Mendoza School of Business

Serving Boldly: Marisa Perino (MNA ’21) Shares Her Story

Published: January 8, 2021 / Author: Marisa Perino (MNA '21)



Notre Dame Master of Nonprofit Administration student Marisa Perino shares how a mission trip to Uganda sparked her service-oriented career goals. Read her story below:

September 3, 2020; (Photo by Matt Cashore/University of Notre Dame)

My passion for the nonprofit sector stems from my experiences working with the Holy Cross Missions in Uganda. As a Notre Dame undergraduate, I lived and conducted research in Uganda through grants from the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, which allowed me to explore my passion through working with international nonprofits.

When I returned, my career counselor suggested the Master of Nonprofit Administration program to complement my passion for nonprofits by introducing practical business skills.

I am committed to the nonprofit sector because it is the avenue that will help me make change through research. I have seen what nonprofits can do, such as the Holy Cross Mission Center’s work in East Africa, and I am passionate about being a part of the change they are creating.

My hope is that Notre Dame’s Master of Nonprofit Administration program will allow me to enter the international development sector and help me expand my research on economic development in Ugandan villages.

Since starting my Master of Nonprofit Administration, I have been able to tangibly connect concepts from my classes to my career interests. I can already see ties from topics in my management communications class to the way I communicate cross-culturally in my research and manage the projects I am trying to implement. Additionally, I am more confident as I anticipate budgets for future research due to the concepts I have learned in my Accounting for Nonprofits class.

Finally, the Catholic foundation of the MNA program emphasizes the universal moral values I strive to live by in my future nonprofit career. Choosing the MNA was the best decision I have made for my post-graduate path, and I know the program will open doors to the sector I aim to be in.


Learn more about the MNA program at Notre Dame:

Master of Nonprofit Administration


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