Category: General

A Guide to Using ProPublica’s Nonprofit Explorer

If you’re interested in working for or with nonprofit organizations, one valuable resource to aid your research is ProPublica’s Nonprofit Explorer:

ProPublica’s Nonprofit Explorer is an online platform that offers a comprehensive database of information about nonprofit organizations operating in the United States.

Here are some tips to use it to your advantage:

  • Use the search bar to look up organizations by name, location, or keyword.
  • Alternatively, you can browse organizations by category, such as education, healthcare, or arts and culture.
  • Dive into an organization’s programs and achievements to evaluate its impact.
  • Look for measurable outcomes, testimonials, and success stories that showcase the nonprofit’s effectiveness in achieving its mission.
  • Learn about the nonprofit’s board of directors, key staff members, and their qualifications.
  • Consider how the organization’s leadership aligns with your values and career goals.
  • Use Nonprofit Explorer to compare several nonprofit organizations side by side.
  • This allows you to make informed decisions about which organizations align most closely with your career aspirations.
  • Once you’ve identified organizations of interest, consider reaching out to their staff or volunteers.
  • Attend events, webinars, or conferences related to the nonprofit sector to expand your network and gather more information.

How to Write Personal Statements for Graduate School Applications

Writing a compelling personal statement for graduate school is crucial to your application’s success. This is your opportunity to showcase your qualifications, experiences, and motivations to the admissions committee. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you craft an effective personal statement:

  • Understand the Purpose:
    • The personal statement allows you to demonstrate why you’re a strong candidate for the program.
    • It should highlight your academic achievements, relevant experiences, and your passion for the field.
  • Research the Program:
    • Familiarize yourself with the specific graduate program you’re applying to, including its mission, faculty, and curriculum.
    • Identify what makes this program unique and how it aligns with your goals.
  • Brainstorm and Outline:
    • Begin by brainstorming your key experiences, achievements, and reasons for pursuing graduate education.
    • Create an outline to organize your thoughts and structure your statement.
  • Start with a Strong Opening:
    • Begin your personal statement with an engaging hook to grab the reader’s attention.
    • This could be a personal anecdote, a relevant quote, or a brief summary of your journey.
  • Discuss Your Academic Background:
    • Highlight your academic achievements, including relevant coursework, research projects, or honors.
    • Explain how your academic background has prepared you for the graduate program.
  • Showcase Your Relevant Experiences:
    • Discuss internships, research, work experience, or volunteer work that is relevant to your field of study.
    • Provide specific examples of how these experiences have shaped your goals and skills.
  • Explain Your Motivation and Goals:
    • Describe why you are passionate about the field and what motivates you to pursue graduate education.
    • Discuss your short-term and long-term career goals and how the program will help you achieve them.
  • Address Weaknesses (if necessary):
    • If you have any academic gaps or weaknesses, briefly address them and explain how you’ve overcome or learned from them.
  • Show Fit with the Program:
    • Explain why you believe the specific program is the right fit for you and how it will help you achieve your goals.
    • Mention faculty members or research opportunities that align with your interests.
  • Reflect on Personal Growth:
    • Share personal insights or transformative experiences that have influenced your decision to pursue graduate studies.
  • Conclude Strongly:
    • Summarize your main points and reiterate your enthusiasm for the program.
    • End with a forward-looking statement about your potential contributions as a graduate student.
  • Edit and Proofread:
    • Revise your personal statement for clarity, grammar, and coherence.
    • Seek feedback from professors, mentors, or peers to ensure it’s well-polished.
  • Stay Within Word Limits:
    • Adhere to any word or page limits provided by the graduate program.
  • Tailor Your Statement:
    • Customize your personal statement for each program you apply to, emphasizing the aspects most relevant to each.
  • Review and Submit:
    • Review your application and personal statement thoroughly before submitting it by the deadline.

Remember that your personal statement should reflect your unique experiences, aspirations, and personality. Be honest, authentic, and enthusiastic throughout your writing, and make sure it conveys your genuine passion for your chosen field of study and the graduate program you’re applying to.

Navigating the World of Arts Administration

Crowd at a concert

What is Arts Administration?

Arts administration is a vibrant and essential field that bridges the gap between creativity and management in the arts and cultural sector. It plays a crucial role in ensuring that artistic endeavors thrive by handling the business, logistical, and organizational aspects of cultural institutions, performance spaces, museums, galleries, and more.

Often referred to as arts management, arts administration involves the management and coordination of artistic and cultural organizations. This field encompasses a wide range of roles, from managing budgets and fundraising to marketing, event planning, and curatorial work. Arts administrators act as the behind-the-scenes architects who make artistic visions come to life, ensuring that the arts are accessible and sustainable.

How to Prepare for a Career in Arts Administration

  1. Choose the Right Major and Courses

While arts administration programs exist, they are not the only path into the field. Many arts administrators have diverse educational backgrounds in areas such as arts management, business administration, nonprofit management, or even a specific artistic discipline like music, visual arts, or theater. To start, consider pursuing a bachelor’s degree in a related field, but be sure to include coursework in business, finance, marketing, and nonprofit management to gain a well-rounded foundation.

