This episode explores the bigger questions of the nonprofit sector and digs into the specific methods used for securing a job in this market.
Four young professionals discuss their latest job search after completing the MS of Nonprofit Management at Columbia University. They share what led them to grad school and which classes stay with them in practice. Aside from identifying their interests relative to types of mission they also asked: Can I see myself working with the people interviewing me? Which skills do I want to develop or use in this role?
Savannah Cathers and Tenicia Winston show us the importance of knowing yourself and your values. Tenicia shared that for her job search she knew which mission area and salary range she wanted. She knew which skills she would be bringing along with which skills she wanted to obtain or improve. Savannah reminds listeners that starting a career may mean a job seeker changes organizations and locations while discovering their right fit. She emphasizes that aligning personal values with the organization's values is key to finding a good fit. She sees there is a place for any skill set in the sector from coding to construction and fundraising to accounting. Michela Masotti stressed the importance of informational interviews and kindness. Guided by what she learned in informational interviews, she applied to many types of organizations and ultimately decided to accept the offer from the organization where she felt the best connection with the existing staff. Caroline Schiavo echoes that kindness matters, especially in the nonprofit sector where practitioners have large networks. She knows that once a passion is found it will stick with a job seeker, their career can grow to nurture their passion.
Listen in to dive deeper and hear advice they wish they would have heard five years ago.
**Savannah Cathers** is an Associate Director, who joined CCS with a seemingly unorthodox background in live theatre and opera production. There, in the arts and culture sector, she learned a love of mission-driven work— by watching everyone come together to change hearts and minds through performance. Realizing good art stems from a good business, Savannah then pursued a more specific nonprofit focus with her MS in Nonprofit Management from Columbia University.
Most recently, Savannah was the Management Associate at Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, GA. There she helped with the theatre's transformative diversity, equity, and inclusion work for the community. She also maintained program budgets, union agreements, and strategic partnerships with producers to bring new and exciting work to Atlanta audiences.
Savannah is proud to rescue a retired racing greyhound named Roscoe. You can catch her playing video games or enjoying a good brunch when she is not at the dog park with him.
**Michela Masotti** graduated with a BFA in Musical Theater from NYU Tisch in 2019. After performing around the city and Off-Broadway for a few years, she pursued her Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Management from Columbia University. Since graduating, Michela has worked in Leadership Gifts at a global humanitarian aid organization. Michela also has experience working at theatrical, environmental, and philanthropy-serving nonprofits, along with founding her own small South African nonprofit to give back to her family’s home country. Michela is passionate about making the world a better place.
**Caroline Schiavo** is a Principal Gifts Coordinator at the Environmental Defense Fund. In her role, she engages high-level portfolios and supports the Principal and Major Gifts team in donor solicitation and stewardship. With 4 years of experience at health and environmental nonprofits, most notably YWCA and Camp Kesem, she served as a research intern and development coordinator.
Caroline graduated from the University of Richmond in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in Healthcare Studies. She was elected Chair of Academic Affairs in student government, spearheading a positive impact on the community which culminated with the Distinguished Leadership Award. In 2022, Caroline graduated from Columbia University with a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management. Outside of work, Caroline serves on a nonprofit junior board and as an Associate Instructor for Columbia University.
**Tenicia Winston** is a Project Manager at a nonprofit that focuses on improving educational outcomes in metro Atlanta through collective impact. Prior to this role she was in a rotational project, strategy, and operations management program. Tenicia also served as a Teach for America Corp Member in Atlanta Public Schools. Tenicia was a dual-sport athlete in college, graduating from Clark Atlanta University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. She earned her master’s in Nonprofit Management at Columbia University.