Quinn Daly ’22 is the perfect example of a student who wants to do well and give back—to her family and her community.
A student at the Leventhal School of Accounting, Daly is also the vice-president of human resources for Los Angeles Community Impact (LACI), USC’s first student-run consulting organization to focus on nonprofits and socially minded organizations. She is responsible for recruiting and educating new members, many of whom do not have prior consulting experience. The highly competitive recruitment process includes three evaluation rounds from a pool of 250 applicants each year. This year, Daly helped bring on 13 new members, bringing the group to about 80 members total.
At the beginning of a new semester, we asked her a few questions about her involvement with this popular USC student club, and how she pairs social impact with accounting.
Why did you want to get involved with LACI?
I found out about LACI at a time when I was at a crossroads with what I wanted to do with my major. I had previously been Philosophy, Politics, and Law. After I took a class called PPD 371: The Nonprofit Sector and the Public Interest, I just fell in love with nonprofit and social impact work. Simultaneously, I was also introduced to the many inefficiencies and challenges that the sector faces. A friend had recommended LACI to me, and it's honestly been one of my favorite clubs on campus because you get to interact with nonprofits and social enterprises in the L.A. community and see what they're doing to help their target populations, and then adding on that extra layer by helping them carry out their mission and work better.
"I was trying to figure out how I could implement nonprofit and social impact work into my life, while also making a living, and so I found the intersection of business and social impact to be super interesting."—Quinn Daly '22
How did you choose an accounting major?
I was trying to figure out how I could implement nonprofit and social impact work into my life, while also making a living, and so I found the intersection of business and social impact to be super interesting. I became a business major. Then I had a really amazing accounting teacher, Julie Suh, and she pointed me in the direction of Leventhal, and I found myself really enjoying all my accounting classes.
What consulting projects did you work on last year with LACI?
My first semester, I worked with a nonprofit that serves individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities called Ability First. We helped them create a payroll processing manual and helped fix some of the communication bottlenecks that they were facing. My second semester, I worked on a project with a social emotional learning nonprofit called P.S. I Love You. We helped them find different financial models that they could implement to generate an additional revenue source which would fund some of their programs.
What did you learn from these projects and as VP of HR?
With these projects, I really strengthened my analytical skills and translating how to solve business problems over into the nonprofit setting, keeping in mind their challenges and limitations. Providing solutions for a nonprofit is much different than providing them for a for-profit business. You have to be more mindful of the mission, resourceful at times, and implement a lot of critical-thinking skills to finally get to an actionable, tangible and valuable end result.
As VP of human resources, I have definitely strengthened my leadership skills and being able to critically analyze every decision I make. I have to carefully consider general membership and balance out 80 different opinions, while also listening to my e-board, HR committee and new member class to get their inputs and then make that final decision.
What are your career goals?
I signed with KPMG for their Deal Advisory practice and have an internship coming up for this summer that will — fingers crossed — hopefully end in a full-time job offer with them. I really want to understand what makes for-profit businesses so successful and be able to translate and implement that into the nonprofit and social impact sector.
I come from a low-income background family, and I have one brother with cerebral palsy and another with a lot of chronic health issues. There’s this personal commitment and expectation that I’ll be there for my brothers when I'm older. So my career choices are motivated by familial responsibilities in terms of both being able to financially take care of both of my brothers if they needed it but also to support the communities and organizations that pioneer for their identities.
So that's really important to me and also why I really admire the work LACI does because it's practical and strategic. It's about people, and there's a lot of heart. That’s something that binds all of the LACI members even though we are so diverse — we all have a passion to help others and strengthen the communities that we live in.
More About LACI
Each semester, LACI forms diverse teams of 4 to 5 students led by an experienced team lead to tackle a 10- to 11-week pro-bono consulting project, which can involve program development, expansion strategies, marketing plans, financial planning, feasibility analyses and/or partnership acquisition. LACI has completed more than 250 projects since it was established in 2004. Past clients include Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, American Heart Association, Habitat for Humanity and Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.