Meet The Experts in Nonprofits – Government

The panelists below will share more about how they got interested in their field and provide advice and insight to UNL students looking to break into these fields.

Susie Owens (she/her/hers)
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Program Manager, Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce

What sparked your interest in this field?
From the time I started noticing inequalities, I wanted to do something proactive to help. A career in DEI allows me to help make my community a more inclusive and equitable place.

How did you gain experience when you were a student completing your undergraduate degree?
I gained experience through work/internship experiences. As an undergraduate student I worked at Love Library, as an events intern for the Office of Admissions and as a New Student Enrollment Leader. Each experience helped me learn something about myself and what I wanted in a future job.

Who is someone that influenced your career and professional development?
There are so many! In CEHS- Dr. Cody Hollist, Dr. Springer, and Sharon Moser. Also, my sorority sisters in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. both alum who at the university and the undergraduate membes while I was a student.

What is one important skill you’ve had to acquire and hone as you’ve grown in your career?
Connecting with others and maintaining those relationships over time. It’s valuable to connect with mentors just to give updates and not only when you need something.

 

Gwen Hurst (she/her/hers)
Administrator, Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services, Division of Public Health

What sparked your interest in this field?
Civil or public service offers the opportunity to do meaningful work that impacts peoples’ lives. Public health impacts entire populations by addressing root causes of health conditions.

How did you gain experience when you were a student completing your undergraduate degree?
I worked just short of full-time and volunteered with a couple of organizations while completing my undergraduate degree. My job taught me about business, and the nonprofit organization work taught me about compassion, advocacy, and working for something other than wages.

Who is someone that influenced your career and professional development?
So many people impacted my career and professional development! Throughout my education and career, people have been generous in sharing insights, recommendations, connections, experiences, and wisdom if I asked. Simple and sincere expressions of gratitude have gone a long way forward keeping those supportive relationships vital and (now mutually beneficial.

What is one important skill you’ve had to acquire and hone as you’ve grown in your career?
Managing up. Learning and preparing reports, recommendations, requests, and other materials with my supervisor’s supervisor in mind has helped my scope and understanding. Seeing things from that perspective also helps me to help management say “yes” to recommendations, ideas, or requests. Managing up requires empathy and a commitment to leadership at all levels and in all forms.

Human Services, Nonprofits, Nonprofits-Government, Social Justice Meet Up

Wednesday, March 31, 2021, 5:30 PM

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To access the program go to this link

*Check out the outstanding panel of professionals below who will share about how they got started

Human Services 

Nonprofits

Social Justice