by: Olivia Tuck
Everyone keeps saying that 2016 was a terrible year. For me, it was the best year yet!
My desire to pursue a career in nonprofit development brought me to Chicago in August 2016, following my graduation from the University of Notre Dame (Go Irish!). The apartment I found happened to be about four blocks away from the Elks National Memorial and Headquarters, and the first time that my parents and I drove by the gorgeous building my mom half-jokingly said, “Hey, that building is incredible—you should work there!” My mom’s suggestion became a reality, for which I am extraordinarily grateful. A little over two months ago, I began working as the Development Assistant at the Elks National Foundation.
Each day over the past two months has been incredibly exciting, as I continue to learn about the ENF’s role in communities across the country and the many facets my position includes. If you’re wondering just what the ENF Development Assistant does, stay tuned!
Two of my primary responsibilities are managing the general and Fundraising Department’s phone lines and emails. If you’ve emailed the ENF or ENF Fundraising over the past two months, there is a good chance that I was the one you were communicating with. This is my favorite aspect of the position. I love being able to share with our volunteers how best to promote the mission of the ENF and learn about how different Lodges around the country demonstrate this mission.
My second favorite part of my position was being a part of Jim’s choral ensemble on Elksmas, the most wonderful day of the year. You can catch a glimpse of the holiday magic on this episode of Midday with the ENF.
|Olivia spreading Elksmas Spirit!
Since it is only January, I haven’t seen half of what my position will hold, as the coming months are the busiest time of the year for the ENF with the fiscal year end, MVS Leadership Weekend, Elks National Hoop Shoot National Finals, and Elks National Convention preparation. I love being busy and having multiple, challenging tasks to accomplish, so I truly can’t wait for the spring!
Before the ENF, I interned back home in Detroit at the Michigan Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and then at VOCEL: Viewing our Children as Emerging Leaders and Facets Multimedia here in Chicago. Despite all three internships also being in development, they were quite different from what I’ve experienced here at the ENF.
With the help of my amazing manager, Kate Keating Edsey, I’ve been able to pick most things up quickly. She and the rest of the ENF team have been unbelievably welcoming and supportive, and I still can’t believe that I am lucky enough to work here. Although I did not know too much about the Elks and the mission of the ENF prior to preparing for my interview, I have come to learn that the ENF staff clearly exemplify the values treasured by the Elks daily.
When I’m not at the ENF, I can usually be found exploring Chicago or hiding from the cold by watching TV, painting, and reading my Irish books. I studied Irish language and literature at Notre Dame, and loved every second of it, so I still try to keep up with it as best I can.
As you can see, 2016 was a pretty good year for me as it held graduation with a degree in a language that I love, a big move to the Windy City and landing my dream job. I can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store!