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National Service Scholar: Laura Jenks
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Laura Jenks '10 (Cleveland) • give a year Scholar at Washington University in St. Louis '13 - MBA & MSW Candidate


Laura
"Many business schools are starting to incorporate programs and courses that push business students to use their skills for social impact, and those types of schools love having people like CY alumni join their programs."
LJenks




What interested you in applying to Washington University in St. Louis? Why do you think it’s a good fit for City Year alumni?

I was originally attracted to Wash U because of its incredibly strong Social Work program and the generous support the Social Work school provides City Year alumni. Once I started researching the school more, I found out about their dual degree program where you can earn both a Master’s of Social Work and a MBA in three years. Since I’m interested in a career in nonprofit management, I thought the dual degree program made perfect sense because it would provide me with not only an education in social work, but also the technical business management skills which are sometimes lacking in nonprofits. Wash U is one of the few universities currently offering this dual degree, and both the Social Work and Business schools offer specific financial aid packages for City Year alumni.


How did your experience at City Year impact your decision to pursue a dual Master’s degree in Social Work and Business? Can you pinpoint new skills or abilities you can attribute to the City Year experience?

My time with City Year reinforced my desire to work in some capacity to fight poverty and the education gap. During my corps year, I had the chance to participate in various out-of-school projects like organizing one of our community service days and fundraising for our Spring Break camp. I found that I really enjoyed this more logistical/managerial side to the nonprofit world, and I ultimately decided that the dual degree program was the best way to develop my skills in that area.


Do you have plans for what field you would like to work in / position you want to pursue after you finish your degree?

After I graduate, I am hoping to return to the nonprofit world, ideally working with a nonprofit that in some way addresses issues facing urban youth. I’m applying to a variety of types of positions, ranging from volunteer management to data management. I’m ultimately hoping to find a position where I can use my business knowledge and passion for social change to help make a nonprofit even more effective and efficient in improving society.


What advice do you have for corps members and alumni interested in pursuing a social work or business degree?

For alumni interested in a social work degree: There are tons of great social work programs around the country, and each of them tends to be strongest in one particular area, whether it’s nonprofit management, children youth and families, or international development. Think about what field you ultimately want to end up in, and look for programs where faculty and staff are experts in that particular area.


For alumni interested in a business degree: Don’t be afraid to get a business degree and apply it to nonprofit work! Many business schools are starting to incorporate programs and courses that push business students to use their skills for social impact, and those types of schools love having people like CY alumni join their programs. If you do want to return to the nonprofit sector after graduate school, look specifically for a school that supports that kind of cross-sector work and that has strong relationships with nonprofits in its community.



To get in touch with Laura, click here.

To learn more about our Partnership with Washington University in St. Louis Olin School of Business, click here.

To learn more about our Partnership with The Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, click here.

To view more Alumni Pathways, click here.






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