Setting Clear Intentions: Maddy Abulencia’s Job Search Success Story

Maddy Abulencia knew she wanted to build a career in the nonprofit world. Setting clear intentions for her job search helped Maddy to discover a job opportunity that aligned with her career goals, instead of settling for a job that was unfulfilling. Learn how Maddy stayed positive, reached out to her network, and selectively applied for new jobs to uncover the right opportunity at the right time.

What do you do for a career? Who do you work for?

I work for OHSU Foundation where I have the privilege of raising philanthropic support to make discoveries faster, save more lives, and transform healthcare. I started as an Assistant Director of Development but am now a Director of Development.

How long did it take you to find this job?

I knew I was ready to take the next step in my fundraising career so I was intentional about my job search.  I had been periodically checking Mac’s List for about two months before the Assistant Director of Development position was posted, which I knew would be the right next career step for me.  

How did you find your job? What resources did you use? What tool or tactic helped the most?

Mac’s List helped me find my job!  When I came across the job posting, I reached out to someone who I knew worked at the organization to gain a better understanding of the position, team, and work environment.  It was only after that talk did I decide to apply for the position.  

I also used Willamette Valley Development Officers — another local job board that serves the nonprofit community.  

What was the most difficult part of your job search? How did you overcome this challenge?

Even though I knew I wanted to be intentional about my job search, it was hard to resist whenever I saw something interesting on Mac’s List — but didn’t quite align with my career goals.  There was always a sprinkling of nonprofit job openings but I didn’t want to apply to every opening just because I could. I had to constantly remind myself of what I wanted and needed to grow my career.

What is the single best piece of advice you would offer other job-seekers?

Stay positive.

Why do you love your job?

I love what I do!  My job allows me to help people accomplish what they didn’t think was possible and it challenges me to grow every day.  It also helps to have a supportive work environment, wonderful colleagues, and leadership committed to inspiring us to be the best that we can be.