The best external engagement gives you something to bring back to your own organization. A great example comes from Rosanne Haggerty, the president and CEO of Community Solutions, an organization dedicated to ending homelessness and its causes. At age 30 she started her first nonprofit and, about that same time, applied to be on the board of trustees of her alma mater, Amherst College. Although it was daunting to take on the two commitments at once, she says, “the timing was perfect in that I received a remarkable education about what it meant to work with a board and what to pay attention to as I grew my own nonprofit. Serving on that board was like taking a master class in nonprofit leadership and long-term stewardship. Wherever you are on your career journey, anytime you can learn new skills, manage a complex project, and even make some mistakes you can bounce back from, it will be extremely valuable.”
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