United Way jobs interest business majors

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United Way CEO Brian Gallagher speaks at the Texas Union Theater Tuesday afternoon.

Photo Credit: Mary Kang | Daily Texan Staff

Students crowded into the Texas Union Theatre Tuesday to listen as Brian Gallagher, CEO of United Way, spoke about the importance of mobilizing people and strengthening communities.

United Way is a nonprofit organization that seeks to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities and focusing on big issues such as health, education and income, said Chris Schulze, co-chair for the VIP Distinguished Speaker Series. Currently, United Way has 1,800 local affiliates and is represented in 44 countries and territories.

Schulze said the Undergraduate Business Council puts together the VIP Distinguished Speaker Series to host about seven influential business leaders from around the world every year to give students the chance to learn what opportunities and career paths are out there and give them the ambition to make it up the corporate ladder one day.

“There’s a lot of [business students] that do want to go into nonprofit,” Schulze said. “Having Brian Gallagher here to talk about the nonprofit industry as a whole and your corporate and social responsibility as a businessperson, even if you do go into the corporate world, helps you to have it at the back of your mind about always trying to give back.”

When asked if he would recommend nonprofit as a career path for business students, Gallagher said the current generation is lucky because modern day businesses create social entrepreneurship and community value, whereas business in the past lacked community involvement. He said if what someone wants to do is change the human condition in whatever scale, they need only choose the vehicle, whether it be business, government or nonprofit.

“I do what I do because I’ve been doing it my whole life,” said Gallagher. “I want to be a part of changing people’s lives, and I want to do it at scale.”

Gallagher said that one of the biggest innovations United Way is aiming to implement is getting people mobilized and involved in social change.

“If we really are a global community, which obviously I believe we are, then like any strong community you can’t leave the relationship management just to business and just to government. You have to have civil society in it, and you need organizations like ours and others to talk about the future of unities and countries and the world because when we do our job right we’re speaking for individuals,” Gallagher said. “We’re speaking for citizens and that’s important.”

Printed on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 as: Nonprofit jobs interest business majors