Guest post by Colin Dean
Student at University of St. Thomas
As a business student at St. Thomas, I don’t get to hear much about opportunities at nonprofits. Our professors have work experience in the for-profit world and draw from that experience to create their lectures. I am a marketing student looking to start a career in analytics, but never thought about its applications in the non-profit area of business. For business students at St. Thomas, there is a required class called Business 200: Learning through Service. In this class, we complete an internship at a non-profit to better understand how business and community partnerships advance the common good, a value central to my St. Thomas education. Along with learning the day-to-day operations of a non-profit business, this internship also taught me about developing a career that serves our communities.
This January I had the awesome experience of helping the Habitat for Humanity ReStore locations here in the Twin Cities. My project was to create a database of local businesses that would allow ReStores to be able to reach out for specific donations. Currently, the Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity Restore locations rely on inbound marketing campaigns. These campaigns focus on incentivizing companies to come to them with donations. This database is going to allow ReStores to engage in outbound marketing campaigns where they can reach out to companies, instead of waiting for companies to come to them. This database is built for marketing customer relationship management, or marketing CRM. It will grant the marketing department the ability to filter businesses by location, industry, and sales volume. My hope is that this database will help increase donations and essentially increase revenue to build more homes!
I am very grateful for the opportunity that Habitat for Humanity gave me. I think having experience working in a non-profit is extremely important for someone at the undergraduate level. As a result of our education, many students overlook the rewarding opportunities that a non-profit can offer. It was great for someone like me who is pursuing a career in analytics. I was able to gain valuable work experience while learning about the inner workings of a non-profit. I absolutely loved my experience helping Habitat for Humanity and hope I can inspire students to do the same.