The Voices of Generation Z: A Four-Part Staff Story Series Featuring Nonprofit HR Fellows

Zach joined the firm as a Social Enterprise Fellow in 2021 as a senior studying Business Administration at Georgetown University. Since obtaining his degree last May, he has become a full-time member of the Nonprofit HR team as a Client Services Associate. He shared that during his time at Georgetown, a focus of his studies was on how business and social impact work together, which is precisely what, in addition to the mentorship from Patty Hampton, drew him to his fellowship with the firm last spring. “I had a really authentic call with [Patty] when I was deciding what I wanted to do for my internship. I didn’t have much experience with HR in general so I felt that this was a bit out of my wheelhouse, but there was a trust there. I trusted that this was going to be a great learning experience for me, that I’d have a great mentor and I took the leap and went for it. It was attractive in general, too, because I wanted to work at the intersection of business and social impact,” he said.

He noted that the firm’s results-oriented culture and emphasis on flexibility are what allowed him to effectively manage his time as a student, and that continued as he transitioned to a full-time employee. “I also wasn’t working in person, so it also made the transition pretty easy to full-time work. But how it looks is exactly the same, that results-oriented culture and flexible schedule is the same. Now, I’m just spending more full-time hours on Nonprofit HR specifically,” he said.

“[Work-life integration] has been really valuable to me and is something that I know I will need if or when I will ever be at another place of employment going forward. Nonprofit HR is a great example of that relationship.”

Through his fellowship experience, Zach shared that he learned how important work-life integration is to him, which is an aspect of Nonprofit HR that he values. “[Work-life integration] has been really valuable to me and is something that I know I will need if or when I will ever be at another place of employment going forward. Nonprofit HR is a great example of that relationship,” he said. When he left school, Zach noted that he felt he had set a “good foundation” for work and life and now he hopes to continue growing. “The focus now for me is how to grow and build those skills and how to keep getting on cooler and cooler work and more important stuff within the firm—as well as how I can use that baseline to build up and push that envelope on where I’m comfortable. It’s exciting to start that, try it out and see how it feels,” he said. In the spirit of that growth, he shared his excitement about getting the opportunity to lean in more on Social Impact Talent Advisors (SITA), the firm’s social enterprise collaborative. “[Patty] has been giving me opportunities to take clients through the whole business development process, which has been really cool, so all the way from that first conversation to getting a proposal to them to getting them a contract and answering their questions. It’s been really cool to do that, especially with social enterprises, because that’s really where my passion lies.”

When asked who he admires the most, Zach shared that there were many people. “It’s like your own personal board of directors, where you have people you admire and go to about different things and areas of life. I feel like I have a good read of who of my friends and family are my go-to people to ask questions about specific things, whether it’s work-related or anything else.” And in terms of work relationships, he shared that mentorship specifically has been a critical part of his professional career. “Patty has been a really great mentor for me. I’ve realized just how important that is for me to have in a work environment, especially at this stage in my career. That would be the advice I would give to new people entering the workforce too. There are little things that are as important as who your mentor and boss is, especially as you are beginning work life. Someone who is willing to trust you to run with things and let you do things that are outside of what you normally would have access to. It has proved really beneficial to have that relationship,” he said.

When he’s not working, Zach loves to spend his time outdoors. “That’s where I spend a lot of my vacation time and trips with my friends. I think that’s where I’m at my happiest. It could be hiking or just sports in general too. That’s a big joy for me.”

His favorite quote?

“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” —John Lennon

His advice to future fellows and interns?

“I’ve had this mindset of starring in your role and proving that you can do that. Whatever it is, I don’t ever want to feel that the work is ‘beneath me.’ But rather, how can I do this most effectively? How can I make this better for the company and make other people’s lives easier? If you do that in any role that you’re in at any point in your life, people will notice. Whether you’re an assistant or CEO, if you really focus on starring in your role, that effort, attention to detail and willingness to do a good job will definitely be noticed and will open up other doors for you.”