By Connor LaGrange
Profiling the day in the life of Connor LaGrange, a first-year master’s student at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Learn about his busy “average” day, and why he chose to study philanthropy.
I applied to this school because I saw philanthropy as a way to be a part of conversations with people I never would have been able to. It also had no definable ceiling. If I would have continued pursuing communication studies and teaching at IUPUI, there were pretty definable end results. The school can offer opportunities I have not even thought about yet.
Lastly, as Pamela Clark puts it, “Everyone here is a save the whales type person. But everyone has different whales they are trying to save. Here, you get to meet people who love the same whales you do.” This school gives me a chance to find what I am passionate about, then team up with people who have the same goals and aspirations as I do.
6:00 a.m. – Bright and early wake up, work out, potentially eat food (mostly not, I forget to eat most of the time)
8:00 a.m. – Head out for work in Broad Ripple. I work in a fellowship with Derrick Feldmann, a master’s degree alumnus of the school and the managing director of INFLUENCE|SG.
8:15 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. – Work, work, work. This on a daily basis can consist of a myriad different things. Some days I may spend a few hours building websites, other days I may spend building decks for presentations for our clients. Some days I spend the day in downtown Indy collecting data for clients, some days I research on the computer all day regarding certain campaigns and movements around the world and how they can better partner with one another. Sometimes I get to build Spotify playlists for conferences.
We also attend conferences across the country, bringing together people and movements. I’ve worked at conferences in New York and Los Angeles, and I enjoy the opportunity to network with people. I like seeing what causes pique their interest and how individuals fundraise.
I applied to the school late, but Pamela Clark was able to find this fellowship for me.
As far as learning, it has been an absolute whirlwind. Derrick and INFLUENCE|SG run at 100 mph all the time. I have had to learn website design, qualitative and quantitative research methods and many other things I have zero knowledge or experience with (YouTube is a huge help). What’s truly been the most interesting aspect of the fellowship is seeing how foundations work alongside for-profits and nonprofits. For instance, we are a for-profit company, but we receive grants from foundations. I had no clue that was even possible. Many times I’ve had to push myself and extend my comfort zone in order to include new perspectives.
5:30 p.m. – Drive as fast as I can from Broad Ripple down to campus in order to make it to class at 6 🙂
6:00-9:00 p.m. – Class
Currently, I am enrolled in: Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector with Dr. Dwight Burlingame, Ethics with Dr. Richard Gunderman, and Civil Society in Comparative perspective with Dr. Catherine Herrold. I love Dr. Gunderman’s class. It’s one of the best classes I have had, period. He allows deep discussion and conversation about ethics, life and the true reasons and motivations for how and why we give. I also enjoy this class because it helps improve my clarity on certain decisions I may have to make.
9:00 p.m. – Head home and cook some dinner!
9:30 p.m. – Begin finishing whatever reading or work I wasn’t able to complete during the day. Probably watching several episodes of the Office while I “work.”
11:30 p.m. – Off to bed/lay there thinking about all of the things I forgot to do during the day!
6:00 a.m. – Start it all over again 🙂
In my heart, I want to do something around the idea of holistic care. I think there are a lot of organizations who combat problems really well. Many do steps 1-3 great and others do 6-8 well. I see spaces where those organizations can partner together and do all the steps well. For instance, I like to say homeless organizations fight over the same homeless person, which makes sense for the bottom line and for funding. But why compete when groups share the same end goal?