Blogpost: My Experience at the National Forum

By Nate Mueting

Since joining the National Forum team this past May, I encountered a number of great opportunities that have helped shape my interest in higher education.  Through my work assisting the Finance and Stewardship Team, I have been able to learn more about the field of philanthropy and the process of applying for grants, being awarded grants and acting as a steward of those grants.  Additionally, I have acquired more experience in corporate philanthropy through researching and providing advice to the Ford Motor Company Fund on the global expansion of its corporate social responsibility practices.  While on the Communications Team, I was able to speak with present team members and Legendary Musicians in order to learn about their time at the National Forum.  All of these experiences have allowed me to gain skills and knowledge that I will continue to use in my professional development. Possibly the best and most beneficial aspect of working at the National Forum, however, are the people with whom I have met and worked.

The students, faculty, and staff at the National Forum and CSHPE are national leaders in their field. They take a genuine interest in their co-workers and students and want to see them succeed.  This network expands beyond doctoral students helping MA students with assignments and research, or professors providing guidance through an independent study course— although without those, my education here would be much less satisfying.  Faculty are not just interested in whether or not you complete a paper, they also want to make sure that the paper you write will help assist you in your academic or professional future.  The discussions and networking among graduate students is unbelievable; not only because the students do amazing things, but because they want to make sure that any student can learn and take part in what they’ve done.

I was told many times during my first semester at the University of Michigan that the people I meet, study, and work with will be the beginning of my professional network.  I did not realize at the time that assertion would prove true, but I have since learned that my colleagues at the National Forum are one of my most valuable resources as a graduate student. They serve as the basis for my professional and academic networks and will continue to be an inspiring and diverse resource even after graduation. Similarly, I look forward to advancing in my own field and serving as a resource for other members of the National Forum network.




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