English Alumni Working in the Non Profits and Philanthropy
Laurie Barowski '08
Assistant, Foundation Relations at Carnegie Hall
The single most valuable experience of my Stonehill College career was my internship with the Corporate Relations team at Carnegie Hall. During my semester in New York City, not only did I learn what a Development department did, I also figured out what I wanted to do after graduation, and most importantly, I found a goal and the courage to blaze a path to pursue it. As I gained fundraising experience, composing written correspondence with donors and interacting with my coworkers in a wide range of situations and environments, both in person and electronically, I learned the importance of the art of communication, and discovered a fascination with the power of language. In sum, I cultivated a passion that propelled me through my final year at Stonehill with a renewed enthusiasm for English and communication: although the study of literature did not directly relate to my new post-graduation objectives of living and working in New York City-at Carnegie Hall if possible-I was eager to analyze the linguistic styles of other writers, and to develop my own writing skills and command of the English language.
I learned everything I could about a career in development by shadowing Stonehill's Advancement Division for a term project in my Organizational Communication class; I also tapped into their resources when I needed to start my job search in the months leading up to graduation. I invested time every day (even if I could only devote ten minutes before bed) doing something related to the job search. With help from the Advancement Division and Career Services, I made as many new connections with people in my field as possible-Stonehill employees, trustees, alumni-all the while keeping in touch with contacts I had met in New York. While every resource and every connection was helpful, and I appreciated my contact with each one, the supervisor of my internship at Carnegie Hall proved to be most important, as she knew me-and my work-the most closely.
After a string of disappointing months spent preparing and sending cover letters and resumes, only to be largely ignored but occasionally interviewed-and turned down-for various entry-level development positions, I saw on Carnegie Hall's website that the Development department was looking to fill an opening in Planned Giving and Special Projects. I immediately contacted my former supervisor, and she informed me that a candidate was already being considered for the position, but that there would soon be another opening with the Foundation Relations team and that I would be a better fit for that position. She forwarded my resume to the Director of Foundation Relations, and I sent it to Human Resources. Within a week I received a phone call, and two days later I went to the Hall for an interview. Less than five minutes after leaving my interview, I got called back to schedule a second interview for the next day, and only a few days later I was offered the job.
After such a happy conclusion, it is tempting to wipe from my memory the agony of those arduous months of job searching. But through all the frustration, discouragement, and doubt, I learned to build and maintain relationships with mentors and anyone else who is willing to offer advice, assistance, or support; I learned to persevere; and most of all I learned that I have the power and the responsibility to create the opportunities I want to fall into my lap.