Berkeley Board Fellows 2019-20 Info Session

Berkeley Board Fellows 2019-20 Info Session


So I want to welcome everybody my name
is Ben Mangan I’m the executive director of the Center for social sector
leadership I’m also on the faculty here I am very delighted to see all of you
here at our information session for the Berkeley Board Fellows Program I’m gonna
say a few words about the Center to say a few words about the board Fellows
Program I’m gonna turn it over to my colleague Mark West over our associate
director at the center who’s gonna go through some of the nuts and bolts and
then we’re very fortunate to be able to hear from Joe and Juliana who served as
board fellows we’re just gonna have a very conversational QA and we’re gonna
take some questions from the audience as soon as we get through a couple of the
basics and try to wrap up as close to 1:30 as we possibly can so our Center is
one of three centers that are focused on social impact we all live under the
umbrella of the Institute for business and social impact and we all address
social impact in different ways so for sizzle that’s what we call our Center we
tend to focus on organizations that work across sectors cross sector network
leadership all for the sake of serving problems that are often either unsolved
or solved very badly by the market or just by public policy alone and that is
often social ventures and social enterprises and often nonprofit
organizations which constitute 10% of American wages and 5% of American GDP
those are like shockingly big numbers when you get into it and we do this in a
number of different ways we have programs like this for students the
other sort of marquee student program we have as social sector solutions which
you will be hearing about as well which we do with McKinsey we also do some
research our founder nor a silver and another member of our faculty Paul
Janssen did some really groundbreaking research on multi sector leadership we
have some more Applied Research going on now with the JPMorgan Chase Foundation
and how to be more effective in using philanthropy how do you sorry how to be
more effective in taking risk taking more good risk using Flint to be to
solve social problems and we also are growing our Student
Advisory Board so one of the things that I wanted to encourage you to do if
you’re interested in this is to apply we’re gonna take six to eight new
Student Advisory Board members we’ll be in touch with folks via email we’re just
gonna actually reach out to everybody who has come to any of our events we’ll
also post this on the social impact at Haas Facebook page and we’ll open the
application on September 18th and then it’ll close on September 27th and we’ll
let folks know not too long after that and the Advisory Board we’re really
excited about this year because it’ll give us a chance to have a good-sized
group of students that just give us feedback and how we and other centers
can do a better job in serving you in preparing you to be social impact
leaders to help connect us to the students given how many offerings there
are to have even better networking you get to meet our advisory board members
that are the non student advisors many of whom are alums and leaders and social
impact excuse me and also to work on specific projects so the project on the
JPMorgan Chase risk in Flint to be is one example there’s another project that
will probably ask some of the advisers to work on related to the startup
ecosystem in social impact innovation so please apply if you’re interested we’d
really appreciate it and look forward to having a more robust student advisory
board and our offerings will benefit as a result of that but back to board
fellows so when you think about the fact that nonprofit organizations are
typically the organizations that sort of step into the breach they solve the
hardest problems in society that go unsolved by the market and as I said
earlier are either unsolved or badly solved by public policy always with less
resources and for a sector to be 10% of American wages and 5% of American GDP
the governance of it is really remarkable so all of these organizations
that make up such a significant part of our economy in this country are governed
by volunteers who are stewards of mission and money in communities across
the country where that money is arguably the most value Laden money in society
because people donated and get to choose which cause it
supports and avoid taxes or it is fueled by government contracts which come from
taxes and are decided by governments to solve problems that matter and you as a
board fellow have an opportunity to learn what it’s like to actually be in
the room where you’re making decisions about how our most value Laden dollars
in society solving our toughest problems get used in an unbelievably complex and
challenging environment and this puts you on the front lines as a board fellow
working with board members and executives from a nonprofit organization
learning how they function learning about nonprofit governance the good the
bad and the ugly of it which we’ll get into on our panel and it’s a really
incredible experience if you want to think about where to strategically
locate yourself to have the greatest amount of leverage here and as a board
fellow and your experience and also in the future for you
as you grow as a leader one of the things that we learned in our multi
sector leadership research is that very successful leaders across all sectors
cited board leadership as something that was really really important to their
development as a leader and their ability to actually work across sectors
