It’s Not All About the Cookies: Alumna’s Career at Girl Scouts
If Erin Taylor, SPA/BA ’03, had to sum up her experiences at American University in one word, it would be “growth.”
Taylor’s successful career as a manager for Membership and Volunteerism at Girl Scouts of the USA and her volunteer role as the leader of the AU New York City alumni chapter demonstrate her continued commitment to personal, professional, and community development.
Taylor’s academic and co-curricular experiences at AU strongly influenced her decision to pursue a career at Girl Scouts. “AU’s commitment to public service ripples through everything I do,” she remarks. She was an active member of Girl Scouts as a child, so when she began exploring job opportunities in the nonprofit sector, the organization seemed like an ideal fit for her service goals and career aspirations.
Six years later, Taylor has assumed a number of responsibilities at Girl Scouts. She began working in the Washington, D.C., office as a field director, and later moved to the San Jose, California, office as a community development director. In these roles, she was extremely “proud of making Girl Scouting accessible to girls and adults within the communities that I served.”
Since 2006, Taylor has been working at the national office in New York City as an internal consultant and manager for Membership and Volunteerism. She collaborates with local and national staff to conceptualize national membership strategies; aligns business practices and infrastructure; pilots the approach, and implements it across the country. Her goal is to “influence and create sustainable change” through the organization, a process that she acknowledges takes time.
Taylor’s dedication to Girl Scouts has been praised by her peers. In 2005, she was awarded the Membership Bell prize for achieving the highest levels of membership growth in the Washington, D.C., region. In 2007, she received the Spot Award for successfully incorporating technology in the way that national and local offices collaborate.
In the future, Taylor hopes to “apply business thinking into organizations that impact the public.” To achieve her goals, she’s interested in attending a business program that “has a good management education but, like AU, has a strong commitment and understanding of public service.”
On a personal note, Taylor’s favorite Girl Scout cookies are Thin Mints and Samoas. But, she quickly adds, “it’s about the entrepreneurial skills that girls gain by selling cookies, not just the actual product!”