Enrolling in the Nonprofit Administration program has been an amazing opportunity to learn the skills I need to become a future nonprofit leader and social change agent. Through varied course offerings, I have had the ability to learn information and skills that are both interesting and essential to nonprofit management. Most courses are discussion-based, students come from a diverse group of organizations and positions, and bring their real-life experiences to classroom discussion. Because class sizes are small and collaborative work is a part of the curriculum, I have had the opportunity to get to know my classmates and make connections with people who are interested in making a difference. Additionally, my position has a graduate assistant has not only helped alleviate costs of graduate school, but also become more connected with the program and the John Carroll community.
While I am not currently working in a nonprofit, much of our learning is case-based and has real-world applications that I can take with me into my career. Professors often bring in guest lecturers who are able to speak about their experiences as leaders in the sector and provide students with opportunities to expand their networks. In addition to tenured faculty, I have taken courses with adjunct professors who are experts in their respective fields. It is incredibly useful to take courses taught by people who are actively doing what they teach in their day jobs, and has provided unique learning opportunities. For example, in my Advocacy class, we were able to receive real updates and information based on changes that came with the 2018 state elections as well as attend a candidate’s forum hosted by the professor’s organization.
Not only have I had the opportunity to gain a wealth of knowledge about the nonprofit sector, through the program I’ve also experienced personal growth as a leader and as a professional. In our Leadership and Management course, students were challenged to create a personal vision for themselves, outlining life and career goals and to learn about how they operate as a leader and work in a team. From this information, we created a personal development plan with actionable steps we can take to achieve our goals and grow in our leadership. This experience has been instrumental in shaping how I move forward in my professional journey
– Collin Ries, '20G