Blogpost: Opening Doors to New Opportunities

By Kelly Finzer

Hello everyone!  I am Kelly Finzer, a first year Master’s student at CSHPE, and I joined the Finance and Stewardship (F&S) Team at the National Forum this past July.  In addition to my F&S duties, I have been researching corporate philanthropy strategies for the Ford Motor Company Fund and working with our Immigration Team to prepare a grant for the Carnegie Corporation of New York to fund our project: Leadership for Higher Education’s Role in Promoting Diversity and Social Transformation – Extending Pathways of Inclusion in the U.S.

Ford Motor Company has a genuine interest in giving back to their customers’ local communities and has created the Ford Motor Company Fund to give back.  Ford has recently expanded their manufacturing and sales to India, China, Brazil, and Russia.  In keeping with their dedication to the local communities, the Ford Fund has asked the National Forum to develop strategies to address local needs in three categories: education, sustainability, and drivers’ safety.  In designing these strategies, our team has looked at other companies’ corporate philanthropy strategies and the current situations of education, sustainability, and drivers’ safety in each of India, China, Brazil, and Russia.

The grant that we have been working on for the Carnegie Corporation of New York looks to provide tools for university diversity, legal, and communications officers faced with the controversy of enrolling undocumented students in their institutions.  Our goal with this project is to create a safe space for these professionals to come together and talk about their institutions’ work with undocumented students in the past.  We hope to provide guidance for university professionals seeking a more progressive stance in admitting undocumented students to their institutions and to help these professionals see the rewards of enrolling undocumented students on campus.

Working with these two projects has led me to considering expanding my job search out of the higher education field after I graduate.  While I originally planned to focus my career search in the field of higher education development, I am now planning to consider non-profit and foundation positions as well.

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