Mona Lipson (WAG '12)
Director of Strategic Advancement & Corporate Citizenship at the Voss Foundation

What that means:
The Voss Foundation is an independent 501(c)3 that was started about 9 years ago by a former CEO of Voss Water. He went on a trip to Africa with his family and , when he saw the dire need there, thought, “I own a water company.” Our mission is to fund water hygiene and sanitation projects in sub-Saharan Africa. We’re partly funded by Voss water, but we’re actually a public non-profit so we do other fundraising as well. My background is in corporate partnerships—before this I worked for the Girl Scouts, where I was working on partnerships with companies like Google, and AT&T, and MetLife. I now handle the relationship with Voss water as well as other corporate partnerships and other fundraising initiatives—basically, all the money coming in.

Most rewarding part of the job:
Getting to meet members of the communities where we fund these projects! For example, back in May, we had three girls who were 9 or 10 years old visit New York from one of the schools where we funded a water sanitation project.

Best part of studying at NYU:
The people I met. In Wagner classes you’re surrounded by people who are passionate about similar things. Everyone is working to make an impact, and so it’s inspiring to be reminded all the time of all the amazing things people are doing.

What I never would have expected, back when I was in school:
It’s a total surprise that I’m now working with numbers and dealing with money every day! At NYU, the last required class I wanted to take was financial management because I was so afraid of numbers. But then it ended up being my favorite required class, and I was sad I’d waited so long.

Advice for current students contemplating a similar career:
Network. Talk to as many people as possible and make the effort to stay in touch. It can be exhausting—almost like a second job—but the people around you are going to open doors for you and provide you with ideas you wouldn't have had otherwise.

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