Alumni in Action
“I see education as the gateway to our opportunities in life.”
Nancy Que - 2007 Los Angeles
Spotlight on Nancy Que
After college, I worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers doing organizational restructuring consulting for telecom companies. It was the height of the telecom bust, the work was really engaging and the learning opportunities were significant. However, the number and depth of large engagements petered out, so I moved into process improvement consulting at Countrywide.
Overall, I enjoyed my consulting experience; I developed useful skills and interacted with a broad range of clients. However, I did not find the industries (telecom and mortgage banking) particularly interesting or inspiring. I saw business school as a great way to transition into a new industry while picking up the skills, network, and knowledge to further develop my career. I knew that I wanted to work in the nonprofit sector, but I was unsure of the specific field. Education, women's issues, and youth were all of interest, but within my first semester it became clear that education was where I wanted to focus my efforts.
I see education as the gateway to our opportunities in life.
My good friend Jackie Pohl, who I met in business school, first introduced me to Education Pioneers. She told me about the program during our first year, but I didn't apply because there was not a Los Angeles program in place yet. Luckily for me, Education Pioneers established a Los Angeles fellowship the summer following my graduation, and Jackie encouraged me to participate as a way to build my network and explore job opportunities after graduation.
The placement at Broad was a great match. Coming from a for-profit background, I found the corporate, structured tone of the foundation very familiar. In addition, I had access to the grantee portfolio, which included the most prominent education organizations in the Los Angeles area. I worked for Dan Katzir, Managing Director at the foundation, and interacted with a number of passionate, extremely smart individuals, many who had also first started in the for-profit sector.
My original post-graduation plan was to find a finance/operations position at a CMO where I could feel close to the work in the field. I came into the internship with the impression that foundation work would be too insulated from the people and organizations who were leading the charge. But I came to realize that Broad's grant-making philosophy is extremely collaborative and interactive. The Broad Foundation acts as a thought partner with its grantees, offering counsel and connecting people in addition to providing financial assistance. I ultimately accepted a full-time position managing The Broad Prize for Urban Education.
The Broad Prize is an annual $2 million award that recognizes the urban school districts that demonstrate the greatest overall performance and improvement in student achievement while reducing achievement gaps between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged students. Now in its seventh year, the Prize has become such a prestigious honor that some districts prioritize winning the Prize in their annual goals.
I am thrilled to see educators from other districts seek out Broad Prize winners and finalists to learn and implement best practices.
I believe that our philosophy of showcasing the good work that we see and making robust student achievement information readily available to the public creates an impact felt beyond the Broad Prize itself.