to solve problems and advance their careers so there’s the part that’s very
altruistic and then there’s also the part that’s that’s real about the degree
to which this actually it helps you in your career so with that I’m gonna turn
it over to mark who’s gonna go through the details of the program a little bit
and then we’ll we’ll get to our panel all right miked up Thank You Ben hello
everybody so just want to take you through the program how it works what to
expect as it runs from October through April of the school year and how do you
apply okay so what is Berkeley Board fellows we match students with local
nonprofits this year we have 37 nonprofits who are looking for a board
match we don’t we unfortunately can always match for every nonprofit but we
have a very good algorithm and matching process where we can match it as
many as possible so really really high-quality list if you have and are
curious to see it there’s a link on the sizzle website which is hosta
berkeley.edu /c ssl and if you go that and you click on go to that side and
click on berkeley board fellows you’ll be able to find the list of those
nonprofits you could also follow the slightly long bitly on the bottom of
these pages that should hopefully bring you to the same place as been said this
is to grow you grow your leadership and foster your impact we you know kind of
have to students tend to have two goals in mind when they join either they kind
of come from the nonprofit sector and kind of want to see a different layer
and a different participation at the board level or we have students who may
not immediately be going into a social impact career but do know at some point
in their life they probably will you know play a role in making a larger
social impact and one exposure and take advantage of the chance to learn now so
those are kind of the two motivations as I said it runs October through April
through the year and you are on boarded and serve as an observer a non-voting
member so you get to observe and get you know participate in view but you don’t
get to vote as that so just so you understand the status of participating
on the board okay so what do we require of you it’s I think pretty
straightforward attend boarding committee meetings so most of the boards
we have one of the prerequisites for them to be and qualify for our program
for the nonprofit’s themselves is they have to have at least six board meetings
a year and we screen these nonprofits to make sure that they’re both of
sufficient size and scale where you can have a great insight and a great
experience we found in the past unfortunately that if it’s too small you
don’t it’s you don’t quite get the sense of what a real board experiences is like
and so we modify for that we there’s a give back so as kind of as
sort of they give you the gift of serving on their board as an observer
and member there’s a small project at the end that you give back to them is
kind of a thank you and whatnot you’ll be each nonprofit has two people
that serve on the board so there’s a to two applicants to one nonprofit so you
you will be delivering this when working with a colleague and we do as we do our
as we do the matching we do try to match as best we can so for instance evening
and weekend MBA students we try to match them together because they have similar
schedules full-time MBAs we try to match they have similar schedules we have
other and and we welcome participants from other grad schools so whether it’s
masters of development practice masters of public policy master public health
law etc we try to match you as well just in the hopes that you’ll have a similar
schedule and be able to make this work I’ll cover what the projects look like
in more detail in in another slide as far as participating in our program
there’s the kickoff which we will hold on some October 10th there’s scope
refinement which we do generally in October soon after kickoff to make sure
that we want to make sure that the project that the nonprofit is designing
and asking for is also achievable by students and typically will be
achievable by you in the in the second semester and as first years you probably
don’t know what yeah you have an experience a second semester but it’s a
very busy time you know you’ll be looking for your summer internship
you’ll be trying new courses etc so we want to make sure that we don’t scale
the projects too big and take up all your time and that’s not fair to you and
you know it could potentially do lead to disaster so we try to keep it much much
smaller and constrained so we manage the scope in October we’ll check in
periodically with you to make sure that the projects are going well and
typically they go pretty smoothly every so often you know there we have to have
some conversations with the nonprofit to say hey this is probably what’s more
realistic or conversely we a conversation with you to make sure
that you’re showing up and participating in cetera your commitment to this
program and your commitment to this journey is really paramount to its
success and then we have a finale where we gather you in April and have you
actually share lessons with one another of what you’ve learned from serving on
the board and I think hopefully and we’ll hear from Joe and Juliana
hopefully that’s a valuable experience so okay so products can fall in and
typically fall into four buckets so marketing finance strategy and
performance we try to keep things you know limited in scope so like brand
audits market research and kind of the marketing side something that you a
quick analysis that someone could do finance like for instance an analysis of
