Name: Stephanie Rawson
Career: Donor Engagement Administrator, UNICEF
Education: Wilfrid Laurier University – BA in Psychology, minor in Business
When Stephanie Rawson was in high school, she considered working as a therapist. For this reason, she focused her undergraduate degree in psychology and never expected to become so interested in business. Wilfrid Laurier allowed her to add a business minor to her degree (without applying separately for the program), as long as she obtained a certain grade in a few basic courses. For Stephanie, this goes to show that students should always keep their eyes and options open in school.
Stephanie really enjoyed residence life in Waterloo and would recommend it to all students. She also worked part-time as a bartender in her last few years, which allowed her to make quick money while maintaining flexible hours. Having a job while in school was great because it allowed her to gain separate experience, and learn skills that she could transfer anywhere.
For Stephanie, one of the most important things that students can do is network. When she graduated, she had no office skills and started volunteering to gain experience. She actually heard about the UNICEF position from a regular at the bar she worked at and began contract work there in the fall of 2009. After four months she was hired as a full-time member of the organizational development team. She enjoys the casual office culture at UNICEF, as well as the idea that she’s working for a cause.
Advice for Students
One thing that Stephanie says is that you should try to continue with school directly after your undergrad if you plan to take a certification that you really need to move forward (i.e. a law or social work degree). She had originally considered pursuing an MBA degree at some point but decided it would be better to gain work experience beforehand. She has enjoyed learning how to make decisions in an office environment and encourages students to consider non-profit work. Just make sure to volunteer a lot while in school, and keep your volunteer work unique and current!