Nonprofit group offers chance to improve resume

With jobs being so few and far between post-graduation these days, a little something extra is always good to have on your resume. There are many student organizations on and around campus, that the vast options seem unlimited.

The Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, formerly known as the American Humanics – its name was changed to better reflect their mission – is one of
those organizations. The program is in 3,000 colleges across the country and it’s expanding.

Eastern Michigan University has been participating in the NLA for the past 10 years, but it has been around for 62.

The NLA is dedicated to educating and preparing students to strengthen and lead nonprofit organizations. In addition to learning, it offers students the opportunity to become certified through a minor in nonprofit management and prepares students for careers in youth and human services. Students can also complete a portfolio instead of completing a minor.

The organization is open to any hard-working student who enjoys working with the community. People from all different majors, from business to biology and anywhere in-between, can benefit. There are members from nearly every college on campus.

It is a rigorous program, so one must be dedicated to the cause. In order to earn a certification, a member must achieve 17 of the listed competencies through various seminars and classes. Some of these competencies are communication skills, ethics and values, fundraising principles and practices and diversity awareness.

They also must complete 300 hours of field-based experience at a local nonprofit organization. This can be a working position or an internship.

On top of taking classes and working, a student must have excellent time-management skills to complete this. Students working on becoming certified must also be active in the NLA Student Association and attend at least one NLA Management Institute.

You might be thinking, “I have to spend 300 hours at a homeless shelter or canned food drive? That’s crazy.”

Not so much. Nonprofit organizations actually account for quite a bit of Michigan’s economy. Nonprofits in Michigan generate more than $108 billion each year, and the nonprofit sector employs more than 440,000 people. Organizations like labor unions and think tanks and even Eastern Michigan University itself are actually nonprofit.

Undergrads aren’t the only eligible students who can enroll in the NLA. Graduate students can also join and add some more bulk to their resumes.
“I always encourage students to participate in the internships,” said Claudia Petrescu, campus director. “It gives them a bit of an advantage when they enter the job market.”

The NLA also has partners the students can work with, like the American Red Cross, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and the National Urban League.

In addition to having your professional signature include CNP, thus making you look more credible already, the skills learned in the NLA will benefit work in the private and public sectors and government jobs. Not to mention helping out local nonprofit organizations as well. Hundreds of nonprofit agencies across the country look for graduates who are NLA-certified.

In addition to helping out around the community, the NLA is also quite active on campus. They are hosting a seminar on November 17 and many fundraisers are in the works right now.

If you’re interested in an advising session to determine whether you’d like to become a member of the NLA, its offices are located at 215 Rackham. You can also call 734-487-1612 or email nonprofit@emich.edu


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