an underperforming program for that nonprofit or kind of a create a
financial model to determine how much that nonprofit should raise that’s often
questions nonprofits have and would love your expertise to help them with
strategy so many people are many nonprofits want to know how to have a
social media presence how do we project ourselves and how do we you get more
involved in the community through social media and then lastly just in kind of
general performance so kind of teaching management and board design thinking
program evaluation feasibility etc so matching how it’s done you know I
realize probably on these slides I’m not sure the applications are due September
17th so for the twelfth now you know these are due shortly so when you do
your application and hopefully hopefully many of you will be thoughtful and
complete and what we ask is that you state your preferences the the art of
matching is for you to match to something that matches your passion with
something that you can commit and deliver to so as you look and and kind
of fill out the application be thoughtful towards that and have a
little bit of self examination self reflection to say is this really what I
what I can commit to is this putting the best me forward
as a board fellow we have a matching committee so as part of our matching
process we we try to find people from each cohort to be representative who
will know other people in the cohort it might be able it we find it facilitates
the process for those who don’t match immediately and we ask that you consider
joining we also need folks from programs that aren’t MBA we need MVPs and
peopie’s mphs just so we can have those communities represented and represented
well as best we can so you’ll see in the application it’s just a check box for
you to fill out so if you want to be on the matching committee please do what
will match here in this room the morning I’m gonna look at Stephanie Friday
September 20th so it’s a good process Logistics is something to take in mind
I’m not sure and and this may be in a world of readily accessible uber
scooters etc and multimodal transportation this is less of an issue
but in some of these nonprofits do very far and wide so for instance I think one
of our farthest flung nonprofits is called Sweetwater it’s an actually in
northern Marin so I don’t know how many of you are have had a chance to explore
the area but northern Marin is about an hour car ride away so you know take that
into consideration if that’s you know for some of you who might be living in
Marin and commuting here this is a benefit for those of you who are here or
maybe living in Oakland this is a potentially a long commute most of we do
ask the nonprofit’s kind of how close they are at a BART and we do feature
their addresses so that kind of plays into the the thinking and matching and
we ask you as well kind of how transportation constrains you are to get
to an armorer place it’s us yeah it comes out of ice it’s
not us as well as it did to you yeah I joined you momentarily there but yeah I
it’s on your own diamond yeah so but do take logistics into consideration as you
kind of as you state your preferences for the nonprofit’s that you wish to
join okay and then again we try to pair you by program so we try to put you and
as much as we can with somebody with a similar schedule usually by program if
we can alright this is just a visual of the timeline of the program year so we
run through 2019 so October 10th again is the kickoff and client introductions
be in speaker forum scope development for kind of that the next couple of
weeks and then on October 25th we’ll have kind of what we’ll ask you to send
the scopes to the center and/or your mentor to make sure that we align then
we’ll check in typically kind of the the for the last week of January one of the
first weeks you’ll be back from winter break and then again the program finale
is in April and the final projects typically are delivered around April you
know life being what it is it’s complex some some do fall over and get delivered
into May but hopefully that’s an open and an open discussion with a non-profit
and it’s kind of understood on on all parties involved so that’s what we
typically aim for schedule okay so that’s what it that is our process we
again encourage you to do so you can apply today by following the bitly to
our board fellows information the students link has again is designed for
you the deadline is September 17th so please apply by the deadline if you have
questions and need to reach us just email us at social impact at hasta
berkeley.edu that comes to Stephanie and me and we’ll do our best to answer your
questions in a timely manner sure that’s a great question
you’re welcome to do it in your second year as well so and we typically have
it’s maybe two thirds kind of three quarters first year to kind of a quarter
or a third second year yeah sorry they apply less so a lot of people
actually want wanting they they get here and they want to apply and get going
right away so good question yes we have a list but it does take a bit of
work to refine that and we just haven’t refined the list at this point but we do
for the individual nonprofits what their particular some of the ideas they have
in mind and then some actually have like kind of project a B or C so that’s a great question typically not
but there are several examples of people who have stayed on so it’s really kind
of the chemistry of you and that nonprofit and kind of that fit there
there’s nothing to forbid it from happening for sure
and it does happen on occasion but it’s not expected that you would stay on typically we take about 50 to 60 really it’s kind of kind of a
