Non-Profit and Public Benefit

Are you considering a job or internship in the non-profit sector? Explore these online resources to get started. Feel free to drop by our office to meet with an advisor to help plan.

Quicklinks: Careers to Consider | Job and Internship Resources | Alumni to Know | Additional Resources

Careers in Non-Profit and Community Engagement

Explore careers in the arts by exploring the links below. This is not an all inclusive list of careers but will help you begin exploring. Found a career you're interested in? Talk to faculty, stop by our office and begin networking to learn more.

Job and Internship Resources

Alumni To Know

One of the best ways to explore careers and find job opportunities is to network with professionals. Below are alumni who have experience in the field and have volunteered to be a resource to you. Not sure how to begin networking? Stop by our office to get started.

To learn about and network with more alumni in the industry, visit the WLUalum Twitter!

Paul Negron '03

Paul Negron graduated from Washington and Lee in 2003 with a BA in Communications. He serves as the Career Services Manager for a local non-profit organization in Washington, D.C. - So Others Might Eat (SOME) Center for Employment Training. Paul has developed job readiness curriculum and served as a career counselor for the past four years in both the for-profit and non-profit sector. He specializes in delivering industry-specific job training that provides targeted career advice through positive reinforcement and encouragement. At SOME CET, Paul manages a team dedicated to providing a 10-week career development training course to low-income, underserved DC area residents. He's also responsible for forming partnerships with local employers for both externship and job placement purposes.

In 2011, Paul transitioned from working years in marketing/recruiting after being laid off from a management position. This presented an opportunity to reevaluate career goals and in doing so, Paul entered the world of career counseling where he developed the passion to help others find work. In 2013, Paul made the decision to move to Washington, D.C. in hopes of finding a mission-based organization where he could utilize his career counseling skills.

Ben Ersing '12

As an undergrad at W&L, Ben created his own major in "International Political Economy," minored in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and was part of the wrestling team and General's Development Initiative (GenDev). Ben first became curious about Social Entrepreneurship when he received a grant to do research with an NGO on the US/Mexico border- "Over the course of the summer, I spent a significant amount of time in Mexico speaking with migrants about their reasons for undertaking such a treacherous journey, and came to realize that the only sustainable solution was to provide them with an alternative means to support their families. I became intrigued by the concept of private sector development and the role of business in providing social returns." Ben went on to help found General's Development Initiative, a microfinance organization that has provided loans to Casa Victoria and Fundacion Amor y Esperanza in Ecuador. Ben is currently a management consultant for an impact investment firm in New York City. He also writes a blog on the issues facing social ventures.

Vanessa J. Ndege '12

Though I received my Bachelors in Studio Art and Psychology, I was heavily involved in The Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Capabilities. I took many core poverty courses including the final capstone course, and participated in a Shepherd internship and the Bonner Scholar program. I largely credit my experiences with the Shepherd Program for the initial steps I've taken in my career. During my senior year, I was selected for the Elrod Fellowship; a mentorship program designed to foster careers in the non-profit sector. Through the guidance of my mentors, I began working with the chronically homeless and severely mentally ill population in Washington, DC, at the non-profit, Pathways to Housing, DC. My time at Pathways was challenging and incredibly eye-opening. I gained valuable first-hand exposure to both the mental health field and the social services sector. Working for a non-profit fueled my interest in organizational behavior theories; I'm particularly interested in how non-profit organizations can be run with the same rigor and success as major for-profit corporations. I am currently working on a Masters in Industrial Organization at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

Emily Suminski '14

Emily, originally from Lancaster, California, comes from a single parent low-income first-generation college family. As you might imagine, she found it a little difficult to adjust to life at Washington and Lee when she first arrived on campus. Eventually, through involvement in a wide variety of campus organizations, she found her niche and is incredibly grateful for the opportunities she was provided at W&L. Emily works at Pathways to Housing DC as a social worker where she provide housing and other services for mentally ill homeless individuals. This fall she plans on attending The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is very interested in speaking to students about non-profit careers or regarding any questions a student has about life after college in general. Emily loves hearing from W&L students so feel free to contact her!

Shiri Yadlin '12

Shiri graduated from W&L in 2012, majoring in Religion and Global Politics with a minor in the Shepherd Poverty Program.

She currently works for Pathways to Housing, a non-profit focused on housing and mental health in Washington DC. This direct service job focuses on providing "wrap-around" services to adults with mental illness and a history of homelessness.

As a case manager, Shiri has interacted with a wide variety of social service agencies throughout DC, and is happy to talk with any students interested non-profit and social services work.

Mary Flynn Niemitz '06

Mary Flynn Niemitz graduated from Washington and Lee in ‘06 with a BA in English. She currently serves as a Senior Manager of Affiliate Development for Hope for New York (HFNY) in New York City. At HFNY, Mary Flynn manages the distribution of approximately $1.3 million grant funding to non-profits in New York City serving low-income and marginalized populations. In addition, she oversees capacity building initiatives with grantees including a technical assistance grant program.

Mary Flynn began exploring a career in social service during an internship at My Sister’s House, an emergency shelter and residential recovery program in downtown Atlanta. She pursued this passion through studies in the Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Capability at W&L. Her first role in the non-profit sector was as an Assistant Project Manager for a non-profit affordable housing developer in San Francisco, CA. There, she explored community development through a large-scale public housing redevelopment project in a pocket of isolated poverty in San Francisco.

Mary Flynn moved to New York to obtain a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) in 2012 and focused her studies on urban and social policy and non-profit management.

Lauren Weedon Hopkins '99

Lauren Weedon Hopkins graduated from Washington and Lee in 1999 with a B.A. in English and Print Journalism. After a successful career in the magazine industry in New York City, including the senior editor of, Lauren moved back to her hometown of Jacksonville, FL. She became active in local volunteer organizations such as the Junior League of Jacksonville and the Rotaract Club of Florida's First Coast, serving as its president.

With a renewed focus on community service, Lauren decided to make volunteering her day job and write in her free time. While freelancing for Marie Claire, Shape and Every Day with Rachael Ray, she joined the staff of a local nonprofit organization which fulfills the dreams of children battling life-threatening illnesses. During her five years at Dreams Come True, Lauren held a variety of positions including director of development, associate director and interim executive director.

For the past two years, Lauren has served as a development director at the YMCA of Florida's First Coast. In addition to soliciting and stewarding major gifts for the organization, she plays an integral role in the $21 million capital campaign to build a new Y downtown.

Lauren holds the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential and is the current president of the Florida First Coast Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). A graduate of Leadership Jacksonville and the inaugural class of Emerging Leaders sponsored by the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida, Lauren is happy to speak with students about fundraising and nonprofit work.

Neil Millhiser '11L 

Neil graduated from W&L Law in ’11.  He received a BA in English with a Concentration in Creative Writing from Elon University in 2005.  

Neil is the General Manager for Patient Services Inc. (PSI).  PSI, a non-profit 501(c)(3) premium and copayment foundation, provides financial support and guidance for qualified patients with specific, rare, chronic diseases.   In addition to overseeing the management at PSI, Neil also provides in-house legal counsel and oversees various compliance issues as PSI’s HIPAA and OIG Compliance Officer.  

Prior to joining PSI at the beginning of 2013, Neil was an in-house attorney and project manager for Reynolds Development.  Before attending law school at W&L, Neil was a medical device sales representative for Lincare and also spent a year living in New Zealand working for Kiwi Bank and National Bank New Zealand. 

Additional Resources