Before YNPN Boston, I didn’t consider myself a networker or connector, and I hadn’t reflected much on long-term career goals. My two-year term as an ambassador on the Communications & Marketing team changed all of that by introducing me to peer mentorship, career development, and a support network.
I learned about YNPN Boston leadership opportunities by attending an event listed on the YNPN Boston listserv. A YNPN Boston ambassador who I met at the event, encouraged me to apply. I didn’t anticipate how much of an impact this decision would have on my professional development.
My time on the YNPN Boston Leadership Team stands out to me for two things: space to take on new projects and support. The organization gave me the space to challenge myself creatively and professionally by encouraging me to take the lead on setting up and managing an analytics dashboard to optimize our content marketing strategy, a project in which I had no formal experience. I also strengthened my existing skills in event promotion and email marketing.
In addition to having the space to initiate new projects, my YNPN Boston team offered the peer support I needed to think strategically about my professional development. I proactively searched for classes and workshops that would expand my marketing, analytics, project management, and content strategy skills. The skills that I built over time at YNPN Boston earned me better footing in developing and leading projects at work.
The biggest takeaway from my YNPN Boston term would be: It is up to me to carve out my role and take my professional development into my own hands. This realization inspired me to take a Social, Web and Marketing Analytics course through Brandeis Graduate Professional Studies, and I began to apply what I learned both at work and at YNPN Boston. It was gratifying to see the fluidity between my professional work and volunteer work, and helped clarify my career goals.
YNPN Boston was the opportunity I needed to step into a leadership role, take ownership of my work, and fuel my passion for community building. The organization nurtured my growth as a networker and connector. I now thrive in networking settings and enjoy building authentic relationships. I also reflect more on long-term career goals and the concrete steps I can take to accomplish them. I encourage anyone interested in nonprofit leadership to apply for a position at YNPN Boston. You will challenge yourself and grow professionally, and you will gain a lifelong network of peer mentors and friends.
Rachel Park is the Communications and Events Specialist in the Office of Communications at Brandeis University. Her background is in education, events, and communications. She served on the YNPN Boston Communications and Marketing team for two years.