demonstrated a passion and skill set for that non skill set just kind of passion
and commitment for that nonprofit so and in that nonprofit area so for instance
past work in some kind of the similar subject area or other individual reasons
for you to choose the certain priorities and it kind of falls back into the be
thoughtful like to the extent that we can understand you and your motivation
and why you want to do this that really helps your application Joe and Juliana
were board fellows right and this is the time we get to just be very real about
what the experience is like is in a in an environment where resources are
constrained and you’re solving hard problems there can be some serious
challenges and I guess that one thing that I would just like to start with is
just for you to just introduce yourselves and then talk about the
organization that you were a board fellow for and then maybe see it a
little bit about what was most rewarding what was most challenging and what was
most surprising I’m gonna let you go first
I am Julianna I am a second year student in the Xavier
program the Berkeley Board fellow projects that I worked on was for
Superstars literacy it’s a non-profit in Oakland that focuses on literacy
intervention for students in like K through second grade about six
elementary schools and what they did was they had higher AmeriCorps fellows that
would go into the classroom to do intervention work during the day and
then work as after-school kind of like teachers and one of the things the
challenges that they were faced with is they really had difficulty getting to
expand their pipeline as many of you if you’ve worked in nonprofits know when
the economy is stronger it’s a lot harder to recruit
people into like nonprofit roles and teaching roles and things like that so
they wanted us to think through sand like different pipelines they could
tackle the other sub projects that they want us to potentially think about they
brought to the table initially we’re like looking through their budget to see
if there was anything that they could like adapter cut and then also just
helping them try to like source more more applicants the most rewarding part
of the program I think would be when we did a full audit of their application
process for AmeriCorps fellows and really helps them figure out how they
could trim down some of the extra steps they were inserting into the process
since they just had one full-time staff member that could work on it and then
what the most challenging we did at one point get like this panicked email about
an emergency board meeting because they thought that they were gonna have to
declare bankruptcy and they were not gonna be able to like cover the
financing for the year and that was actually a great lesson in just like the
politics of being on a board because more or less they called this meeting to
really encourage the board members that hadn’t yet like paid in to contribute to
the organization to like put their money where their mouth was and then the most
surprising was the last one was okay that was a fairly surprising moment but
I think more or less just how challenged how big of a challenge this fear of
folks was committed to taking on I was shocked really that they had AmeriCorps
fellows at all given that they can’t even like give them a living wage for
San Francisco so these are people that are taking on a role where you know they
aren’t even making minimum wage and so like their passion just for really
improving the educational landscape in Oakland was inspiring Joe just one
second just before I forget we are recording this and so what I’d like to
do for the second part of questions if you have a question please step to the
mic there and if you have a question now you could
even stand up and make Joe and Giuliana nervous thanks for that Ben I’m Joe
I came to Haas having done eight years in Social Impact in India and so I was
really drawn to board fellows as a way of kind of continuing to contribute to
it to a community that I was eager to kind of become a part of I went to
Habitat for Humanity in San Francisco which was amazing they I think they
probably do work that all of you are aware of I was charged with helping them
identify new locations and new possibilities where they might go and
develop housing projects that would be well funded that would be well-received
by the local council that would be impactful to the local people in terms
of the highlight I think it was it was really sitting in on the boards they’re
fascinating it’s incredible access you you get to meet incredible
people and you get to kind of see big decisions being made and yeah strategy
being kind of discussed and it just felt like a real privilege to have that kind
of an access and that kind of an opportunity I think the the biggest
challenge for me was going in with complete ambiguity you’re not a paid
member of staff you’re a student you’re turning up with good intentions but no
real power no real influence necessarily or not formally recognized you’re very
much appreciated and very much welcomed they want you there but they’re
typically a resource strapped organization you’ve got a hundred and
one a million and one things to be doing already and so I think to me that was
the biggest challenge was to step up and to own the project and to actually hold
some people that were way more powerful than I was to account and say actually
before I do anything else I need this from you and I need you to kind of step
up and I need to access from you and I need this phone number I think that was
