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The University of Texas at Austin

Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs

Certification, Courses and Networking to Advance Your Career

August 19th, 2010

Interested in a career in the nonprofit sector? Our Portfolio Program in Nonprofit Studies offers a concentration of courses in nonprofit management, volunteerism and philanthropy. The Portfolio Program is taken in addition to a Master’s or PhD program and is open to any graduate or PhD student at The University of Texas at Austin. Students receive a graduate certificate on their transcript upon completion.

Program Requirements:

  • Current UT graduate or PhD student
  • Complete 12 credit hours from a list of approved courses, including one required course taught by RGK Center faculty. An internship or a thesis on a nonprofit topic may count.
  • Conduct 40 hours of volunteer service at a nonprofit or public service organization
  • Participate in Portfolio Program events

Easy online enrollment available at:

Net Impact McCombs’ Board Fellows Program

July 7th, 2010

This July, Net Impact McCombs is launching the Board Fellows program in which students serve on the board of directors of local nonprofits in a non-voting capacity, attend meetings, serve on committee(s), and complete a Board-level strategic project. MBA students learn about Board governance, the realities of operations of nonprofits, and get to apply their business skills to serve the community, while the nonprofit benefits from a fresh perspective and gains the business insights of an MBA student.


McCombs Board Fellows was launched in 2010 as an initiative of McCombs’ Net Impact chapter. Both the club and this program are chapters of Net Impact, a national organization for socially-minded business people.  This program places MBA students on the boards of directors of local partner nonprofit organizations as non-voting board members for one year. The purpose of the program is to give talented and committed business students the opportunity to work with and learn from nonprofit leaders, while contributing their time and business skills to benefit the local community.  After Board Fellows are selected through a rigorous application process, they are matched with a partner nonprofit whose needs and mission align with the Fellow’s skills and interests. The nonprofit then assigns the Fellow to a board committee and a mentor. Board Fellows are expected to participate in all board meetings and complete a project specific to the needs or challenges facing their partner organization.

The MBA class of 2011 is currently launching this program at McCombs.  Members of this class will serve on local boards from September 2010 – May 2011 when they will graduate from UT.  All future classes (including this fall’s incoming students) will serve on a calendar-year cycle.  They will apply and be matched in the fall, and will serve from January – December.  When you apply, you will be able to choose when you’d like your Fellow to start: September, January, both periods, or either time.


The national Net Impact organization recommends the following guidelines for a Board Fellows partner organization, and is obligated to share this information with you.  Since the program is new to McCombs, the focus will be more on the student/organization match than on strict guidelines. They are flexible in their selection and matching process and encourage ALL organizations to apply.  Please be assured that a good student match, enthusiasm, and commitment to the program will outweigh these criteria.

  • Nonprofit (501(c)3) status  (STRICTLY REQUIRED)
  • An operating history of at least one year
  • An annual budget of at least $350,000
  • A minimum of 3 full-time staff members
  • Have a board member willing to serve as a mentor (STRICTLY REQUIRED)

As long as you are confident that someone at your organization could be available enough to facilitate a positive student experience (provide mentorship and needed information/data for their project in a timely manner, etc), you are encouraged to apply.


  • Attend all board meetings and relevant committee meetings for their organization
  • Attend monthly seminars at McCombs to learn more about the nonprofit sector and corporate governance
  • Commit at least 10 hours of work per month to a special project for their organization’s board


Complete the online form here:
Ideally, students and organizations will be matched in early August so they can begin work upon returning to school.

To complete the form, you will need:

  • Mission statement (or summary of your organization’s work)
  • Proposed project for the Fellow to undertake
  • Name of the project coordinator (a full time staff member at your organization who will collaborate with the Fellow on the project)
  • Name of the board member who will serve as a mentor for the Fellow

From Austin to Ottawa – Meet UT Exchange Student Wayne Gerami

February 10th, 2010

Hey guys! I’m Wayne, and I’m going to be writing a bit about my experiences doing the Developing Civil Society via Case Studies (DCSCS) exchange program at Carleton University in Ottawa, ON, Canada. I’m a first year student at the LBJ School, pursuing my Master’s in Public Affairs. I’m also going for a certificate in Non-Profit Management with the RGK Center.

Before returning to school for my M.P.Aff., I worked for two years at Austin Habitat for Humanity through the AmeriCorps program. I decided to work with Habitat after going down to New Orleans after Katrina and helping out down there.

At Habitat, I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in the non-profit sector.  After deciding to attend UT, I found out about the Portfolio Program in Nonprofit Studies led by Moira Porter at the RGK Center. She let me know about the DCSCS exchange program, and I decided to give it a shot. I’m glad I did!

Thus far, it’s been a really cool experience. The biggest difference between Austin and Ottawa is definitely the weather. I grew up in Massachusetts, so the snow wasn’t anything new for me. I was definitely surprised at how active the city is – everyone seems to skate, play hockey, soccer, volleyball, or some other indoor sport. I’ve appreciated that.

My favorite part of the DCSCS program is meeting the other international students (although it is a little funny to move up to Ottawa and hang out with so many Mexicans!) and building those relationships.

We’ve had some informal ‘exchange dinners’ where the students from one country all cook food for our little crew. So far we’ve had Italian (awesome!) and Mexican (delicious & just like home). We’ve also been able to go out and do some dancing. I’m a huge swing dancing fan, and there’s a cool scene here. Here are two pictures to give you an idea of what we’ve been doing. The first is a picture of some of us on the bus. The second picture is of Claudia (from Mexico) and me doing some swing dancing!

Exchange students on the bus

Wayne and Claudia Swing Dancing

The classes seem like they’ll be good We haven’t started the case study portion of our Civil Society class yet. I’m looking forward to that, as it’s the main reason I decided to come up. It will be great to get working with our organizations. A student from Mexico, a student from U. Washington, and I will be working with the Distress Centre of Ottawa. I’ll keep y’all posted as that gets going.  Thanks for reading!