Leader Dogs for the Blind encourages nonprofit work


Elyse Gregory

Leader dogs are often brought to campus during finals weeks.

Amy Swanson, Staff Reporter

Does a job centered on dogs sound like a dream?

Monday, March 20 is a Leader Dogs for the Blind Immersion Excursion, where people can chat with Leader Dog experts and learn how their degrees can be used in the nonprofit sector. The event will run from 9-11 a.m.

Attendees are to arrive at Leader Dogs for the Blind in Rochester Hills no later than 8:45 a.m., checking in with Oakland University staff at the main entrance of the building.

The day will begin with a welcome, followed by a tour of the Canine Development Center. After a short break, there will be an information session at 10 a.m.

“Leader Dogs for the Blind empowers people who are blind, visually impaired or Deaf-Blind with skills for a lifetime of independent travel, opening doors that may seem to have closed with the loss of sight,” according to its website.

Founded in 1939, the nonprofit eventually began to provide all services free of charge to anyone in need, according to the website.

When hiring, Leader Dogs for the Blind looks for passionate people who share values with the organization.

“We place strong emphasis on people and the importance of cultivating an environment that encourages personal responsibility, doing what is right and teamwork,” its website says.

The nonprofit offers a number of internships in human resources, event planning, marketing, business analytics, marketing finance and philanthropy.

Ian Caullay, director of employer relations for OU’s School of Business Administration Career Services, said Career Services tries to engage employers from a variety of industries. He helped organize the excursion.

“I’m always talking to business leaders, companies and professionals interested in connecting with our students and building deeper relationships,” said Caullay, “This also includes overall engagement with the community, which is important for OU and Career Services.”

Career Services offers these “immersion excursions” in many industries. Students get the opportunity to go off campus and learn from business leaders. This specific event will expose attendees to a long-standing, local nonprofit.

“To me, it’s all about learning what’s out there and what might spark an interest in a student, from freshmen to seniors,” Caullay said. “The hope is that a number of students would come away from an event like this feeling more informed and empowered about the many possible career paths going forward.”

While the event is geared toward business and College of Arts and Sciences students, anyone is welcome to attend.

“Every business student (not unlike every OU student) is unique,” said Academic Adviser Meaghan Cole. “Not all want to work for the private or public sectors upon graduation.”

She mentioned many of her students desire to work in the nonprofit arena.

“If any of my students can expand their knowledge or enhance their connections with peers, OU staff or LDFTB employees, I feel this event is worthwhile,” Cole said. “I am excited to tour and learn from the employees of Leader Dogs for the Blind, as this will bring the organization to life in my students’ eyes.”

Attendees are responsible for their own transportation.

Leader Dogs for the Blind is located at 1039 S. Rochester Road, Rochester Hills. It is best to enter off of Avon Road.

Spots are limited. Visit Handshake to register and learn more.