AFP LEAD: A Career Kick-Start for Emerging Fundraisers (Q&A with Zulia Hernandez)
AFP LEAD is just around the corner! Held Oct. 3 – 5 in Phoenix, Ariz., fundraising professionals will get together to listen to keynote speakers and attend educational sessions geared toward professional growth and wellness.
But fundraising professionals aren’t the only people attending. AFP LEAD is also open to students and emerging fundraisers, and thanks to the generosity of Stephen and Marjorie K. Levy, one student member from each of AFP’s collegiate chapters is selected to attend.
This year, Zulia Hernandez, from the University of Houston, will be attending the conference in Phoenix for peer-to-peer networking, learning, and leadership development opportunities.
Q: Why did you join AFP?
A: I was fortunate enough to join the AFP collegiate chapter at the University of Houston over a year ago. I’ve learned that there are so many opportunities and benefits of being an AFP member, including professional development opportunities, access to a network of professionals who want to see you succeed, and like-minded individuals who are interested in philanthropy. I hope to stay an AFP member upon graduating from the University of Houston while I kick-start my career in the nonprofit sector.
Q: What have you gotten out of your AFP experience so far?
A: My AFP experience so far has been eye-opening. It’s allowed me to see the side of nonprofit work where those in development are be able to connect individuals to their passions through philanthropy, and now I have the amazing opportunity to attend AFP LEAD!
I’ve also gained great experience through involvement with the AFP Greater Houston Chapter. I’ve been paired with an AFP member to learn about their journey in the development world, had the chance to attend mixers, and have been able to connect with a large network of fundraising professionals in the Greater Houston area.
Q: What benefits do you expect what AFP offers to have in your future?
A: I hope to continue to have the opportunity be a part of experiences like AFP LEAD. I also hope that AFP continues to offer opportunities for networking and professional development for its members.
Q: What are you most looking forward to learning about at LEAD?
A: I’m looking forward to learning how to transition what I’ve been studying in college to the nonprofit sector, and best practices on how to be an effective leader.
I am also very much looking forward to hearing keynote speaker Nancy Santiago speak about Hispanics in philanthropy. I am thrilled to see that Latinos have a voice and a place at the table when it comes to philanthropy.
Q: Who are you excited to connect with at LEAD?
A: I am so excited to connect with everyone! From AFP members to guest speakers, this conference is going to be such a great experience for me, having the opportunity to be in the same room with those who are doing amazing work right now. I’m also very excited to hear Kishshana Palmer speak. Her session on personal brand is right up my alley as I look toward graduation. I would love to learn how to start to brand myself as an emerging nonprofit professional who has a lot to offer.
Held Oct. 3 – 5 in Phoenix, Ariz., AFP LEAD sessions on Thursday, Oct. 3 is for AFP chapter leaders, emerging fundraisers, young professionals, and collegiate members only. Topics are geared toward those looking to expand upon their knowledge as fundraising professionals. For more information about the AFP Young Professionals Affinity Group and others, click here.