that was initially quite challenging as bumbling international student trying to
make their way in America the surprising thing was was people’s response to that
people want it people want to be pushed people know that you care people are
really happy to have you there and so I was very pleasantly surprised that when
I did try and be a little bit more pointed
with my communications that the people responded back and we actually started
making things happen and that was great and why don’t we dive in with a question
since you’re right there that’s very formal okay hi I’m an MPP student so not
very familiar with the concept of giving free labor to do kind of social impact
projects I’m so specifically wondering what makes the work that you you all did
and this is actually probably a question for you all specifically what makes that
work specific to board work versus or an serving on a board versus just doing
general kind of projects for organizations why don’t I let me answer
at the high-level center level and then I’ll turn it over at the two of you so
it’s a it’s an abstract line to draw clearly because at organizations there
is always interchange between board and staff and so one of the really key
things is actually being in the board room and getting to interact with board
members and understanding how they respond to the sorts of questions that
you ask but there’s certainly some overlap here I agree with Ben I think to
me it felt like the way they were to kind of tracks that this ran on and one
was was being given that access and going in and seeing how the board
operates and the second was was the projects we did work with a couple of
the people who are on the board in our project so they did kind of bleed into
one another but it did feel like to me two separate tracks of what I was trying
to achieve with that organization one felt like it was very driven by me and
in the board as a non-voting member I felt a lot more just kind of somewhat
passive and lucky to be there and on a number of occasions really really
fascinated by what was going on okay so mark would like to wave so happy feds through the process of
their application they’re incredibly excited to have you
like they view you as a huge resource they takes them out of their day to day
you can see kind of bring that out the that outside wisdom and outside talent
to bear on their problems so they’re hugely excited to have you guys come and
participate there’s huge motivation on their part and I think also in a from a
very good and true place authentic place that it comes that they want to give
back to the community and they see Berkeley and you as part of their
communities so they want to give back to the community just as well so that’s
part of their motivation specific specific line that’s drawn in terms of
the it’s not what was expressed from you is that you do kind of the board work in
that you sit on it and get to participate in some ways and then you do
a project for them is there’s there is a specific line between work that is board
work and work that is organizational work just generally and I’m curious if
that line is John in in these spaces I mean I would say no just in that there
were a number of board members that just volunteered to take on projects that
needed to be done for the organization in general as long as it fell under like
those buckets of like maybe more strategy focused finance focused like
marketing performance things like that where they may not have a full time
staff member so often we were asked to give updates about what we are working
on when we were at the board meeting in the same way that like the board member
who is responsible for like tracking donations would report back to the board
and like the board member that was responsible for like general
communications to the donor list would report out what they were working on so
it’s just like its own work stream but still in the same way that other members
of the board had work streams as well you know I would say that it depends on
the organization because there sometimes is as Julianne described no line between
board work and staff work because the board is required to roll up their
sleeves and do the work that staff would do at a larger organization and at
a board like habitat which is more formal and a bigger organization it’s
very different so it will vary from board fellowship to board fellowship our
second-year students I’m wondering if you can tell us about your expectations
walking into the experience and how that differed or correspond to your actual
experience at this point in my house journey I had no expectations I had no
idea what was going on I was signing up for everything I think I was in this
room every day for about a week I didn’t pay for any lunches but I was completely
overwhelmed and and that’s what I came in with I came in with kind of an
interest and not too many hard and fast expectations to me the two things were
as simple as one access to seeing something I’d never seen before and
understanding how a board in America worked I’d seen it elsewhere in the
world and I wanted to see it here and this absolutely checked that the second
was to call it out kind of coming to Berkeley we’re really in a privileged
position and we’re walking down Telegraph everyday past people who are
far less privileged than ourselves and I wanted to assuage some of my existential
guilt by trying to be useful in some way and that was my other hope of this and
again absolutely text that box as well I didn’t really give like my background
bio but I was a teacher for four years and then after that I was on the Alumni
