Nisha Patel

Nisha P

2013-2014 NPBI Cohort, Bachelor of Commerce (2015)

How did your experience in the program impact your life after graduation? 

The NPBI program sparked a sustained interest for me to volunteer and later work in the non-profit sector. After graduation, I pursued an initial career in government, but when I found that to be challenging, I decided to pursue non-profit jobs in the artistic sector. With the knowledge I'd gained through the program, I was at an advantage and well-positioned to bring my experience as a Commerce student to the table as well. Now, I currently work as one of the youngest non-profit Executive Directors in the city of Edmonton, running the small but important Edmonton Poetry Festival 

What stands out for you as learning moments as a result of volunteering on a board?

I think what I learned most saliently was that all boards are made up of people who want to make a difference. Despite a myriad of reasons for joining a board, and a variation in skill levels and focus areas, boards are made of people that you know, people who are connected or want to feel connected, and learning what those relationships mean to an organization is the most important piece of working with a board, and hiring new board members who will continue to grow and transform your organization. 

Would you recommend this to U of A students and why?

This program is a real-world application of skills you will absolutely need as you move forward into being community-minded in whatever career field you choose. No industry is a silo, and varying your experience in volunteerism and professional work will only make you a more engaging, interesting, and thoughtful person, while providing an organization in need with valuable support. I recommend it to anyone that wants to think about the bigger picture of who they are and where they fit in to pursue it, and to gain confidence in the skills they can offer.