, and meeting the
staff further reinforced that sentiment.
Q: How did your past experience prepare you
to move into the nonprofit sector?
A: The value of helping others and
contributing to society was instilled in me early on. My
parents were both teachers and several members of my family
were coaches; I learned that strengthening students'
experiences was critical to society and to a person's
The skills I have learned throughout my life, such as
management, financial budgeting, and sales and marketing, are
transferable to almost any industry. Of course, the 'softer'
skills are also invaluable - a sense of pride in one's work,
a positive, can-do attitude and the ability to build strong
relationships. Each of those skills is critical to increasing
the visibility and viability of any organization.
Q. What do you see are the challenges facing
today's nonprofit sector? What are the opportunities?
A: Two of the biggest challenges have always
been financial constraints and the impression of inefficiency
that people believe is synonymous with the non-profit sector.
Both keep many well-qualified people from pursuing
opportunities that otherwise would be a good fit.
The opportunities in the non-profit sector can be terrific;
our respective missions inspire us to get up and go to work
in the morning, and we know that we're making a societal
impact every day. We also are in a unique position to be able
to reinforce the idea of reciprocity within other companies
and organizations. For example, corporations offer MLT
financial support and intellectual capital, and we provide
them with phenomenal interns and employees who otherwise may
not have known of the opportunities.
Q. Describe your experience working with
Commongood Careers. How was it different from past job
searches you conducted?
A: My experience with Commongood Careers was
tremendous. The level of knowledge and professionalism
demonstrated by their staff superseded any expectation. I've
worked with other recruiters before, and can honestly say
that everyone should be so fortunate to work with such
sincere, positive, results-oriented and diligent people as
the folks at Commongood Careers.
This article was written by Commongood Careers and is
published under a Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommerical-NoDerivs 2.5 License.
For more information about nonprofit and socially
entrepreneurial careers, visit Commongood Careers at www.cgcareers.org.