The desire for a career with a positive social impact encouraged Glenn Fernandez to transition from 25 years in a commercial industry to a new and rewarding role in social enterprise.
Glenn is currently studying Swinburne’s Graduate Certificate in Social Impact while working for SecondBite, a not-for-profit organisation. SecondBite rescue surplus fresh food from retailers and wholesalers and redistribute it to community food programs. The national operation is dependent on donations and grants as income.
“In preparing for this new chapter of my career, I felt I needed to expand my knowledge about the social enterprise sector, understand emerging issues and learn a ‘new language’ in order to engage effectively,” Glenn says.
“The Graduate Certificate in Social Impact has deepened my knowledge and understanding of social enterprise. It’s also given me professional credibility within the sector.”
Glenn is working on a pilot project for SecondBite which will create a new stream of revenue by establishing a social enterprise.
“What I really enjoy about this work is that it’s ground-breaking for SecondBite and I’m able to draw on my commercial experience, skills and network to achieve a positive social outcome.”
“My studies have contributed to a better understanding of various funding and social investment vehicles which can help to start up a social enterprise.”
Glenn says he appreciates the diversity of students in the course and the industries they come from. “It allows for some very interesting class discussions and good examples to draw on and learn from.
“I also enjoy the opportunity to interact with guest speakers within the sector who generously share their experiences with us.”
Glenn’s studies complement a portfolio of pro bono assignments he has undertaken in order to gain practical exposure of the social enterprise sector.
“If you’re planning on moving into the social enterprise sector I recommend skilled volunteering. I found this really enhances the learning experience and allows you to gain exposure to real situations.”