#Working4NGOs: Alida La Paglia, following the Career Development Service to follow your dreams
The Career Development Service path is articulated in different steps and is oriented towards the placement of our Masters fellows in the NonProfit sector. But how? What are the right choices? There are no easy answers to these questions, but we can surely learn a lot from the example of those who did it and have successfully managed to go from the ForProfit to the NonProfit sector.
We are very proud to present you Alida La Paglia, our young alumna of the Master in Fundraising Management and new addition to the ACRA team, where she works in the Communication and Fundraising area.
How did Alida reach this goal and what were the good choices she made? We will find out by asking the Head of Career Development Service, Tirso Puig, and from Alida’s own words.
“The Career Development Service’s part was to consider her profile to then understand what she could have done after; the proposal of internship we presented to Alida was coherent with her skills and knowledge.
Alida’s success stems from her trust in the School’s work through the Career Development Service. Alida worked hard, with humility, doing everything in her power to pass from intern to employee. It is her responsibility and dedication that helped her reaching this objective. Alida studied during the Master, followed her dream, listened to our advices, gave everything she had and made it so that her internship would become a turning point.
From Alida’s words, we find out all her joy and yearning to take as much as possible from this opportunity:
“In ACRA I am working as Communication and Press Office Representative. I am following two projects in the Italian area in particular, but I also coordinate the online and offline communication of ACRA, so from planning to social media management to creating the campaigns. This way I am able to see all the aspects of the communication and fundraising area of an NGO and it’s really interesting.
I decided to go from the For Profit to the Non Profit sector, after 6 years working as Marketing and Communication Specialist for big companies. At first, I decided to leave this “steady job” to experience working abroad as a freelancer, and finally I enrolled in Social Change School: I had been following the School for many years, but I never had the courage to leave a safe job and follow my dream, which has always been to work in the NonProfit. I enrolled in the Master and attended the Social Change School’s distance learning courses and taking part to the in-presence workshops, while I was still travelling between Milan and New York for my work as freelancer. This way I had the chance to apply my Marketing and Communication knowledge towards the NonProfit sector. Thanks to Social Change School’s methodology, which was theoretical but also very practical, and to the fact that I immediately accepted the internship ACRA proposed to me, after the 3 months of internship I already had a real experience on the field and ACRA asked me to stay by offering me my current position. From the very first day in ACRA, I started working on communication and fundraising campaigns and now I can see there is an astonishing difference between before and after: I never felt all this motivation before.
The Career Development Service presented this internship to me and supported me with great availability: Tirso was always present, ready to answer any of my doubts. In my opinion, the most important aspect is exactly the possibility to receive personal advices from a NonProfit professional like Tirso.
I was recruited by an association that may be slightly less known than others, but that is actually a big organization, that has been working for more than 50 years in international cooperation projects all over the world besides Italy (the organization is based in Milan), and even if some people may doubt that an internship with a lesser known organization might give less opportunities of employment and lower incomes as one with a bigger one, I really want to say that this is not necessarily true. On the contrary, a smaller team actually allows you to see all the aspects of a marketing and communication department, rather than being a very small cog in a bigger wheel, and you can really learn a lot.
The advice that I feel like giving other fellows, is to trust your instinct, because even if you have suppressed your dream for a long time, sooner or later it will come out at full force. In the end, you know what you want, you only need to follow your dream and have the courage to change, to test yourself and to accept the challenges, because even now this job is always challenging. Of course, you will need everything: courage, luck, being in the right place at the right time, but everything starts from your own choices”.
We wish Alida the best; we are certain she will keep working as hard as she has done so far, with professionalism, humility and determination, and that she will always be an example and point of reference to all the rest of our fellows.