Board of TFA in San Diego when I moved there and I I was served on that board
as a way to kind of like connect and understand that community when I moved
there but knew that I wasn’t going to be working in the nonprofit sector
and so I kind of had the same idea when I moved here like I’ve never lived in
Berkeley before I want to know what the Berkeley Oakland area is like what
challenges they face in like the education sector and so this was
certainly like really informative of that we got to visit schools talk with
people that were teaching students there learn a lot about like the teacher
strike and things like that so I found it really informative in that
and then also to see how board leadership works in the nonprofit sector
I mean I think that it’s something that I aspire to do in the future
I think too one of the questions about continuing to serve on boards the
challenge there really is like people are paying for the privilege of being on
these boards in most circumstances and it’s not something I think I’ll be able
to afford in the near future so it was like a great opportunity to to do that
and think about you know in a few years like where do I see myself like wanting
to put money and service hours towards just to put a finer point on Giuliana’s
comment about paying to be on a board which she’s referring to if you’re
unfamiliar whether it is the fact that for most nonprofit organizations it’s
expected that board members make a donation and one of the ways to view
this is through time treasure and connection so there are definitely
boards that will be happy to have you plumb your business school classmates to
have them make donations just FYI I know there were a couple of other questions
I was wondering kind of what lessons learned there were and what your
exchange with other berkeley board fellows is because I feel like it seems
like a constellation of great things happening but are we all getting better
through the experience so like lessons learned in terms of for
like the larger Berkeley community I’m I know we kind of like have a presentation
that other folks are invited to like the culmination of the program and so you
know if that doesn’t work out that you participate this year I would suggest
going to that and learning a little bit about it personal lessons learned I
think you are paired to someone else I ended up being paired with someone
that’s very fantastic and it was like very aligned with what we both wanted to
execute on I think it’s really helpful to sit down and make sure that you have
alignment with whoever you’re working with and the organization she and I both
kind of like are just the type of people where every time they were like hey can
you also do this thing we were like sure and then that became a little
overwhelming so mainly it’s really about sticking to the scope and reminding them
that you have like a lot of other responsibilities and things on your
plate it it is it was a personal challenge
say no to things that I knew could be useful for them but I simply was not
related to our project and didn’t have the time for it
yeah I think I think that’s that’s great you’ve taken all the stuff I was gonna
say I will say in a different way for me was it was accountability in that you
get this thing and you start to feel good about it maybe you put it on
LinkedIn and like five people liked it that’s great
and then other stuff starts happening as well and you know it’s easy to let it
drift and then house emiti happens and then Christmas happens and then all this
other stuff happens and so for me I would have like highly highly encourage
people to get going early and to front-load it we ended up with a lot of
work to do in the last few months when I was also trying to find a job and so
that was something that I really learned was really kind of planning your time
out map your time out take ownership of it take ownership of the project
yeah and hold yourself to it to a high account don’t just don’t just do this
for a nice little line on your resume which shows that you’re committed to
social impact do it because you can make a difference and if you really want to
make a difference like start soon and get on the front foot with it
I’m sure we’ll have some question about how much time we spent on this
I’m just sense that so for my partner and I we met for an hour each week and
then would assign like action items to complete by the time that we met again
the following week every other week we met for an hour and a half or half an
hour would be checking in with our like mentor at the organization and then we
also attended monthly board meetings they alternated between they were they
weren’t quite monthly there were some like over holiday months we didn’t end
up doing it but they alternated between virtual meetings and meetings in San
Francisco like near the Ferry Building so right off Embarcadero I will say like
I sign up for lots of things this was not my only time commitment my partner
is Molly who’s president of MBA a she had lots of time commitments and we
still put together a the project that our client asked for and they were
happy with the results so I would I wouldn’t want to discourage anyone from
thinking that this is like an insurmountable time commitment but you
do need to be really dedicated to it just for the nature of what the
commitment is I was gonna ask you who your partner wasn’t that makes so much
sense yes my partner I did the same thing but then cancelled a meeting and
so we’ll do more next week and then cancelled that one and then before we
knew it was nearly Christmas and did like 20 hours really really intensely to
