Student Success Stories

At the Career Center we help our students achieve career success and we've got some great stories to prove it.

TU student Sylvia Otieno standing holding a book to read elementary students

Sylvia Otieno, International Studies major and a Business, Communication and the Liberal Arts minor

A student’s main goal is to be successful in the field of their dreams. Towson University senior, Sylvia Otieno, recently did just that. Sylvia, majoring in International Studies with a minor in Business Communication and the Liberal Arts, was able to take her first steps toward her aspirations of becoming a nonprofit professional over this past summer when she was accepted as a fellow in the Walter Sondheim Nonprofit Leadership Program (MSNLP). “When I heard of the program, I was immediately drawn to it because I’ve always wanted to do nonprofit work,” said Sylvia of the opportunity. Sylvia was one of 20 students chosen for the fellowship, which had only a 25 percent acceptance rate. “The application process for the fellowship did not hold any interviews, so it was really important to look good on paper. I had several people help me with my resume and answers to the questions they asked.” In each case, the fellow was placed into a nonprofit program while given the opportunity to attend seminars on creating and running successful nonprofits. Sylvia was placed into the Summer READS program, an initiative to open libraries throughout Baltimore City during the summer to kids of varying ages to help improve literacy rates. “I learned how to run a nonprofit, not just volunteer for it,” said Sylvia. “It gave me realistic expectations of being a part of a nonprofit. The work done behind the scenes may not be shiny and fun, but it is important.” Sylvia has big plans after leaving Towson. “I’m currently applying for the Fulbright grant to conduct a research project in Kenya.” She will also be looking to intern at an international nonprofit organization. When asked what advice she would give to other students looking to break into their dream field, Sylvia revealed an age-old secret. “Use your networks. You can have a great resume, but it won’t set you apart from everyone else with great resumes. It’s all about who you know.” she exclaimed.

Learn more about the Walter Sondheim Nonprofit Leadership Program (MSNLP)