Serving the Greater Good

United Way internship offers glimpse into nonprofit world

Growing up in a university community, West Lafayette native Ashley Deutsch (BSM ’14) learned the value of a good deed at a young age.

“My parents are both teachers and they always stressed the importance of civic involvement and giving back,” she says. “It’s a value I really pride myself on.”

Having spent her high school years serving the community any way she could, Deutsch developed into a natural leader and saw a future in management. The Krannert School at Purdue was an obvious choice. Now a sophomore, Deutsch is set on finding ways to combine her two passions: business and philanthropy.

As a summer intern with the United Way of Greater Lafayette, she had the opportunity to experience nonprofit administration firsthand. Her role was to organize and oversee events, volunteers and participants of the Leaders of Tomorrow program for local youth ages 11 to 15.

“Interacting with United Way employees as well as volunteers and kids really helped me appreciate the different backgrounds people come from and how it shapes their personalities,” she says.

In addition to developing her managerial and administrative skills, Deutsch, a former volunteer of the program, enjoyed the unique benefits of a nonprofit work atmosphere.

Ashley Deutsch

Ashley Deutsch (Photo by Andrew Hancock)

“It’s rewarding to see the young volunteers realize how much of an impact they’re having on these kids, even if they are just smiling and playing games,” she says.

At Purdue, Deutsch has found many ways to give back during the school year, including serving Krannert, the local YMCA and the Greek community.

As a member of the School of Management Council (SMC), Deutsch is one of only 20 members chosen to represent the students. She was also elected to serve as co-chair for the 2013 Barbara G. Doster Leadership Forum, a biennial conference focused on developing management students’ interpersonal skills to complement the analytical and quantitative skills they gain in the classroom.

Between her leadership and volunteer roles, Deutsch also finds time to work with local and national organizations through the Greek community as a member of Alpha Xi Delta sorority.

“I was surprised to see how well the Purdue community comes together and how everyone works together for common goals, especially philanthropy,” she says. Although Deutsch still has a couple years left to find her place in the business world, a career in nonprofit organizations ranks high on her list.

“What I love about nonprofit management is the fulfilling feeling that you are doing something good in the community,” she says. “It really makes you feel like you are doing something right, even if you don’t get that pat on the back.”