  1. Gain Practical Experience

Getting hands-on experience is invaluable in arts administration. Seek out internships, volunteer opportunities, or part-time jobs at local arts organizations, museums, or cultural institutions. These experiences will give you a firsthand look at the day-to-day operations and challenges faced in the field. Additionally, they can help you build a network of contacts and references.

  1. Develop Strong Communication and Leadership Skills

Effective communication is essential in arts administration. Arts administrators often work with diverse groups of people, including artists, donors, board members, and the general public. Hone your communication skills, both written and verbal, to convey ideas, facilitate collaboration, and represent your organization professionally.

Leadership skills are equally important. Arts administrators must guide their teams, make critical decisions, and manage resources efficiently. Consider taking leadership courses or seeking leadership roles in student organizations to develop these skills.

  1. Embrace Technology

In today’s digital age, technology plays a significant role in arts administration. Familiarize yourself with relevant software for budgeting, marketing, and database management. Proficiency in social media and online fundraising platforms can also be highly beneficial.

  1. Attend Networking Events and Conferences

Building a strong professional network is crucial for success in arts administration. Attend conferences, seminars, and industry events to meet fellow professionals, learn from experts, and stay updated on industry trends. Many organizations offer student discounts for these events.

  1. Pursue Advanced Education

Consider pursuing a master’s degree in arts administration or a related field. While not always required, it can provide you with a competitive edge in a competitive job market and open doors to higher-level positions.


Arts administration is a fulfilling career that allows you to combine your passion for the arts with your organizational and management skills. To prepare for a successful career in this field, focus on your education, gain practical experience, and develop strong communication and leadership abilities. With dedication and a commitment to the arts, you can play a vital role in supporting and advancing the cultural landscape for future generations.

Example Arts Administration Job Titles:

  • Arts Administrator: A general term that can refer to various administrative roles within arts organizations.
  • Executive Director: The top leadership position responsible for overall management and strategic direction of an arts organization.
  • Development Director or Fundraising Manager: Manages fundraising efforts, grant applications, donor relations, and development strategies.
  • Marketing and Communications Manager: Oversees promotional campaigns, advertising, social media, public relations, and communication efforts to attract audiences and patrons.
  • Program Manager or Curator: Responsible for planning, organizing, and curating exhibitions, performances, or educational programs.
  • Finance Manager or Controller: Handles budgeting, financial planning, accounting, and financial reporting for the organization.
  • Education Coordinator: Develops and manages educational programs and outreach initiatives, often in museums or arts education institutions.
  • Box Office Manager: Manages ticketing operations, customer service, and audience management for performing arts venues.
  • Gallery Manager or Curatorial Assistant: Assists in the management and curation of gallery exhibitions, collections, and installations.
  • Event Planner: Plans and coordinates special events, fundraisers, galas, and performances hosted by arts organizations.
  • Membership Manager: Oversees membership programs, recruitment, and engagement strategies to build a loyal supporter base.
  • Publications Manager or Editor: Manages the production of catalogs, brochures, and other printed materials related to exhibitions and events.
  • Human Resources Manager: Handles personnel matters, including hiring, staff development, and compliance with labor laws.
  • Facility Manager: Manages the maintenance and operation of the physical space, such as theaters, galleries, or museums.
  • Grant Writer: Specializes in writing grant proposals and securing funding from government agencies, foundations, and private donors.
  • Community Engagement Coordinator: Works on initiatives to engage the local community, foster partnerships, and promote cultural inclusion.
  • Legal Counsel: Provides legal guidance on contracts, intellectual property, and compliance with laws and regulations.
  • Technology and Digital Media Coordinator: Oversees digital platforms, website management, and online content development.
  • Archivist: Manages and preserves historical records, artifacts, or collections in cultural institutions like museums and libraries.
  • Visitor Services Manager: Focuses on providing an exceptional visitor experience, including ticketing, guest services, and information.

Big Interview: Your Interview Practice Partner

Are you getting ready for an interview but not sure where to start? Try Big Interview!

Lawrence University has teamed up with this incredible platform that helps students like you practice for interviews. It’s easy to use – you can learn how to do interviews for different jobs and industries, record yourself to see how you did, and if you want, even share your recordings with friends, professors, or career advisors to get their thoughts.

Big Interview is a fantastic tool for anyone, whether you’ve done lots of interviews before or none at all. Remember, getting good at interviews takes practice, and Big Interview makes it super simple. Don’t miss this chance to boost your interview skills!

Login to Big Interview here.

Preparing for Internships in Business: Setting the Stage for Success

Internships are like the dress rehearsals for your future career in the business world. They provide invaluable hands-on experience, help you bridge the gap between theory and practice, and open doors to exciting opportunities. But, securing a meaningful internship requires careful preparation and strategic planning. As you prepare for internships in business, here are some essential steps to help you set the stage for success.

1. Self-Reflection and Goal Setting

Before diving into the internship application process, take some time for self-reflection. What are your career goals? What specific skills or experiences do you hope to gain from this internship? By clarifying your objectives, you’ll be better equipped to identify the right opportunities and tailor your application materials accordingly.

