A New Beginning

Last week, after hours of applications, research, and intensive rounds of interviews, ten new members joined the SOURCE family. On September 17th, the new Associate Consultant class launched the beginning of their experiences as SOURCE members. I am proud to say that I am one of these new Consultants being inducted into SOURCE. But it was not an easy journey.
I first became interested in SOURCE Nonprofit Consulting during the beginning of my senior year in high school. On my campus tour of Claremont McKenna College, one of the tour guides explained the diversity and breadth of student organizations on campus. However, out of all of the organizations I heard about, SOURCE resonated with me most strongly because of my interest in community impact and outreach. I was told that SOURCE provides consulting services to local nonprofits in order to maximize efficiency and increase capacity, so the nonprofits can better fulfill their mission and expand their impacts. Furthermore, I was impressed to learn that SOURCE was a completely student run organization that provides both a professional, enriching and collaborative environment for its consultants.

SOURCE recruiting began during the first two weeks of school. After submitting my resume and analysis of Action against Hunger, a nonprofit organization that combats malnutrition in developing nations, I was invited to participate in group interview- the first step of a two stage interview process for SOURCE applicants. During the group interview, interviewees were provided with a sample nonprofit profile, consisting of the financial, operational, and logistical data of the organization. A SOURCE Manager and Lead Consultants asked each group to analyze problems that the non-profit had faced in the past, and present potential solutions, regarding efficiency and research, to the panel of SOURCE consultants present at the interview. I found the group interview challenging, because it was the first time I had ever been exposed to a case-based interview . Furthermore, the group interview pushed me to remain cognizant of the way that I worked on a team

After making it through group interviews, I was very thankful and surprised by the opportunity to have an individual interview, especially because I had learned from both current Consultants and former applicants how competitive the application and interview process was. When I walked into my individual interview, a larger panel of SOURCE Lead Consultants sat before me. While I initially felt intimidated, the Leads were very welcoming. During the interview, I discussed the characteristics that defined me as an individual, my interests and passions, my career aspirations, and my planned contributions to SOURCE. After my interview, I left the SOURCE room, thankful for the opportunity to get so far in the application process and for being able to develop both my individual and group interview skills.

On the night of September 15th, I could barely concentrate. Even though I was enjoying a night at the Athenaeum with Janet Mock, I couldn’t stop checking my phone. Every half hour, I nervously checked my email, waiting for the decision of my interview. Finally, at 8:55, the email from SOURCE finally arrived. I clicked the email, and I closed my eyes as the email loaded. I opened my eyes, and I sighed in relief as I read the first 5 words: “Welcome to the SOURCE Family.” After receiving this email, I will never forget the happiness and surprise that surged through me.

Before our first meeting, I could not wait to meet my fellow Associate Consultants for the first time. From the moment that I met each person, I knew how incredible SOURCE was. Even though I had only just met the new Associate Consultant team, I noticed the diverse pool of personalities, experiences, and traits of each of my new team members. Whether it was experience through public speaking, research, non-profit volunteerism, student government, or grant writing in the developing world, each Associate Consultant brought a unique skill to SOURCE. Yet despite these differences, every single Associate Consultant was friendly, driven, and eager to join the SOURCE family.

Although we have only had two meetings so far, I can’t wait to build relationships with both the new and returning members of SOURCE. Although the year has barely started, I know I can speak for everyone on the new Associate Consultant team when I say we can’t wait to see what this year holds.

by michael choi