Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Then & Now: Stephanie Lerner

Stephanie Lerner: 

CFP is Worthwhile...The Data Doesn't Lie

Stephanie Lerner, a bright, motivated, and talented young lady soared as a CFP and is continuing to excel as she pursues actuarial science. Stephanie began interning at the Women's Fund of Long Island in 2013 and shortly after, joined their Board of Directors as their youngest member. In honor of her passion and dedication to community service, Stephanie received the title, Community Fellow of the Year, in 2013. Can you believe all of this? I can because the Community Fellows Program (CFP) is designed to help YOU achieve YOUR goals and reach YOUR dreams!

As the CFP deadline is approaching (March 9th), we wanted to highlight Stephanie's success and share in her positivity. Below, is the interview that took place with Ms. Lerner and her feedback and advice regarding CFP. Read closely, absorb deeply, and learn feverishly! 

Q: What impact did the Community Fellows Program have on your personal development?

A: The CFP allowed me to discover my passion for community service work and learn of new ways in ways in which I could fulfill it.  Following my internship, I wanted to continue my involvement with the organization at which I had interned, the Women’s Fund of LI.  I attended events and volunteered at their annual breakfast.  I was shortly thereafter asked if I had wished to join the Board of Directors as their youngest board member.  “Absolutely!” I had said.  Never before would I have imagined I could be part of an organization in this way. I was and am truly honored, for now I get to make decisions that make an impact about issues I am passionate about.

Q: How did interning at your nonprofit impact your career trajectory?

A: My internship opened my eyes to ways in which I could apply what I had been learning in my classes to the real world.  As a math major, I had known of few careers in which I could pursue. Surely I could have been a teacher, but I wanted something different. My internship consisted of data analysis, specifically collecting and analyzing data as it related to women and girls on Long Island. I enjoyed every minute of my internship and fell in love with my ability to tell a story with the data I had collected to make a drastic change.  I learned, as a result of my internship, I wanted a career heavily weighted on math and so began my pursuit of a career as an actuary.

Q: Knowing what you know now, what would you say to current students considering applying for this year's Community Fellows?

A: Go outside your comfort zone. Surely keeping your job as a cashier or waiter is the easier route, but it will not allow you to explore all that is out there in the non-profit world. Being a professional is all about keeping yourself on your toes and challenging yourself, and the CFP prepared me greatly for this. Choose an opportunity that is with an organization that has a mission that you support and work that really sparks your interest. Set goals that you want to accomplish in your internship and work with your manager to reach those goals. I guarantee you will enjoy it just like I did!

Q: What impact did your presence have on the nonprofit where you interned? What about the community it served?

A: The data I collected as part of my internship revealed some shocking statistics that was then used to support the need for programs and services in the Long Island community. The data was shared with potential donors, revealing oftentimes their shock at problems happening in their backyards.  The data revealed that there are barriers preventing women and girls from reaching their full potential in regards to their education, employment, and health.  Prior to my work, there was no Long Island specific data relating to women and girls so I was able to bring something to the table that had not previously existed. There is an extreme lack of data on Long Island, and I was able to fulfill this need to help the community realize that problems do exist.

NOW ... 

Stephanie is interning as an Underwriter in the Excess & Surplus Department at Philadelphia Insurance Companies. She attributes much of her success to the CFP and urges you all to apply and chase your dreams!

The application deadline is now March 9th, so get moving and get in your applications! Be sure to check out the details here or on our website at http://career-center.adelphi.edu/ (Employment Opportunities -> Internships -> Community Fellows Program). Please feel free to stop by the Center for Career Development, in Post Hall, and as always, comments are greatly appreciated :) Best of luck in applying! 

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