Anna Bohl-Fabian

Anna Bohl-Fabian
Philadelphia, PA     

Degree & Major: B.A. Political Science
Current Position: I am Programs Administrator at BuildaBridge International, an arts education and intervention nonprofit that provides services to at-risk youth in Philadelphia and around the world. In my role, I am responsible for any and all administrative tasks related to the organization. In addition, I recruit all volunteers, attend important community events, assist in marketing and outreach, and coordinate all trainings including our Annual Institute, a week-long intensive training that gives individuals the opportunity to learn how to effectively integrate the arts in their community. I first got involved with BuildaBridge by volunteering. My volunteer work took place in a homeless shelter in West Philadelphia and needless to say, the experience was so life-changing and rewarding that I knew I wanted to be much more involved with the organization.
Rewards & Challenges: The most challenging part is the fact that I have to wear multiple hats. Being one of only a few full-time employees, many projects and tasks are given to me that I don't always plan for or even know how to do. This means that at times my work can be incredibly exhausting and overwhelming. It’s also no secret that nonprofits typically have a low pay rate for employees. However, the rewarding moments are what make all the challenges worth it. Moments when a child in a homeless shelter lights up when they hear that BuildaBridge is coming. Moments when a parent expresses their heart felt gratitude for quality programming that keeps their child off the streets. Moments when children who've grown up only knowing violence as way to express their feelings, learn that they feel other emotions and that it’s ok not to always be angry. It’s moments like this where I’m reminded why I want to be in this career and why the work that I do is so important.
Best Advice Received: It never hurts to ask. You never know what opportunities might be available or what connections might help guide you to where you want to be. But you'll never know unless you ask.
Necessary Skills: Learning quickly is one of the most important skills I've used in my job. Working for a small nonprofit, there isn't always the time or capacity to properly train new employees. Since day one in my position, I've had to learn on the job, take initiative, and do my own problem solving in order to get things done. The critical thinking skills that I gained at AU have proven to be very instrumental in allowing me to constantly improve my work and help improve the organization as a whole. Nonprofit work can be exhausting at times, so a positive attitude and the ability to be flexible can be extremely helpful in making your work experience a happy one.
My Passion: Upon graduating from Arcadia, I knew one thing: that I wanted to work in the nonprofit sector. I wanted to help others and do a job that I felt was worthwhile. Now that I'm working at a nonprofit, my passion remains the same. The majority of people working in this field are all working towards something good, whatever it may be. The people that I meet in this field, particularly my colleagues, inspire me every day. Their determination, hope for the world, and genuine kindness are beyond anything that I've ever seen. To be surrounded by such amazing individuals and to witness moments where someone's life is changed for the better because of your collective work, that is the best feeling in the world.
Education Preparation: I'm always incredibly grateful for my time spent at Arcadia. Studying abroad was one of the best learning experiences of my life and I'm very thankful to Arcadia for encouraging students to travel and adventure outside their comfort zone. I loved being part of the small and tight-knit community that is Arcadia. The friendships that I developed with my professors and fellow students increased my confidence and allowed me to step into the working world with strength, determination, and ambition. The strong support group that I developed at AU allows me to fearlessly move forward in my career, knowing that I have the best people to turn to if I ever need guidance.
Advice for Students: Study abroad! Cross cultural experiences can provide you with new skills and knowledge that is invaluable. Internships can also be hugely important in providing useful skills and office experience that will help prepare you for your first real job. Even if your major doesn't require an internship, do one anyways! You'll be happy you did.

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