Summer Entrepreneurial Experiences

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Week 8!

Friday, July 18, 2014 6:29 pm

Last night Worldfund hosted our fourth annual Summer Fiesta–a summer fundraising event that we cater towards a younger audience. I work with two other interns at Worldfund so I was not the specific intern responsible for planning the event but in the days leading up to the event, all three of us were heavily involved in last minute planning. The event was put on in conjunction with Worldfund’s Junior Committee–a group of seven young professionals in New York City that wanted an opportunity for philanthropic involvement outside of their career. It was really inspiring and exciting to see so many passionate and motivated young people in their 20s so involved in Worldfund’s mission and cause. Each member on the Junior Committee and Sub-Committee were responsible for selling a certain number of tickets so everyone brought their friends to enjoy a night of dancing, drinks, and silent auction bidding. The Worldfund staff arrived at the hotel at 4pm and didn’t leave until about 1am once we had finished cleaning up. Despite the long hours and heavy lifting, it was all worth it. I thought that once you enter into the “real world”, you have to choose either a lucrative career or a solely philanthropic one; however, at the Summer Fiesta, there was a healthy mix of individuals that have their separate careers but also participate in different charity and volunteer activities.

We went out to lunch with the whole office today as a “Thank you interns/goodbye lunch” for all of us. It was so great to hear from all the other employees how big of an impact we have made for the 8 weeks that we have been here. I’m so sad to leave but will definitely keep in touch with all the wonderful people I have met through this experience.

Week 7

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 1:53 am

One of the aspects of my internship that I have really enjoyed has been the opportunity for doing a variety of different projects that can range from development and donor research to event planning. On a daily basis, not only do I have my research projects that I am working on but I also have the opportunity to work with the CFO, the Executive Director, and my fellow interns to achieve various goals within the nonprofit. I’m not sure if I would find this kind of variety in a larger corporate setting. I love starting out my day researching potential grantmakers and ending with event coordination for our big fundraiser this Thursday. If I had the same project within the same department all day, I would probably get very bored. I’m glad that my supervisor and the other employees are allowing me to collaborate with each project. Because of this involvement, I have a better understanding of how the nonprofit runs overall.

Week 6!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 12:40 am

My newest task is to compile all the research I have been doing over the past six weeks into one massive PDF document. I am going to divide it up into the following categories: CRM product analysis, donor and board member relationship mapping, Capital IQ Easy to Use Guide, upcoming and important international conferences, and relevant leadership networks. Essentially, this document will be a set of recommendations from me to Worldfund based on the research I have conducted. I am so excited to finally put all my notes and ideastogether in one place because I can walk away from my internship with concrete proof of all the time I spent researching, talking to people on the phone, and sitting in on webinars. Not only will this serve as a source of pride and personal satisfaction for all my hard work this summer but it will also be something I can bring to future job interviews to show my organization, research, and attention to detail capabilities.

In addition to expanding my network and connections within Worldfund, I have had some opportunities to meet with other professionals working in New York City for informational interviews. My intern supervisor has been very supportive of this and even allowed me to take some additional time off during my lunch break so I can go meet people for lunch. My supervisor knows that I am trying to build my network and there’s no better place to do that than in NYC!

Week 5

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 8:48 pm

I’ve been learning more and more about the organizational structure of nonprofits as I move into the second half of my internship. I was meeting with my supervisor the other afternoon and our executive director came in to inform us that we may have lost our yearly donation from one of our corporate sponsors. Our contact person within this particular company is moving to London to work for a different company so we lost our primary advocate there. Now we may or may not continue to receive $25K from this corporation every year. We can lose donors for a number of reasons and since I’ve been here, I’ve learned about a few different common ways that we find donors, lose donors, and retain donors. My supervisor had the other interns and I watch a TED talk of the founder of Pencils of Promise. Adam said that we should classify organizations (specifically nonprofits) as “for purpose” instead of “nonprofit” to build a more positive connotation. Sometimes it is hard to move to this classification because it feels like I am constantly reminded that we are “non”profit, meaning we have to find ways to save money in everything we do.

Week 4!

Monday, June 23, 2014 8:50 pm

People always told me that internships help you figure out what you don’t want to do more so than help you find your dream job. I never really believed this but there are certain aspects of my internship and day-to-day tasks that are helping me narrow down what I don’t want to do in my professional future. I’ve never been in an office environment before and now I’m sitting in an office Monday-Friday, 9-5pm. I always thought I didn’t want a “9-5″ job but after working here for almost a month, I realized I really like the structure. I love coming to work at the same time everyday, leaving the same time everyday, and coming back to my apartment and not having to think about work. Although my experience as an unpaid intern is probably different from the paid employees at the nonprofit, my internship supervisors tell me they try not to work/answer emails once they come home after work. I also realized that I want a collaborative work environment. Within this nonprofit, everyone is running their own individual projects and there are not many group meetings or discussions (usually only once a week). For the most part, everyone sits in their cubicle and attends to tasks by themselves. I think I want a more interactive and team-oriented work culture in the future. I am so grateful to be learning so much and can’t wait for the second half of my internship!

