The convocation that took place at 11:45, Wednesday, October 19th, 2011 was an informational presentation of the benefits of nonprofit careers. Women from Concordia's own Career Services initiated the convocation and introduced who would be speaking. They gave credit where credit was due to people such as Kelly Matthias and Dr. Bransford, among others. The central focus of the convocation was for interested parties to find internships, volunteer opportunities, and eventual careers. A former honors student, named Katie Benke, was introduced and gave a speech about her career path that began at the very same convocation years prior. Her volunteering for her project led to an internship and an eventual career.
It was then time for Michaela Charleston and Cindy Yang from the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits to speak about their professions and the company. They informed the audience of the MCN's mission, which is "MCN works to inform, promote, connect, and strengthen individual nonprofits and the nonprofit sector." The women then went on to elaborate how they spread the word of their company through publications, advocacy, projects, and programs. They also made it very clear that careers in nonprofit organizations can make individuals money. They even provided statistics, including that 1 out of every 9 employees works for a nonprofit company, nonprofit companies provide $13.2 billion dollars in wages each year, and is on the increase despite the economy. Michaela and Cindy then went on to talk about the importance of networking in a nonprofit organization and all the different components associated with that. They ended their presentation with various websites that the audience members could use to find volunteer opportunities as well as internships and possible careers.
The crux of this convocation was to inform individuals of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and how it can be used effectively. A student, particularly a former honors student, was used to show how a volunteer opportunity can so easily become a career one loves and enjoys. The women representing the company then gave all the facts and figures to show the audience how productive and official the organization is. Statistics were used quite effectively to prove that money can be made in nonprofit organizations and that they are not a 'waste of time" as most people think. The representatives from the organization explained networking in order to further educate the audience on the importance of making oneself known, especially in nonprofit situations. The presentation was closed with websites in order to provide resources for the audience to find nonprofit opportunities.
In my opinion, this presentation seemed to focus on the wrong thing. I got the vibe that the organization was more important than the individual organizations themselves. I felt like I was being sold a product. Volunteering should not be about finding a career, but doing something you enjoy to simply help others. Other than the Concordia alumni, I never once heard mention of the good feeling one gets when volunteering. After the organization took over the presentation, I feel it became too formal and informational rather than from the heart. The heart is where I believe any nonprofit work should come from. There were some very good resources for future volunteering as well as internships. The fact that the women were very strong in the fact that they wanted us to stay in Minnesota made it seem very impersonal and purely business related. Although this was an intriguing and helpful convocation, I found it to be very impersonal.