Uncommon Talent: Catherine Carrington
Catherine Carrington recently joined Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) as its Manager of Strategic Initiatives. A sector switcher changing from a private company to a nonprofit organization, Catherine took some time to tell us about her thoughts on her career path, her new role, and the nonprofit sector.
Q: You worked in the private sector before. What drew you to the nonprofit sector and this opportunity with Management Leadership For Tomorrow (MLT)?
A: I’ve always been drawn to the crossover between education and business. Whenever I’ve looked for jobs, I’ve first looked at the mission and the leadership. My former company, StudySmart, and MLT have very similar missions: to assist students in achieving their academic and career goals, thus ultimately being in a position to give back to future generations. When I learned about the MLT opportunity through Commongood Careers, I sensed very quickly that MLT was the type of place that would reward entrepreneurship, creativity, and hard-work, and meeting the staff further reinforced that sentiment.
Q: How did your past experience prepare you to move into the nonprofit sector?
A: The value of helping others and contributing to society was instilled in me early on. My parents were both teachers and several members of my family were coaches; I learned that strengthening students’ experiences was critical to society and to a person’s intrinsic satisfaction.
The skills I have learned throughout my life, such as management, financial budgeting, and sales and marketing, are transferable to almost any industry. Of course, the ‘softer’ skills are also invaluable - a sense of pride in one’s work, a positive, can-do attitude and the ability to build strong relationships. Each of those skills is critical to increasing the visibility and viability of any organization.
Q. What do you see are the challenges facing today’s nonprofit sector? What are the opportunities?
A: Two of the biggest challenges have always been financial constraints and the impression of inefficiency that people believe is synonymous with the non-profit sector. Both keep many well-qualified people from pursuing opportunities that otherwise would be a good fit.
The opportunities in the non-profit sector can be terrific; our respective missions inspire us to get up and go to work in the morning, and we know that we’re making a societal impact every day. We also are in a unique position to be able to reinforce the idea of reciprocity within other companies and organizations. For example, corporations offer MLT financial support and intellectual capital, and we provide them with phenomenal interns and employees who otherwise may not have known of the opportunities.
Q. Describe your experience working with Commongood Careers. How was it different from past job searches you conducted?
A: My experience with Commongood Careers was tremendous. The level of knowledge and professionalism demonstrated by their staff superseded any expectation. I’ve worked with other recruiters before, and can honestly say that everyone should be so fortunate to work with such sincere, positive, results-oriented and diligent people as the folks at Commongood Careers.
This article was written by Commongood Careers and is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-NoDerivs 2.5 License.
For more information about nonprofit and socially entrepreneurial careers, visit Commongood Careers at http://www.commongoodcareers.org.