Week 3

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 11:22 pm

Things are moving much quicker than I expected. The days and weeks are moving by too fast! I have a few different projects I am currently working on so Worldfund keeps me very busy. Although it is stressful when I look at my to-do list, I much rather prefer this excitement and pressure versus boredom. Primarily I conduct grant, donor, foundation, and product research and compile all the information into a succinct document to present to my internship supervisor. I have learned how to skim through websites, documents, and articles to find the important and noteworthy information. I am also exploring a few different databases and CRMs that Worldfund is interested in to make the daily office operations run smoothly and efficiently. I did not realize the role technology plays in every process within Worldfund (and I would imagine other nonprofits and businesses as well). Big data, client/donor platforms, and contact databases compose a huge role within communications, finances, and development. I am so grateful to be learning these skills because I think it will help me in the future, regardless of which company or organization I work with. My internship supervisor has also asked me to make a user-friendly “guide” to using our CapitalIQ (financial database) profile. Although it is a daunting task, I will have a final product from my internship that I can bring to future job/internship interviews.

Week 2!

Monday, June 9, 2014 12:33 am

Moving into week 2, I am beginning to better understand exactly what I will be doing this summer with Worldfund. As the picture shows above, I am working in a very exciting part of New York City. I am falling in love with NYC and already thinking about all the future career possibilities in this exciting city. I didn’t expect to be so inspired and motivated by Manhattan’s fast-paced (and at times, stressful/anxious) environment, but walking to the Flat Iron District in the morning alongside other young professionals is the perfect start to my day. My two weeks in NYC so far have not only been influenced by my professional experience through Worldfund but also by my unique living situation at the Webster Apartments. I am living with about 300 other young working women with internships in the city. I have met girls interning at NBC, the United Nations, a zipper company, and the Manhattan’s District Attorney’s office. Young women at the Webster Apartments are from all over the world and I love this unexpected yet exciting component to my summer in NYC.

Like I mentioned in my first post, I went through some training on Thursday with an information systems company on Wall St called Capital IQ (I mistakenly thought it would be Salesforce but turns out they wanted me to receive training from Capital IQ instead). This was a very interesting morning because I was exposed to the corporate world as I trekked downtown alongside all the intimidating men in suits. A Capital IQ employee worked with me for about an hour in their offices so I could learn the different components of their database that would be beneficial to Worldfund. In the next few weeks, I am going to work with Capital IQ and report back to Worldfund to determine whether or not we should invest in their services. It is interesting to see how the nonprofit world intersects with the for profit world. After working with Capital IQ, I see my role within Worldfund being an important one and I am excited for the upcoming challenges.

Week 1 (a little late…)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014 7:26 pm
My name is Hannah Gable and I am a rising junior at Wake Forest. This summer I am interning for Worldfund, a nonprofit that works for education reform in Latin America. Their headquarters are in New York City in the Flatiron district. Despite all my preconceived notions regarding office life and culture, there are only five employees that run the entire operation. When I first heard this, I was worried and nervous because it didn’t match my initial expectations for the internship. However, I actually like this intimate atmosphere because it has allowed me to make stronger personal connections with each individual at Worldfund.
The common assumption that I have heard and come to believe is that interns simply staple papers and pick up coffee. While this definitely holds true for some situations, my experience at Worldfund thus far has been quite the opposite. Worldfund is transitioning over to Salesforce, a software system that helps businesses and nonprofit organize their clients and donors. Worldfund would like me to become the administrative point person for Salesforce and teach the other employees how to use it. Next week I am scheduled to attend some training sessions at Salesforce headquarters to become aquatinted with the program. Although I have zero experience with complex programs like Salesforce, I am confident that after some training sessions, I will learn how to use it. It is under circumstances like these that prove again to me the value of critical thinking. Wake Forest has taught me how to learn and learn quickly. I can’t wait to delve into my summer project. I think I will learn a lot this summer with Worldfund and I appreciate them allowing me to become so involved with their daily operations.

Authors
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Gracious Addai (3)
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Assel Aljaied (10)
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Kenneth Bailey (6)
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Quentin Brillantes (8)
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Jessica (8)
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Ty Kraniak (11)
Nick Ladd (15)
Elizabeth Lane (8)
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Duncan MacDougall (6)
Lauren Martinez (7)
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