kind of catch up so do it do it like Juliana Ramallah two very distinctive
work styles on display but did I ask people who have questions can I ask you
to line up as weirdly formal as it is just because the people who are sitting
in the front are always gonna get there first it just won’t be fair hi I was
wondering if you guys could touch on what the benefits / challenges are
between like serving in a very small local nonprofit versus you know in a
division for obviously pretty well-known national nonprofit and yeah just curious
just to speak of mine one was they throw great fundraisers so the first thing I
did was turn up at a fundraiser and they thought I was there to spend money and
the auctioneer targeted me for like an hour and I managed to hold on to my
wallet I’m from Yorkshire in England so we don’t part with money very easily
furthest is I think one of the challenges that we faced was they were
kind of used to volunteers coming in and we’d been asked we were we were brought
in by the executive director and given to someone else who was new in the
company and so because of that it felt like we didn’t necessarily have the
commitment that I think some people felt in smaller organisations where you were
really kind of brought into a family I would temper that with we also had
really amazing people there and the board was made up of incredible people
doing incredible things in the Bay Area there were great for my one learning
from and to network so I think both have their their relative strengths and
weaknesses I guess we’ll find out from Julianna now
so ours is a smaller local nonprofit but one of the big challenges that they were
weighing as I mentioned they use AmeriCorps members as like their
educators and they had a lot of constraints placed on it by the rules of
the AmeriCorps program and so one of the things that they were grappling with was
like whether or not to break out of that and they could they actually have a
pipeline outside of that program and would they be able to fund it so I think
in an in a sense you don’t have a lot of you don’t really like have a life raft
if you’re a standalone smaller organization like if things go down and
you’re not able to like make ends meet there isn’t a way to shift any kind of
financing around from other chapters or other areas in the country so that did
present some unique challenges in terms of like their limited options hi my
question is I heard from jury daddy you were in our position like thinking about
a lot of things to do so how did you end up deciding which things to do in the
end and what was like the decision process for that because we have a lot
of options of stuff to do extra class and I think it’s gonna be useful
information so this is pretty much what I’ve told every first year I’ve talked
to about this and this is the way that I approached it think about what kind of
skills you want to build not just from a career perspective but the things that
you want to get involved with it Berkeley for me that meant engaging in
like practical hands-on projects that I could use to talk about in interviews or
networking events and things like that so that was something that I felt like
was gonna get out of it aside from getting to like partner with this
amazing nonprofit everything I’ve chosen to do on campus is because it’s creating
like a tangible experience of like leadership or a project that I’m
executing on not to like denigrate any of the other cool things that you can
get involved in but I wasn’t looking to build skills and like hosting events or
like cocktail hours or bar of the week or anything like that it just wasn’t
what I felt like I needed to develop so I think I would say reflecting on that
like what are you what like what are you trying to get out of
the experiences you have outside of your coursework as a more meta thing I would
encourage you all to look upon second years not as people that got it right
but people that held on long enough to survive you know I I made a lot of wrong
choices this was a right one I think I would encourage you to for me look at
what what motivates you so I’ve always been motivated by an impact on my
surroundings in my environment that’s that’s been away I’ve always kind of
judged my my value in the community that I’m in and I felt like this was a way
that I could both kind of learn and give back at the same time the other things
that I was very drawn to GSI roles HSA roles and kind of yeah very kind of
community focused roles I was I was exactly the same in that I felt like i
taked a few other boxes earlier on in my career but I didn’t stop me applying for
some ridiculous things which I’m really glad I got rejected from so we didn’t
necessarily get it right we just got lucky
and you know just we we don’t have all the answers we just we just managed to
hold on all the way to be first yeah I’ll add a couple of thoughts in
response to that question to I would say this can be a particularly powerful
platform to observe people practicing types of leadership do about doing it
well and doing it poorly and especially values-based leadership and adaptive
leadership and so one of the one of the great learnings and this experience is
being in a place where people are really in a challenging spot sometimes
practicing these different things that you learn about here and seeing it
outside of an academic setting or a case bumping up against the real world
specifically in the nonprofit sector and that’s very valuable I’d also say just
that a more practical level you know sort of be real about your level of
commitment once you say yes we expect you to do this it’s not like there are
