Nonprofits seek, value MBA skill set
Today, organizations of all sizes, whether they are for-profit or nonprofit, have to be agile and efficient and MBA graduates can help them operate in such ways.
MBA-degree holders typically have well-rounded experience to help them serve many different roles for nonprofits. The degree is versatile and covers a broad range of business topics. For example, students in the Alvernia University MBA program take courses in finance, leadership, communication, marketing and strategic planning. Thus, MBA graduates are finding fulfilling work in the nonprofit field, which benefits from their management, strategic thinking and critical decision-making skills.
MBA graduates are also prepared for organizational change and development. Economic and social changes contribute to internal shifts in nonprofits. Persons with an MBA degree often maintain and develop processes to help their organizations navigate change. They also have the ability to take on challenges and solve problems from different angles, which can have positive impacts.
While there are numerous reasons a nonprofit organization benefits when an MBA graduate joins their team, a professional needs to ask: What are the benefits of a nonprofit career for an MBA graduate?
According to the article, Why Choose Nonprofit Jobs, great nonprofits have characteristics that can offer employees much job satisfaction. Some of these characteristics are:
- An open and transparent culture
- Employee confidence in leadership
- Employees feel they have a stake in the goals of the organization
- An environment that fosters a sense of mutual respect
- Opportunities to relax and socialize with other employees
However, there are challenges to nonprofit work. A major one involves salaries. Many MBA graduates choose careers in finance and corporate management because they can provide higher salaries than nonprofit jobs. Also, corporations often provide clearer career paths and structure compared with nonprofit organizations that allow more career flexibility but perhaps fewer options.
One of the biggest benefits of a nonprofit career though is the reward that comes from aligning an individual’s passions with his or her career.
The undergraduate and graduate programs at Alvernia have a long history of helping nonprofits, thanks to the service-based-learning principles that form the core values of the university. Two recent examples of Alvernia business students giving back to the local community include helping the St. Francis Home with fundraising, branding and creating brand equity within the community and creating a five-year strategic plan for Habitat for Humanity in Berks County, Pennsylvania. Through projects like these, MBA students can experience first-hand the benefits of using their professional skills to help others.
The MBA skill set is in demand and more relevant than ever. Nonprofits have recognized the strengths business school students and graduates offer. Potentially a win-win for employer and employee, the nonprofit sector can put MBA students and graduates on a rewarding career path.