Public & Nonprofit Management Student Profile
Name: Catlyn Christie
Graduation Year: 2018
Hometown: Fargo, ND
How and why did you choose your major?
Ever since freshman year, I felt that I had too many interests to ever feel satisfied with choosing just one or two majors. I used campus resources, such as CAPE's OUE 2100, to guide my research and decision-making process and slowly but surely narrow the list. I also took classes and engaged in various experiences that helped me reflect on and define my values and what kind of issues I feel best working on. In particular, in the summer following freshman year, after applying to various business internships to no avail, I came across an "administrative internship" position in my hometown's Planning Department. Little did I know how much I would come to love working in the public sector. I have returned for each summer since, taking on different responsibilities each time, and reaffirming my major decision. I decided that this major would be a great track to help me better understand what it takes to make a nonprofit or public department thrive and best serve its mission.
Please give a description (in your words) of your major including the things you learn, favorite classes, and any challenges you have faced.
This major supplements the foundation business courses by teaching more in-depth about the nuances of the public/nonprofit sector, e.g. fundraising, grant-writing, organizational structures, public policy, etc. It also emphasizes innovation and how to make an organization viable and most effective, whether it's a public department, nonprofit, or business. All students in this major are also required to complete another major within Carlson, so that creates a fun opportunity to synthesize what you're learning in both majors and try to apply them to each other.
What types of experiences outside of the classroom have you had relating to your major? (i.e. clubs, jobs, internships, volunteering, study abroad etc.)
As I mentioned, interning at city hall in my hometown was a really formative experience that helped expose me to a world I didn't really even know existed. I also studied abroad for a semester through MSID Thailand, and that experience solidified my desire to work with organizations that are devoted to social justice and motivated by more than profits. My freshman year I was a literacy tutor through America Reads and that also influenced my major decision; it showed me what it feels like to have a job with a purpose that you, and your co-workers, feel passionately about. I felt that majoring in Public & Nonprofit Management would lead me in this direction and equip me with the business acumen needed to be a constructive employee.
In your opinion, what is one thing, or one piece of advice that other students pursuing your major should know?
The faculty and classmates you will encounter through this major abound with passion and are incredibly supportive -- make time to get to know them! Also, the partnership the program has with the Humphrey School is a unique privilege and a great opportunity to broaden your educational horizons -- embrace it!