Blackbaud Newsroom

Blackbaud Partners with Braven to Equip First-Generation College Students with Interviewing Skills

Job interviews can be scary, but a little preparation goes a long way. Recently, employees at Blackbaud stepped up to help diverse college students practice their interviewing skills and sharpen their resumes as they prepare to enter the job market this year.  

For this virtual volunteering activity, Blackbaud partnered with Braven, a nonprofit that empowers first-generation, underrepresented college students towards college graduation and a strong first job. Over the course of a couple of hours, Blackbaud employees were matched with Braven Fellows to review their resumes and conduct two-to-three mock interviews tailored to the specific interests of each Fellow.  

Fellows had the opportunity to ask questions about their career paths and make valuable connections. “Interviewing with the professionals from Blackbaud was both exciting and challenging,” said Juan Ariza, Braven Fellow, Fall 2020. “It gave me a very real insight on what it means to apply to opportunities in the tech field. I very much appreciate the opportunity!”  

Braven Fellows

Photo of Braven Fellows, courtesy of Braven; Photo taken pre-COVID-19 


In addition to helping diverse college students hone their interviewing skills and land competitive jobs, Blackbaud employees were able to build their own interviewing skills. “I loved this! In addition to meeting the impressive Fellows, I liked having a way to volunteer with the rest of the team,” said Stacy Rooney, strategic consultant at Blackbaud. 

Volunteers learned a lot from the Braven Fellows and left feeling inspired by the Fellows’ accomplishments and dreams. “This was so much fun! I loved seeing the future for these wonderful Fellows,” shared Melissa Rancour, instructional designer at Blackbaud. 

Before the pandemic, only 30% of the 1.3 million low-income or first-generation college students who enrolled each year graduated and secured a strong first job or entered graduate school. At the same time, companies struggle to hire and retain local, diverse talent.  

Blackbaud is proud to partner with Braven to help close this talent gap and equip underrepresented young people with the skills, network and experiences they need to succeed professionally.