Celebrating Endeavour’s 15-year anniversary with Derrick An June 29th, 2022
This year Endeavour celebrates its 15-year anniversary as a Canadian Non-profit. To showcase the impact that Endeavour has had over the years, we’re asking some of our volunteers, clients, and champions to share about their experiences at Endeavour. Since Endeavour is a volunteer-led organization looking to create social change by supporting other non-profits, who better to reflect on Endeavour’s impact than individuals who have witnessed and been involved with Endeavour’s mission first-hand.
Next up in this series is Derrick An, a volunteer consultant in Endeavour’s 17th consulting round. Read on for Derrick’s thoughts on Endeavour’s overall impact.
- What did you learn about yourself by being an Endeavour volunteer?
I learned that my experience and voice have value. When I was matched with a project and team, I was still at very early stages of my career. I found myself quiet at the beginning of the engagement. Being placed on a team of MBA candidates and graduates, who had all been trained to do consulting work, was very intimidating. Throughout the course of the engagement, I learned each of us had a very different skill set and together, we formed a strong portfolio of experience that we applied to our work with the client. I was drawing upon work experience in non-profit and charity work and knowledge of starting my own business. The team was very welcoming and provided the space for my ideas. By the end of the project, I had found my footing and my ideas found their way into the final pitch and report. Overall, it was an incredibly formative experience for me.
- How did your Endeavour volunteer experience change or influence the trajectory of your professional career?
I take the consultation process and the client approach I learned through my engagement with me in every place I work. In many ways, Endeavour provided a foundation that enabled me to navigate a number of different professional spaces including political work, technical implementations and government funded projects. While some people learn these ways of working formally through education, I can pinpoint my learning through specifically my Endeavour engagement.
When I began to develop my own business, I embedded a lot of what I learned with Endeavour into the way I wanted clients to feel supported through a project. I also have found many applications for the consulting skills I learned in my day-time career, including project set up, navigating complex meetings and negotiating value and space in final reports. These are true transferable skills that have stuck with me for almost a decade now.
- In your own words, what makes Endeavour’s mission and vision special? What good has it contributed?
Resource strapped non-profits have little capacity to work on anything beyond fulfilling their mandate and mission. Often, this means focusing on providing core services to the people they serve, who often who experience great barriers themselves. As a result, there’s often very little capacity to take on strategic work to improve these services. Endeavour volunteers bring their in-field expertise and compliment the capacity of the non-profit’s team at no cost. There’s real collaboration to drive the client’s transformation to align their processes and ways of operating closer to their vision and mission. The outcome is incredibly positive and insightful for everyone involved – growth in the most authentic way for both the non-profit and consultation team members.