Where Are They Now: Brenna Doyle '16

February 24, 2017

Brenna Doyle

Gender/Cultural Studies and MS in Management graduate, Brenna Doyle '16 talks about her new role as the as the Operations Coordinator for NARAL Pro-Choice in Connecticut.

What did you study at the Simmons School of Management?

I was a student in the nonprofit management concentration and received my MSM.

What was the job search like for you?

The search was tough, particularly since it included a move to Connecticut from Massachusetts. It involved a lot of networking and just being willing to put myself out there and ask for help from people. That always feels tough to do but I had to remind myself that the worst they could say was "no" and almost no one said no. Nearly everyone I reached out to was willing to talk with me, even if just for a few minutes. What ended up getting me a job was finding an organization doing work I was passionate about, and volunteering. Then I showed up as a volunteer every day, and was very vocal about the fact that I was on the job market. For me, the job search process was a combination of networking, persistence, hard work, and a healthy dose of right-place-right-time.

What is a typical day like in your role as a Operations Coordinator at NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut?

What are your main roles in your new job? My nonprofit has a staff of two (myself included) so the day to day can be very "what needs to be done now? Okay, I'll do it." In general, I manage our interns and volunteers, handle our donor database and fundraising plans, coordinate with our contacts in the legislature to collaborate on reproductive rights policy, and assist with our organizational communication strategy.

How did you know that NARAL Pro-Choice CT was the right fit for you for the start of your career?

I've actually been working for quite a few years, during my graduate students and before, but I would say that I've now started the next phase of my career. I knew that NARAL CT was the right fit for me since the organization is focused on social justice and pushing for reproductive rights. It's a small organization, that is working on growing responsibly, which appeals to me at this stage in my career. I'm passionate about what the organization is doing and I believe in its mission, which are crucial factors when working in the nonprofit field.

What is the best part of your experience thus far?

Learning more about public policy and the inner workings of the local political system. I've really enjoyed sitting in on hearings, and getting the chance to give public testimony, and getting to see all of the ins-and-outs of the legislative process here in the state.

As a recent alum and new employee, what do you look forward to most in your career?

I'm excited to just see where my career takes me. I love nonprofit work and I know that I will do it for as long as I work in my life. The collaborate potential of the nonprofit sector is incredible and I've already gotten the chance to work with some amazing people and organizations. I'm looking forward to continuing this collaborate work in the social justice field.

How did Simmons help prepare you for your career?

I received my MA in Gender and Cultural Studies and then my MSM in nonprofit management. The combination of the two gave me the theoretical framework and practical skill set (plus the marketability) to drive me into my field in a more substantial way.

What advice would you give to the current Simmons students?

The workday is long, and your career will be long. You will spend more time at work than at home most weeks. Find something you care about, and do it. And ask for help if you need it. So many people will bend over backwards to help you succeed if you are willing to ask. It's going to feel awkward and embarrassing at first, but keep asking, and be sure to thank everyone who says yes. And then when you are in the position where someone asked for your help or advice, be sure to say yes.