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Rebecca Thomas ’04: Nonprofit manager
As a financial reporter and editor, Rebecca Thomas had been challenged but not inspired. Since forgoing a career as a professional dancer, "I had not found a new passion," she says. "I came to the Social Enterprise Program at Columbia Business School to reignite this passion."
Thomas attributes her excitement about pursuing a career in the nonprofit sector to courses in social entrepreneurship and nonprofit finance, as well as to active networking with like-minded students. "My most memorable experience at Columbia was serving as the President of the Social Enterprise Club," she says. "The club helps students professionally pursue business ventures that seek social benefits as their primary goal." Under her leadership, the Club received the honor of hosting the 2004 national Net Impact Conference and raised funds for student internships in the public and nonprofit sectors.
While at Columbia Business School, Thomas worked part time for the New York Regional Association of Grantmakers (NYRAG), helping the organization develop and implement a strategic plan. She spent her summer interning at Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF), a leading community development financial institution that strives to fill the financing and advisory needs of nonprofit organizations.
Since graduation, Thomas has been working full time at NFF, as a Senior Associate in Program and Product Development. Her responsibilities include managing special research and advocacy projects, working with a team to develop and deploy new and existing financial services, and providing financial assistance to nonprofit clients. "I have applied my MBA skills in management, strategic planning and finance toward a career helping low-income communities better understand the linkages between money and mission," she says.
Social Enterprise Summer Fellows
“My experience working with communities in India and Africa, as well as on developing public-private partnerships with government and non-profit agencies, convinced me of the need for innovative approaches to international development”
“I see entrepreneurs as the key leverage point in development, so interning at Ashoka made perfect sense.”
Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy
“This internship matched my interest in harnessing the power and resources in the for profit sector to effect social change.”