Adriana Stanovici (BS13) Discovers Power of SESP Practicum

Adriana Stanovici (BS13) Discovers Power of SESP Practicum

Adriana Stanovici


As a real-world experience during college, the SESP practicum has the power to help students test out career goals and build career networks. Those benefits played out in full force for learning and organizational change alumna Adriana Stanovici, whose career at the YMCA of the USA started with her junior-year practicum.

In the fall of 2012, Stanovici did her practicum with the YMCA of the USA in its international department. Now after several years in related positions, she was recently hired for a full-time job with the very same department.

“My practicum experience has come full circle,” says Stanovici. “That was the beginning of a series of events that led to the position I've recently accepted, which is not one I thought I would get for at least another five years!”  

In her new job, Stanovici will be a project coordinator for global initiatives at YMCA of the USA. While she will be based in Chicago, she will be supporting YMCAs across the country in building strong global communities both at home and abroad. 

Stanovici has a particular reason for wanting to work with the YMCA. She says, “As a first-generation Romanian-American immigrant, I identify with the work that the YMCA is doing to be inclusive of diverse populations in the communities we serve and to develop leaders with a global perspective. I have always had the drive to improve the society that we live in, and I believe that nonprofits like the YMCA play a crucial role in facilitating this change. This passion is what drew me to SESP as a student, where I gained the tools and the knowledge to make a positive impact.”

“The Y recognizes that we live in a society with rapidly changing demographics and that we need to be intentionally inclusive of the diversity we find in our communities. I’m beyond excited to become professionally involved in supporting this amazing work,” Stanovici adds.

The SESP practicum was the first time Stanovici was able to have “a very authentic experience” in the field that she had chosen, nonprofit management. “I was working full time in the industry I planned to enter after graduation, but I also had the support of SESP behind me. My peers and I had weekly seminars and assignments where we were able reflect upon our experience in a very thoughtful way and have not only the support of a professor, but also support from our peers. This experience validated the career path I had chosen and allowed me to put all the lessons I had learned from SESP classes into practice.”

After her practicum, which Stanovici describes as “a great experience where I met an amazing group of people,” she stayed in touch with these colleagues as she pursued a job at a YMCA in Logan Square. There she spearheaded a new health and wellness department. After a few years, she arranged her current nine-month international experience volunteering with the YMCA Panama to help strengthen community programs and the coordination of volunteers.

“The local, national, and international experiences I had with the YMCA started with my practicum in 2011 and will come full circle when I begin my role with the international group in May of 2016,” she says.

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 7/13/16