“I've known since undergrad that I wanted to work in nonprofits,” said Master of Science (MS) in Nonprofit Management student, Alison Houghton. “I really am passionate about making a difference in people’s lives, the best way I can. In undergrad, I took social media internships at for-profit organizations and I never felt good about the work I was doing. In the nonprofit world, I love being able to know that when I'm advertising for a fundraising campaign or planning an event, I'm helping someone.”
Alison is earning her Master of Science in Nonprofit Management: Public, Professional & Social Sectors completely online through Goodwin College of Professional Studies. After earning her Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Journalism from Rider University in 2017, Alison did a year of service through AmeriCorps. That summer, she spent 1,700 hours tutoring seventh and eighth graders in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics.
In her current role as an Impact and Innovation Assistant for Reconstructing Judaism, in Wyncote, Pennsylvania, Alison has used her knowledge from the MS in Nonprofit program to help her in navigating a new job in the nonprofit sector.
“In the year-and-a-half that I've been in the program, I've gained knowledge that has helped go a step above my peers,” said Alison. “I really feel I offer something unique to an organization, because the courses have taught me things that I can share with my superiors. [For example], I'm able to understand tax codes, the differences in 501(c) organizations, and how to write a mission statement effectively.”
Before applying for the MS in Nonprofit Management, Alison hadn’t considered taking all her courses for her master’s fully online. Living in West Philadelphia and close to Drexel's campus, she originally envisioned face-to-face learning. However, she credits the online format with being the reason she is able to balance academics, work and a social life.
“I wanted to be a grad student taking classes on campus, but now I honestly could not imagine doing that,” Alison shared. “With working full time, trying to have a personal and social life, it is great to be able to do my coursework with so much flexibility. I often do homework, watch lectures, and read course texts on my lunch break at work, or in the evenings and on weekends. The work in grad school is hard enough. Being able to do it online just takes away some stress. I still feel like I'm part of such a prestigious community and school — and I've made a few friends from my program too.”
Alison also credits the MS in Nonprofit Management program for being the reason she’s been able to develop not only as a professional, but as a person. “I've done some growing during this time and I feel graduate school has helped me with this,” Alison reflected. “I am so much more responsible and I hold myself accountable. No one is going to make me do my homework, or submit my assignment. I have to do it myself. I am also much prouder of work I've accomplished. I know my skills. I know what I can accomplish. I feel really happy to be a part of the Drexel community.”