The Pittsburgh Foundation Welcomes 2018 SAEM Graduate as Donor Services Intern Alumni Profile
Meet Taren Lumley
- Job Title & Employer
- Donor Services Intern, The Pittsburgh Foundation
- Sports, Arts & Entertainment Management
- April 2018
- Aliquippa, Pa.
- High School
- Aliquippa Jr./Sr. High School
- Now Living In
- Aliquippa, Pa.
- Dream Job
- Library Coordinator/Director
"Taren was eager to learn, work hard and was proficient in preparing reports and researching. She is driven and focused on learning from those around her by asking questions and exploring solutions on her own. She didn’t pause for a second when we asked her to start the day after she graduated from college, which I admired. Point Park University opened up her eyes to a career in development and donor services. It’s a great fit for her and her skill set. The Pittsburgh Foundation is fortunate to have this be Taren’s starting point in her career."
"My Essential Principles of Fundraising and Advanced Fundraising classes have provided me a knowledge base that I do not feel that many people have when they first go into fundraising/development. I’m getting more out of my experiences because instead of developing that knowledge base, I’m expanding upon it. I’m less focused on why I’m doing what I’m doing, but how I’m doing it and how I can better perform."
How did you land an internship with The Pittsburgh Foundation?
I was fortunate to intern at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP) in their external and government relations department during my last semester at Point Park. My supervisor there, Pat Quinn Winter, told me about different internship opportunities through The Pittsburgh Foundation’s (TPF) Center for Philanthropy and encouraged me to apply. She and a couple of other staff members helped me polish my resume and cover letter and then get them to the right people.
Also, I had the benefit of going to a presentation on TPF’s Center for Philanthropy at the Nonprofit Resource Center at CLP in Oakland. There, I got a better idea of the organization’s mission, vision and goals, as well as how TPF functions, before I went in to interview.
Tell us about the work you do and how your SAEM classes are benefiting you.
At TPF, I am primarily responsible for doing research and pulling reports, as well as some administrative work, event coordination and data maintenance. I feel that my sports, arts and entertainment management classes have given me a mix of skills that make me a versatile professional. I now understand how events are run or how to market something.
My Essential Principles of Fundraising and Advanced Fundraising classes have provided me a knowledge base that I do not feel that many people have when they first go into fundraising/development. I’m getting more out of my experiences because instead of developing that knowledge base, I’m expanding upon it. I’m less focused on why I’m doing what I’m doing, but how I’m doing it and how I can better perform.
What factors made you choose Point Park University?
Honestly, my biggest factor was location. I wanted to live in the city, and Point Park is in the heart of it. There are activities, opportunities and a culture around Point Park that you can’t get at most other schools.
How did the faculty impact you during your four years of college?
The faculty at Point Park was been extremely helpful in getting me where I am today. They were really understanding and supportive of my strange and twisted path from sports to entertainment to libraries and then to fundraising and development.
Professor Derda was one of the first people to really be on board when I said I wanted to apply what I learned from the SAEM program to a library, and Professor Gregory provided me with the fundraising knowledge base that I took into CLP and have brought with me to TPF.
What are your career goals?
I’m a library person at heart. I started volunteering at my local library when I was 16 and I still work there now as a public service clerk. Ultimately, I want to get my master's degree in library science and get back into a library, whether it be as a “proper” librarian or in development.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I think it’s important to remember that you never know where you’ll end up or how you’re going to get there. Don’t get upset or discouraged if you don’t have everything figured out or it’s not going according to plan.
Photo by Jared Murphy, sophomore photojournalism major