Sabine Schuller is a Senior Research Specialist at Rotary International, and has been a YNPN Chicago member for three years. We asked her a few questions about her nonprofit career.
How did you first become interested in a nonprofit career?
The last time I was job seeking, I connected with the proverbial cousin of a friend whose brother used to be neighbors with someone who worked at Rotary. Rotary is a nonprofit association of global community leaders who volunteer to work together for the common good. The informational interview went so well, my contact asked if I’d be interested in applying for an open position there. And the rest, as they say, is history. Since that day, I found a good fit at Rotary using my drive to connect people and information. I’ve had three jobs there so far – supporting Rotary’s signature project, the Polio Eradication Program, coaching global grant seekers as a program officer, and connecting frontline fundraisers to Rotary’s best supporters.
Who is your professional mentor and why?
While I don’t have formal mentors, two of my colleagues at Rotary give me excellent advice on tricky work questions:
Colette Martin-Wilde, our Strategy Development and Change Partner, has a wealth of knowledge about strategy and an amazing way with words. She’s helped me prepare for discussions about very complex issues with managers, making it easier for us to navigate and decide on those questions together.
Catherine Hutchins, our Development Coordinator Supervisor, is also a great wordsmith. Every time she edits one of my blog posts on international donor research, it sounds ten times better. She’s also an amazing supervisor – she’s overjoyed when the staff she has carefully mentored move up and out to positions with more responsibility.
In your opinion, what is the most pressing issue facing the nonprofit and social impact sector in Chicago?
If I could fix any issue in Chicago, I’d bridge political differences in Illinois’ capital. I’d bring everyone’s best ideas and values together to create a common vision protecting the most vulnerable. That consensus would make it easier to create and approve a state budget to fuel nonprofits and their work.
What is your favorite thing to do outside of work?
Grow my Spanish language ability. I’m a huge fan of the Chicago International Film Festival and the Chicago Latino Film Festival. I’m also a long-time member of the Instituto Cervantes’ Spanish language monthly book club.
If you could travel to one place in the world, where would you choose?
If money and time were no object, I would go to Bhutan, nestled deep in the Himalayas between Tibet and India. It’s not the easiest to visit – the kingdom limits visitors to protect their country’s environment and culture – but the photos I’ve seen look amazing.
Member Spotlight is a recurring series that recognizes YNPN Chicago’s dedicated and accomplished membership. If you would like to nominate someone to be featured, please email firstname.lastname@example.org using the subject line “Member Spotlight.”