Key Advice for Young Creatives from Four Nonprofit Professionals

NY Creative Interns Creative Good Panel

Photo courtesy of Galo Delgado

Last week, NY Creative Interns, one of the largest groups of students, graduates, and professionals in New York, held its event “Creative Good: Breaking into the World of Nonprofits.” The panel was graciously hosted by The New School and featured great representatives from a variety of nonprofit organizations.

Below are a few memorable quotes that not only apply to the world of nonprofits but also to individual growth in finding your passion and establishing your career. These panelists are proof that your dream to change the world can become a reality.

Recommendations from Non-Profit Panelists

“You cannot be shy. Make a constant effort to get in touch and make connections with all of the people you meet.” Calvin Stowell, Social Media Strategist at

One day, Calvin met his dream employer. At first they said they didn’t need an intern. Yet, he wouldn’t take “no” for an answer and a week later got the job. It’s important to make impressions where it counts and be sure to set yourself apart from the flood of other applicants. The worst thing you can do is not reach out to people. You never know who can help you and what rewards may come of it, and in fact NY Creative Interns co-founder Reb Carlson noted taking 3 risks to land herself a job.

“You have to take big ideas and make them accessible. Think big, but also be honest and accessible to the people you want to work with”- Allison Jones (in reference to Professor Karen), Board Member at Young Nonprofit Professionals Network- New York City Chapter

Keep your goal in mind. In order to spread your mission and reach a global audience, you must communicate your ideas in such a way that the majority of people can understand and relate to your objective. Communicating your points simply, to the point, and genuinely will take you far. Sheldon of The Big Bang Theory should follow her advice.

NY Creative Interns Creative Good Networking

Photo courtesy of Galo Delgado

“Revamp your resume to emphasize how you suit a job’s specific needs or interests.”- Leila Darabi, Director of Global Communications at Planned Parenthood

Since her department works closely with regional staff and in-country partners of Africa and Latin America, the first thing Leila looks for on a résumé is language skills. Research the organization to which you are applying, and be sure to get a feel for the people who will be reading your cover letter. If you notice a lot of humor on the organization’s website, you might want to approach them in a more creative way. If their website is more serious in its presentation, then present your application accordingly. Feel free to browse NY Creative Interns resources for additional assistance.

“Always tell people what you’re passionate about.”- Rita Garcia, Feedback Manager at

It can be difficult figuring out exactly what you want to do. Think about what you enjoy most about your current job, or what you’re drawn to most while you’re not working. Your interests might translate to your future job. Find your passion, and spread the word. People will remember you more if you have one specific goal in mind and might think of you when the right job comes along.

Find and Follow Your Passion

NY Creative Interns Creative Good Audience

Photo courtesy of Galo Delgado

Speaking of passions, you should join our first full-day conference Find and Follow Your Passion on April 21, featuring creatives from NBC Universal, MTV, Google, and more. Check out the video to find out who else is coming – with a guest list this good, you won’t want to miss it.

Do we have yet to cover an event related to your specific interests? Is it relevant to students, graduates, and professionals? Tell us in the comments.

About the Author

Olivia Ramirez graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2011 with a degree in Communications (Media Studies & Production) and Creative Writing. She currently works as an editorial intern at New York International.

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