Impacting Communities as a New Sector Resident in Social Enterprise (RISE) Fellow

Jun 13, 2017
New Sector RISE Fellow Parthu Kalva
New Sector RISE Fellow Parthu Kalva

The New Sector Residency in Social Enterprise (RISE) is an 11-month professional development fellowship for emerging community leaders. RISE Fellows, who typically have up to 5 years of professional experience, are matched with full-time jobs in the social sector. Here, they receive monthly trainings on topics such as project management, nonprofit finance and interview skills. Additionally, fellows benefit from individual mentorship and career coaching from professionals, as well as their peer groups.

We spoke to current RISE Fellow Parthu Kalva about his experience working at the Reset Foundation in Northern California.

1. What inspired you to apply for the RISE Fellowship? 

I sought to deepen my understanding of social enterprise as a sustainable, community-based means of influencing economic and social growth. Through applying to the RISE fellowship, I was looking to build my exposure by working in formal, social sector settings while actively promoting skill-building, mentorship, and effective networking. In addition, by utilizing the resources provided to me by the RISE Fellowship, I hoped to strengthen my credentials to work in the social sector in the future. I looked forward to the opportunity to connect with workshop speakers, many of whom were forerunners in their fields, including entrepreneurship, data visualization, branding, and more.

I anticipated that the training portion of the fellowship would help me develop essential skills such as non-profit management and finance through workshops. For example, during the marketing workshop, a faculty of Stanford Business school gave a seminar on personal and professional branding. During another workshop, we attended a special seminar at Google about the role of social enterprise in the private sector. In addition, I planned on seeking mentorship and developing a career roadmap that built off my strengths and the opportunities presented through my host site. Finally, I hoped to leverage peer learning within the cohort to build inspiring ideas and even the development of new social enterprises.

2. What have you enjoyed most about your fellowship so far?

I work as a Data and Evaluation Coordinator at the Reset Foundation, an alternative-to-prison, residential program that provides education, employment and housing opportunities for convicted youth aged 18-24. Many of the students come from economically difficult backgrounds, a polar opposite to the privileged setting I grew up in. Working closely with these students has allowed me to develop mentoring relationships with individuals with vastly different experiences and perspectives from my own. Working in data and evaluation, we sometimes forget that the communities we serve are more than a collection of statistics. Nevertheless, the most rewarding part of my role at Reset was developing relationships and trust with the students. Due to that opportunity, I’ve grown much as a person and a professional in the past 10 months.

3. What tips would you give others applying to the RISE Fellowship?

In your application, emphasize the experiences that have influenced your desire to become a RISE fellow. What can you specifically bring to the RISE program? The application looks for answers as to how you can specifically contribute as a RISE fellow. Leadership experience, domestic or global field experience, and a diverse set of references all contribute to a successful application. What will you do to increase the feeling of community among your fellows? How accountable will you be in following up on program outcomes? In addition to this, be sure to craft yourself as a holistic person in your application by sharing your long-term interests and hobbies.

Interested in applying? Bookmark the New Sector Residency in Social Enterprise to your ProFellow account.

Parthu Kalva is a New Sector fellow in San Francisco, who works as a Data and Evaluation Coordinator at the Reset Foundation. He is a UCSD graduate in public health and global health, and his interests include global health, international development, and food security. He will be attending a Master’s program at the Tufts Friedman school for Nutrition Policy in the fall.

© Victoria Johnson 2017, all rights reserved.