2. Resume Enhancement

Your resume is often the first impression you make on potential employers. Ensure it showcases your relevant skills, experiences, and accomplishments. Highlight coursework, extracurricular activities, and any relevant projects or volunteer work. If you lack direct business experience, emphasize transferable skills such as teamwork, leadership, and problem-solving. Consider using our resume AI tool, VMock to receive personalized feedback and make your resume stand out. Advisors and Career Peer Educators are also available to review your resumes.

3. Networking

Building a strong professional network can significantly enhance your internship prospects. Attend employer info sessions (even the virtual ones!), alumni events, and networking sessions. Connect with alumni and other professionals on LinkedIn and don’t be afraid to reach out for informational interviews. Personal connections can provide valuable insights and referrals.

4. Research Internship Opportunities

Start your search for internships early. Look for opportunities on Handshake, company websites, job boards, and industry-specific platforms. Pay attention to application deadlines and requirements. Don’t limit yourself to the most well-known companies; smaller firms and startups can offer equally rewarding experiences.

5. Interview Preparation

When you secure an interview, be ready to impress. Long before even being invited for an interview, start practicing common interview questions and prepare thoughtful answers that illustrate your qualifications. You can utilize Big Interview to prepare for interviews and build your confidence. When you do have an interview scheduled, research the company thoroughly, including its culture, recent news, and industry trends. Prepare questions to ask the interviewer to show your genuine interest.

6. Professional Attire

Dress appropriately for interviews and networking events. Business attire may vary by industry, but it’s generally better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed. Ensure your appearance is clean, neat, and professional.

7. Follow-Up

After interviews or networking events, send personalized thank-you notes or emails to express your appreciation for the opportunity to connect. This gesture demonstrates your professionalism and genuine interest in the role.

8. Internship Skill Building

While you await internship offers, continue developing your skills. Consider online courses or workshops to gain specific knowledge relevant to your field of interest. Building your skill set not only makes you a more attractive candidate but also boosts your confidence. Consider completing an internship project simulation through Forage.

9. Stay Persistent

The internship search can be competitive, and rejection is a part of the process. Don’t be discouraged by setbacks. Instead, use them as opportunities for growth and learning. Stay persistent in your efforts and keep refining your approach.

10. Seek Guidance from a Career Advisor

Don’t hesitate to make an appointment with me, or any of the career advisors at the Career Center. We can provide personalized guidance, review your resume, conduct mock interviews, and offer insights to enhance your internship search. We’re here for you – now, during internships, throughout your time at Lawrence, and after graduation.

Preparing for internships in business requires a combination of self-reflection, skill development, networking, and meticulous planning. By taking these steps, you’ll increase your chances of securing a meaningful internship that will pave the way for a successful career in the business world. Remember, internships are not just about gaining experience; they’re about discovering your passion and potential. So, seize the opportunity, and set the stage for your future success.

Museum Jobs: A Career Path for Passionate Learners

Museums are places of learning and discovery.  They offer a unique opportunity to explore art, history, and culture. For Lawrence students with a passion for these subjects, a career in museums can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience.

There are many different types of museum jobs available. Some of the most common include:

  • Curator: Curators are responsible for the overall management of a museum’s collection. They work with other staff members to select, acquire, and preserve objects for the collection. They also develop and oversee exhibitions, write educational materials and create the overall “feel” of the museum.
  • Archivist: Archivists are responsible for the care and management (and possible restoration) of a museum’s art, records and documents. They work to ensure that these materials are preserved and accessible to researchers and the public.
  • Educators: Educators create and deliver educational programs for museum visitors, either in a classroom setting, or while giving a tour.  They may work with students of all ages, from preschool to adult.
  • Researchers: Researchers conduct research on the museum’s collection and other topics related to art, history, and culture. They may publish their findings in scholarly journals or present them at conferences.
  • Marketing and Public Relations: Marketing and public relations professionals help to promote museums to the public. They develop and execute marketing campaigns, write press releases, and create social media content.
  • Fundraisers: Fundraisers work to raise money for museums. They may work with donors to secure individual gifts, or they may work with foundations and corporations to secure grants.

The qualifications for museum jobs vary depending on the specific position. However, most museum jobs require a bachelor’s degree in programs such as Art History, History, or Museum Studies, all of which are available at Lawrence. Some jobs, such as Curator and Archivist, usually require a master’s degree or higher.

If you are interested in a museum job, the next step is to get some experience under your belt! The Trout Museum of Art, Building for Kids Children’s Museum, and the History Museum at the Castle are all close to campus, and, in the past, have had Lawrence students as volunteers, interns and/or part-time employees.  Like in most careers, museums always look for experience beyond the classroom, so working at one of these three places now would provide a great museum experience with completely different vibes, showing just how diverse museums can be in subject and tone.


Spencer R. Brown is a junior in their first year at Lawrence University, with a major in Government. They work as a media and marketing assistant in the Career Center, and curates articles for students in both Communication, Journalism & Written Arts (#CJW) and Government, Law & International Relations (#GLI) career communities. A writer and animator by trade and part-time mascot, Spencer is fascinated in finding ways to make digesting information entertaining. Feel free to connect with them on LinkedIn here!