The Ohio Association of Foodbanks represents Ohio’s 12 Feeding America foodbanks and 3,600 hunger relief agencies. Below, National Service Program Coordinator Carrie Dennis offers advice for students who hope to enter the nonprofit sector.
What makes a candidate stand out to you during the recruiting and interview process?
Candidates with forward momentum stand out to me. As part of the nonprofit world, I’m always intrigued when candidates take opportunities in front of them to learn, grow, and give back. When candidates take initiative, become involved, and further their education, they demonstrate they take action on their values and are committed to going somewhere.
Candidates also stand out when they genuinely communicate their story, relating past learning and experiences to their emerging passions and current goals. I’m impressed when candidates show evidence of developed interests and a hunger for greater depth of understanding in specific issue areas.
What advice would you give students to set themselves up for success as they pursue internships and their post-graduation goals?
Take thoughtful inventory of the jobs, clubs, and other experiences you have engaged in throughout college. What did you learn from them? What did those opportunities reveal to you about your personal/professional interests and passions? How have they defined your current goals? You may be early in your career but never discount the experience you have. Reflecting on where you’ve been will allow you to better understand and articulate previous lessons and experiences. Consider how this learning has given you something to offer in your next opportunity. This will form the story you tell in interviews.
With all that in mind, take advantage of the opportunities around you while you are still in college. Don’t underestimate the value of putting yourself out there and being an engaged participant at Miami University!
What have you observed that sets Miami University candidates apart from others?
Miami candidates are active and responsive in their communication. Their initiative has been impressive to me!
About the Ohio Association of Foodbanks
The Ohio Association of Foodbanks’ mission is to assist Ohio’s 12 Feeding America foodbanks in providing food and other resources to people in need and to pursue areas of common interest for their benefit. In partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service, it operates statewide national service initiatives. These hunger and poverty-relief initiatives include its ShareCorps program composed of AmeriCorps VISTA and AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associate members. These members serve in a number of capacities, including grant writing, volunteer recruitment, curriculum development, and event coordination. Learn more about the Ohio Association of Foodbanks and its available opportunities by visiting its Handshake profile.