Interviews

Sabrina Viva. Director of Account Management & Latin America Initiatives. Realized Worth.

If you are in the midst of deciding if you want a career change, volunteering is a great way to help you make this decision. You can dip your toes in to see what roles suit you and, as Sabrina Viva shows, it could also land you the next career that you want. After volunteering for Realized Worth, an organization that works with companies to motivate employees to participate in volunteering and giving programs, she moved into a different sector to help causes.

Sabrina’s pulse on workplace giving programs and volunteering will give you great insight into what is to come in the sector.

What does your job entail and what does a typical day look like?

As the Director of Account Management & Latin America Initiatives, my day to day role can be quite varied. I oversee several clients and ensuring company growth. Part of this is to look after all of our Latin America initiatives and partnerships. Currently, we are developing a Collaborative Consulting program for small to medium size businesses and we continue to keep our finger on the pulse through our networks, conferences and partnerships throughout the region.

My role can also consist of working on research studies, for example we are currently working with the Government of Canada on a white paper that will be released in mid- April.

I am also a contributor for Realized Worth’s blogs and vlogs with content in Spanish.

Can you briefly describe your career path and how you got your current job? 

After graduation, I took a role in volunteer management at a local hospital to facilitate the program that had over 500 volunteers. Over the course of the ten years at this job I was able to build on multiple skills such as event planning and fundraising. At the same time I was a paid consultant working with several non-profits in Toronto while also volunteering both locally and internally.

Once I had my first child, while on maternity leave I was looking to continue volunteering and expand my skill set. I had read an article by the two founders of Realized Worth on corporate volunteering and emailed them to see if I could help out in anyway. I spent a few months volunteering with them and then took a part-time position with them. At the same time a part-time paid contract came up for one of my other volunteer positions.

This was a big transition to go from a large organization that is 9-5 to a small start-up, but now I would never go back.

What’s the coolest part about your job and what’s the biggest challenge?

The dynamic of being in a small team is very rewarding. You work together closely on projects and can see direct results which provides a great sense of achievement. However, this also means that people are relying on you and you always need to bring your A-Game.

It is important for us as a company at Realized Worth to be recognized as a thought leader. With the plethora of global information available it takes time to be able to continually see what is cutting edge, what is the next trend and trying to curate all the information.

I love to travel and this job has me all over the world. Other perks are certainly being able to work from home and having flexible hours.

What advice would you give to a job seeker looking for meaningful work?

You need to go after your next job actively.  You need to be out there networking at conferences and creating your personal brand on Social Media. Your LinkedIn account is a great way to show yourself as a thought leader and increasingly people are approached for jobs through this avenue.

What can you identify as the biggest opportunity and hurdle in your sector right now?

It is an exciting time because a lot of great conversations are happening around the world. Realized Worth is proud to be part a part of the groundwork of IMPACT2030 which “is the only business led effort designed to marshal the power of human capital investments to address the Global Goals (SDGs) – and the first time that companies will unite their corporate volunteering efforts to address the UN Development Agenda through collaboration.”

However, not everyone sees the value of these programs so measurement needs to continue. Measurement can be tricky but as further data is gathered, it will grow the understanding of why it matters and the benefits to a company. Organizations will start to have internal drivers allowing for a space where more volunteering will occur.

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