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my pace


Career Preparation

Applying Classroom Studies to Community Service

Jason Gonzalez '14
Political Science, BA
Dyson College of Arts and Sciences
NYC Campus

From book drives and donor stewardship to yearbooks and research, Jason Gonzalez ’14 has done it all. The political science major and nonprofit studies, business management, and peace and justice studies triple minor has spent the last four years at Pace applying his classroom studies to community service.

With a handful of internships and professional experiences under his belt, Gonzalez was recently presented the Career Services Award for his personal achievements, contributions to his employers, personal and professional growth, leadership development, and academics, as well as the 2014 Community Service Award for his contributions to the life of the University Community and to the endeavors of neighbors in the surrounding community.

“Being an intern while a student means having the freedom to feel secure enough to take professional risks and to explore sectors that you might not have considered as a full-time career choice post-graduation,” he says of his many internships.

While his experience is vast, Gonzalez set the tone for his future even before arriving at Pace. He volunteered as an administrative assistant and Youth Leadership Council board member at Angels’ Place, an organization that provides homes and services to persons with developmental disabilities in
Southeast Michigan. Maintaining his connection to the organization as a Pace student, Gonzalez saw his responsibilities grow when he became a development department intern in 2010. He supported the director of development by conceptualizing and designing promotional materials in this new role.

His experience at Angels’ Place was a springboard for a plethora of other opportunities to take advantage of, both on- and off-campus. Gonzalez interned at Books for Kids Foundation, which later turned into a part-time position as a development and library operations assistant, as well as Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) as a foundations and corporate relations intern at the New York headquarters, MSF-USA.

“The connections I have made as an intern have allowed me to build bridges between Pace University’s community and very experienced professionals,” he says. In fact, Gonzalez helped bring experienced professionals right to Pace as a guest lecturer facilitator. He arranged for the MSF-USA Director of Field Human Resources to speak with a Humanitarian and International Aid course, and for the former MSF-USA Director of Finance to serve on a panel focusing on careers in finance, during his senior year.

Beyond supporting humanitarian efforts, Gonzalez also put his business skills to work at Legend Yearbook, where he worked his way up from assistant editor to editor-in-chief. He successfully raised yearbook sales 200% and increased revenue—business skills he strengthened through his fundraising work at MSF. “I gained invaluable experience supporting prospecting, solicitation, and stewarding of foundation and corporate donors who give grants of $5,000+,” he says. “These transferrable skills have strengthened my application to future competitive internships.”

While Gonzalez has been busy with internships and other professional experiences, he still finds time to participate in various organizations on campus such as the Rotaract Club, Peace and Justice Student Association, and Legend Yearbook. He has earned a Distinguished Delegate award as a representative of Argentina at the National United Nations Conference in Washington, DC, and has earned an Outstanding Success award for his role in planning the Collegiate American Marketing Association’s Annual Northeast Regional Conference through the Pace University Marketing Association (PUMA).

He also participated in two competitive Undergraduate Student-Faculty Research Programs during his senior year. His most recently funded research project assessed medical students’ perceptions and comfort levels toward persons with autism spectrum disorder, alongside Communication Sciences and Disorders Professor Dianne Zager, PhD. “Since this study commenced, Dr. Zager has kept me informed and has taught me so much about the publishing and authoring process,” he says.

Gonzalez also served as development assistant for the Helene and Grant Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship, which promotes social change through entrepreneurship—by serving students and non-profit organizations with education, research, communication, and advisory service.

At the end of the day, Gonzalez says that participating in these many opportunities is what has helped him shape his professional interests. “My experiences have enhanced my career development and goals by enabling me to expose my curiosity and explore the nonprofit sector to develop my interest in nonprofit fundraising.”

Alumni Profile


“Being an intern while a student means having the freedom to feel secure enough to take professional risks and to explore sectors that you might not have considered as a full-time career choice post-graduation.”