How I Got There: Non-Profit Leadership | Sean Berry (COL ’18)
Posted in Student & Alumni Stories
Sean Berry studied Political Science and Government in the College and is now a Program Coordinator at the Aspen Institute. Learn how Georgetown shaped his path, what led him to his current position, and more insights regarding his company and the broader non-profit industry:
What activities at Georgetown did you find the most valuable and why?
- Varsity Crew – it taught me about time management, how to work with a team, and how to juggle multiple commitments at once.
- Chapel Choir – it was a way for me to recharge and take a step back from my other commitments. Chapel Choir was a welcoming community and it allowed me to evaluate what was important to me when I was overwhelmed.
How did you find your current position?
Just from research in the non-profit industry. I knew I wanted to join a mission-driven organization.
What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day for me can vary, especially depending on the time of year. The bulk of my work involves assisting with the nominations process for our Fellowship – The Finance Leaders Fellowship. The Finance Leaders Fellowship seeks to develop a community of high-integrity leaders in the global finance industry. Each year we select a class of 22 Fellows. In order to select these Fellows, we open up a nomination window where individuals are nominated by a third party.
As nominations come in, it is my job to read them and write synthesized reports to assist our selection committee. Once we have a shortlist of candidates, I help organize interviews and produce the data needed to make the final decision on the class. When the nomination process is not open, I am either helping staff seminars, sourcing for potential Fellows, or conducting general research.
What surprised you the most when you started working?
I think there are certain things you can’t learn as a student or as an intern. Once you are working full time, you learn a lot about yourself. You learn what is important to you both personally and professionally, and that process is ongoing. For me, it has been surprising how much I enjoy going to work and working with individuals who are seeking to create a better society.
What skills are most needed in your role?
Research, communication, coordination, and writing skills.