Lizzy†de Velasco†'07, Major Gifts Officer, United States Fund for UNICEF
Lizzy de Velasco, a former member of the SOM Loan Forgiveness Committee, talks about the program and her own career path.
Iíve always been interested in nonprofit work. After college I worked at Scripps College, in Southern California, which is where my sister went to school. Iíve always been a very strong believer in womenís and girlsí education, so that was a good fit for me. I worked in fundraising. While I was there, I realized I wanted to learn more about how organizations worked, so I decided to attend business school.
I felt lucky to go to SOM because it really is the best school for anyone wanting to go into nonprofit work. At the school my eyes were opened to a huge array of possibilities of what I could do for a career. I could choose consulting, or marketing, or finance, or nonprofits. Because of the Loan Forgiveness Program, I had the ability to explore all fields because I knew if I decided to stay in nonprofits my loans would be forgiven. It allowed me to explore. I eventually came back to where I started.
My summer internship was at CARE, where I did marketing for their economic development program. Upon graduating, I got a position in major gifts fundraising at UNICEF in New York. I feel very fortunate to have a job like this, not least of all because Iím living in New York on a nonprofit salary. Without the Loan Forgiveness Program, it just wouldnít be possible.
I was actually the student representative for the Loan Forgiveness Committee at SOM. While I was there, the program was improved dramatically, with the school now pledging to pay all your loans if you earn less than $72,000 per year and on a sliding scale above that, while adding maternal and family leave options. Previously there was a cut off of $43,000. One thing thatís important to realize is that SOM will pay loans for any nonprofit, meaning not just NGOs but government work or religious organizations. It allows students to actually think about management across all the sectors, which has always been a major Yale strength. As I see it, the program is one of the best manifestations of the schoolís mission of educating leaders for business and society.
Interviewed on December 6, 2007.
Learn about the Loan Forgiveness Program.