real people’s lives who that change as a result of people flaking on this after
they’ve agreed to serve as a board fellow for an
so one of the things the check is like am I ready to actually do this other
questions from the audience thought I saw somebody else do you you had a
question back there did it get answered okay yeah what you’ve been speaking
about is either taking your existing skills and utilizing them or necessarily
using your prior work and given the fact that it’s for your benefit but also for
the benefit of the board what’s the right balance to strike between going to
things you don’t have very much experience in be like I want to learn
versus oh I can actually come to be saying from my prior experience I guess
trust the selection process we obviously express interest in where we’d like to
go and I think that’s that’s held that’s that’s taken account for but there’s
also some very smart people placing you in the right place and that might not be
where you thought you’d go but it will be somewhere that you can add value and
I really believe like having spoken to everybody that’s done board fellows is
wherever you go if you want whatever you want to get out of it you will as long
as you’re focused as long as you’re intentional as long as you you give it
what what it needs then you’ll get a hell of a lot out of it and in doing so
I think the more the more that you put in the more that they’ll get out of it
as well so I think just it’s wanky but trust the process yeah I would agree
with that I think also you have some control over the scope and it’s up to
you to be honest with yourself like what you’re comfortable and that comfortable
with doing when we were asked like hey can you like go through our budget and
review all of this and it was like myself and another former teacher we
were like this isn’t in our wheelhouse like I’m gonna be honest it’s like this
is probably something that we shouldn’t do and so we focused on things where we
did have some like existing skill I think when I say more like developing
other skills I had never worked on like a consulting project before it’s very
different to work on something where you are not then going to implement it but
you have to trust the people that you’re partnering with that you’re putting
something in place and it’s organized enough that they can then run
with it once you leave and so that was a different just like a different muscle
to exercise I guess in this setting I would just say we are very mindful of
never putting our board fellas in a position where they’re not well poised
to succeed so you know regarding just the initial conversations around scope
even the types of projects that we put to nonprofit such a participate they’re
aligned to skills that students often have or learn here and when issues of
scope changes come up we discussed them with the board fellows to make sure
you’re never expected to deliver on something that’s unrealistic to expect
you to deliver on are you gonna get the final the final question but you
mentioned the mentors and I was curious how that process works in terms of the
mentor program for the board fellows sure I don’t know what the situation was
like for you but we I think typically you’re supposed to work more closely
with the leader of the board I’m not sure we worked very closely with both
the head of the organization and the leader of the board the head of the
organization we checked in with more regularly I think it’s usually the
leader of the board it’s just kind of like how it worked the project that we
were working on was more aligned to things that she was doing they met with
us after the kickoff to just sit down and go through the scope we had our
final meeting with just the two of them to like present our findings but they
also tried to source other unique opportunities for us which was really
great our lead of our board actually is usually invited into the power and
politics class to speak and so she invited us to come for the session that
she spoke at and then also sometimes would source connections the other board
fellow was working with was still actively looking for internship roles
and she was like sourcing contacts for her and things like that so I would just
say they’re a really positive partner to have both for the work and then just as
a business contact yeah I think my mentor was someone who was also on the
board and Shawn was who was a little closer to our age and and someone who’d
worked there for a while and just felt kind of
like a confidence like someone you could go to with those initial questions of
like if I’m not hearing back from this person what do I do
someone that you could kind of be a little bit more vulnerable with and you
might want to be directly with the organization and just in doing so helped
facilitate that initial conversations and getting over the ambiguity of it and
start pushing through I just found him to be a very easy relatable person that
gave me kind of the belief and the strength to then start challenging the
Bourdon and his insights were very very useful in then my own understanding of
the dynamic of the board as well he was someone who’s really interesting to step
out of a three-hour board meeting and say like how about that like who’s that
person like what what are they working on and so he just really provided a lot
of context and support I think so I want to thank you all for coming and I want
to thank Joe and Giuliano very much for sharing their insight with us we please do apply reach out if you have
questions in the meantime and you know you often get wine related to bored
fellas

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