Notes from Undergrads

By: Jess Sand | July 28, 2012

For those who know us as a network of MBAs, it might just surprise you to learn that Net Impact chapters are springing up on undergrad campuses across the country at a rapid pace. Of course, maybe that's not so surprising, given that the majority of students in our recent survey say they want to use their job to contribute to society. But are undergrads really ready to be tackling the idea of an impact career? Aren't they too young? Too confused?

Not if Net Impact UNH Undergrad's VP of Marketing & Communications Mary Callaghan is any example. In a recent reflection on her chapter's first year, Mary shared some valuable insights that even MBAs can learn from:

This year, we have an ambitious plan of attack. My personal goal for the organization is to make a real name for ourselves, and attract students of all disciplines to our events and meetings. I want them to care, and I want them to want more for themselves and their future.

You gotta network to get work.

Someone old and wise told me this a while ago, and I think it's proved itself important more than once. As a student entering the real world, it is important to make and maintain connections. For all the internships and internships that we tack onto our resume, for all the professors that we love, the student orgs that we participate in, and all the connections we have outside of this, it is imperatives that we establish ourselves professionally and make the impressions on people that can help us get where we want to go. The time spent in office hours with a professor have potential to get us work in research. Our internships may develop into job offers. Etc...We have to be ambitious with our work, and we have to be genuine with our passions.

Stop getting hung up on the future - take advantage of the now.

This is something I struggle with because I'm such an idealist, but I personally believe this to be a lesson really underrated. This speaks to the idea that a lot of us are so busy trying to figure out exactly what it is that we are passionate about, where we want to work and what we want to do that we dismiss some of the opportunities right in front of us. It was by accident that I became interested in nonprofits, a chance that I had to meet with Jeff Allar, former VP of Human Resources at Stonyfield Yogurt, and a random decision to start going to Net Impact meetings last year that I got to where I'm at. I'm slowly realizing that my career is starting now, and that I'm actively managing it. I am a self-proclaimed perfectionist. I probably won't ever be happy with what I'm doing until I realize that it is exactly what I want to be doing. However, I'm realizing that I'm on the path to get there, and that is most important for me. I'm not about to wait for the inspiration to come to me, I'm going to find it.

Read all of Mary's advice for young professionals


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