Marketing is not immediately associated to the nonprofit sector, but marketers have a range of skills that can be used to make a difference!

Dharshanaa Murugan is a second year Marketing and Management student at Newcastle University and is one of the volunteers that helped create the NABIO shop. Unlike most marketing students, she wants to use her education to make a difference in the nonprofit sector.

She has embraced all aspects of getting the shop up and running. From writing an interview with vegan blogger Megan, selling baskets at Newcastle Quayside, and raising money by flying across the Tyne river in a zip-wire.

Promoting a homeless street artist

Volunteering is one of the best ways to gain experience and skills, and Dharshanaa has already got a wide range of charity experiences under her belt. One of the things she remembers is when she contributed to create publicity for a homeless artist painting on the walls of the local streets.

They needed to raise awareness to help them secure a building for the artists to stay. We planned and carried out an event to make the locals aware of the charity. I greatly enjoyed working as part of the project as it allowed me to be creative and work to help house people that needed it. I had an opportunity to paint with the artist’s and interact with the locals through art. It was such a great experience, and I instantly knew that I wanted to continue working with charities.

(Some of Dharshanaas previous volunteering experiences)

Business skills in the charity sector

Dharshanaa has always known she wanted to take a degree at the business school. She chose to study Marketing and Management to build a versatile and applicable skill set.

She is still unsure of the type of role she would like after graduating, but is certain that she wants to work in the third sector:

I want to do hands-on work that help people who need it, in various countries. I think I will initially look into marketing roles in the charity sector. I am very passionate about working with charities that help third world countries and people living in poverty. I believe everyone should not be at a disadvantage based on factors beyond their control and that they should be given the same access us others in developed countries.

In her Marketing and Management degree, she have learned plenty of skills that she can use in the nonprofit sector:

I have learned the importance of ethical marketing and how the corporate sectors can incorporate ethical objectives as part of their organisational activities. Learning about consumer behaviour has allowed me to understand what draws people’s attention and how people react to different stimuli. I believe this will help me better communicate with the community and raise awareness of a charity or a particular cause through ethical marketing.

(Dharshanaa in Newcastle Upon Tyne where she is studying Marketing and Management)

Volunteering for NABIO

When Dharshanaa heard about NABIO in a University lecture, she instantly knew she wanted to be involved.

When Andrea said she was looking for volunteers for the NABIO basket project, I just knew that I wanted to be on board as it sounded perfect for the kind of work I wanted to get into. I have always loved volunteering, I aim to always positively influence the lives of others and hoped to go into the charity sector once I graduate.  I felt it allowed me to gain experience in the sector I wanted to work in, had relevance to my degree and allowed me to help with a great cause.

One of the things Dharshaana contributes with was  partnering up with vegan blogger Megan. She wrote a feature article on her thoughts about the vegan lifestyle and eco-friendly products.

(Dharshanaa Murugan, second from the left, taking a zip-wire for NABIO)

Heading to India in the summer

On top of balancing her studies, volunteering, hobbies and friends, Dharshanaa has also taken on a summer internship. She will spend the next summer in India working for the Bharati Foundation.

I wanted to be involved in a hands-on work where I can develop my skills and learn more about charities in different countries. It is an exciting opportunity that allows me to apply theoretical knowledge I’ve learnt as part of my degree to a field that I am interested in. I hope this internship will help me gain more experience in the charity sector and hopefully give me a better idea of what I want to do after I graduate.

We are really happy to have had Dharshanaa volunteer at NABIO, and want to wish her all the best as she goes to India this summer!