Mariel Branagan

Mariel Branagan

Deputy Program Manager


National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA)

Washington, D.C. USA


Get involved in as many ways as you can...what can you do to help?

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Videos

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Mariel Branagan

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InterviewThe Interview
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Classes To Take If You Are Interested In AdvocacyWeb Exclusive
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Day In The Life Of A Nonprofit Program ManagerWeb Exclusive
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Getting A Job Is A ChallengeWeb Exclusive
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“Negative” Personality Traits That I Turned Into PositivesWeb Exclusive
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How To Get Involved In AdvocacyInterview Excerpt
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My Career PathInterview Excerpt
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Definition Of SuccessInterview Excerpt
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Milestones

Milestones

My road in life has been direct.
In high school, she watched a lot of Law & Order: SVU—admits she was inspired to pursue her career because of the character, Dr. Huang.
Attended Old Dominion University where she received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and criminal justice.
Took a gap year before going to graduate school and volunteered for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, where she worked as a referral specialist.
She then went on to attend Marymount University where she received her master’s degree in forensic and legal psychology.
In order to satisfy the requirements for her graduate degree, she interned at Friends of Guest House, a nonprofit dedicated to helping women re-enter the community after incarceration.
After her internship was over, she managed to secure a full-time position working there as a Program Coordinator.
While there, she helped start up their workforce development program, which helped women find employment after being incarcerated.
She is now the Deputy Program Manager for the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA), which helps credential military sexual assault victim advocates.
Keep following my journey
Education

Education

highschool
High School
undergrad
Bachelor
Psychology, General
Old Dominion University
undergrad
Bachelor
Criminal Justice/Safety Studies
Old Dominion University
graduate
Graduate
Forensic Psychology
Marymount University
Career

Career

Deputy Program Manager

I direct efforts to credential around 12,000 military sexual assault victim advocates a year.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Non-Profit Organizations
Non-Profit Organizations
Government
Government
Helping People
Helping People

Day to Day

My job is to help execute the congressionally mandated program for victim assistance in the military. In order for people in the military to be victim advocates or sexual assault response coordinators, they need to be credentialed. My job is to ensure that anyone who wants to work in that area gets the credentials that they need and have completed all of the training necessary. I receive and assist in processing applications and do any follow up necessary for applicants who need guidance.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

Be familiar with a variety of social service and social justice issues. Be motivated to engage with your community (or the community you want to work in) and be willing to advocate for ways to make it better. Interpersonal communication is huge.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

Get more involved early on. Volunteer or intern (paid or unpaid), the experience you get is invaluable. This is how you make connections and get opportunities that would be of interest to you.

Hurdles

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"Nonprofits are challenging. I don't want to be here anymore."

Things started happening at my first nonprofit job that made me realize that I didn't want to be there anymore. I had to realize that it wasn't nonprofits as an industry that were wrong for me, it was just that particular one. I quit a week later and started looking for a nonprofit job that suited me better.

Challenges I Overcame

Work Stress
Work Stress

It is really difficult finding employment in the nonprofit and service-related fields. It really depends on who you know and if you don't know anybody, it can be really challenging.

School Stress
School Stress

Grad school is objectively hard. It comes with the territory. There are times that it would be incredibly stressful. Luckily, I really enjoyed the subject matter I was studying so it made getting through the work and projects easier.

Physical Issues
Physical Issues

My dad has late-stage Alzheimers and when I was going to grad school, I would commute to school 30 minutes away and then come back to help my mom take care of him.