In recognition of National Volunteer Week, Tech Impact is spotlighting some of our amazing volunteers each day this week. The ITWorks and CXWorks volunteers are such an asset to these programs, and they make a huge impact on our students. Our programs would not be the same without them!
Nick Christine, who leads Community Engagement for the Microsoft store at Christiana Mall, has always been passionate about technology and giving back to his community – which led him to his current position at Microsoft in the first place. These passions have also continually brought him back to working with Tech Impact and ITWorks in a variety of different ways. He’s grateful to have the mutually beneficial partnership, and we feel the same!
Tech Impact: So, I know that you’ve been with Microsoft for a few years now. What led you to your current role?
Nick: I was previously a sales and events manager for a nonprofit. One of the things I really liked was giving back to the families that we served. When that ended, I knew I wanted to find a way to combine technology and community; that’s when I found Microsoft. It has been such a rewarding experience. One of our core values is community, and that permeates from our executive leadership all the way down to our retail associates. For me, it’s exciting to explore volunteer opportunities with my team and give back all together. For example, we’re getting ready to support a 5K race where we will have a game tent set-up for participants and attendees. So, we can give back in a way that aligns with our passion of technology. And that’s really what led me to Tech Impact as well.
Tech Impact: What a great company to be part of! So how did your involvement with Tech Impact get started? How have you found ways that we can work together?
N: We like to call Tech Impact our long-lost cousin because the work that you do is so closely related and parallel with our own goals. It started with a meeting with Executive Director, Pat Callihan, and eventually led to working with the Development team and ITWorks team to learn more about sponsoring events and volunteering with the workforce development program. Every associate at Tech Impact is not only extremely responsive, but super thoughtful which is something that I appreciate very much.
Tech Impact: It sounds like there are a lot of opportunities for symbiotic partnerships. Can you give an example or two?
N: One of the things I love most about working with Tech Impact is that your team truly understands nonprofits. Since Microsoft does a lot of philanthropy, we can work with Tech Impact team members who understand that these organizations don’t have deep pockets but can help to develop solutions and provide recommendations based on their needs. For example, we were recently working with Junior Achievement of Delaware who was putting together a technology roadmap for the next few years. Tech Impact’s Director of Client Solutions agreed to provide their assistance and walked their team through all the initial steps and the possible solutions. She wasn’t trying to sell them a platform or service. She was there to find the best possible way to address their needs. We operate in a similar fashion, so it’s cool to work together on these projects and help organizations in a way that suits them most.
Tech Impact: That is an amazing resource for nonprofit organizations. I bet they walked away with a great roadmap! What about the ITWorks program – how do you work with this program?
N: We’ve been able to bring the Delaware class to the Microsoft store for one of their Friday Sessions for a few years now. We aim to engage community members at the store as often as possible, so we love having these technology fanatics with us for a day. They get the opportunity to engage with other tech professionals and get their hands on some of the latest developments in the field. This current class was here just a few weeks ago, and I was so impressed! One of the parts that I love most about my job is witnessing the “ah ha moment” and I could see that in all their faces. I don’t think any of them expected to learn as much as they did that day, but they walked away with a lot of practical, tangible skills.
Tech Impact: I bet they love having the opportunity to test out some of Microsoft’s newest devices! Any other partnership opportunities in the works?
N: We always support Tech Impact’s annual luncheon, and we’ve been working on some technology workshops to bring to local high school students. I think our cohesive work will only continue to grow! We’re like family.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. To learn more about volunteering with Tech Impact, visit our Program pages.