6 answers

How can this internship help me gain valuable experience for working with a non-profit?

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I am a college Sophmore at Trinity College, Ct, majoring in Psychology, but also looking for experience with Global Health campaigns. #college #psychology #internship

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6 answers

Mallory’s Answer

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Hi Allison!

Great question- internships are a great way to explore and gain experience!

Some ways you'll benefit from interning with a non-profit:

1. Gain beneficial work experience
2. Work for a cause
3. Build Relationships
4. Get Creative
5. Stand out during the job hunt

You'll gain experience while feeling empowered helping out a cause!

Hope this helps, good luck to you!
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Patricia’s Answer

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Hi Allison!

Thanks for the great question! I am passionate about non-profits and the great work they do so your question caught my eye!

Although the pay may be low (or nonexistent), working for a non-profit provides a wealth of benefits! I have volunteered with more non-profits than I can remember and used every engagement as an opportunity for learning. I find that working with non-profits puts you in more direct contact with the community that you serve. For example, I currently volunteer with a non-profit that provides food to those in need (e.g., Food and Friends in Washington, DC., I am more in tune with the clients instead of just donating money to support the case. This means a great deal to me.

I think you will be able to gain valuable information and establish great relationships working with a non-profit that shares your goals and ideals. I would also try to find a mentor who can guide you and give sage advice.

If I had the opportunity to re-start my career, I would definitely consider working for a non-profit that is focused on helping the community.

Hope that helps!

Much success!

Be safe and stay well!

Patricia'
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Stephanie’s Answer

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Non-profits are a great place to intern even if the mission of the non-profit does not have much to do with your ultimate career goal/job. The reason for this is that non-profits are notoriously under staffed so this is your opportunity to be given more responsibility than you might at a for profit workplace. People at non-profits wear a lot of hats so if for example you are interested in accounting, try keeping the books for a non-profit. If you are interested in computer programing, offer to restructure the donor database for a non-profit. Practice your data mining skills by looking through their database to help them understand more about their biggest donors. Since they tend to be smaller work places, the regular employees there might have a greater sense of your contribution and be able to write you a more meaningful letter of recommendation than a for profit.
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Khanh’s Answer

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Hi Allison,

I echo the previous comment. I also want to add that internship is a great way to network -- not just with the current employees of the place you would be at but also with their alumni as well. Most likely those people will have great insights to any career questions you might have.

Good luck!
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Tesa’s Answer

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Heya Allison,

I also majored in Psychology when I was in college and am now working with different non-profits! I did a couple of internships when I was in college, both for non-profits and for corporate. One way this helped me personally was that it helped me connect with different people in the field and learn best practices from them. This will also help you develop relationships with the community you serve and get a better perspective of who they are, what their needs are, and how to best communicate with the community you work with.

Hope this helps!
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Michelle’s Answer

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Allison,

I interned at a non-profit and have now worked there full-time for eight years. I admire that you are interning while you're still in school (I did my internship after I graduated). I'd love to share a few tips in the next steps of how you can get the most out of your internship.

Best of luck!
Michelle

Michelle recommends the following next steps:

  • Ask for meetings with three different people in different areas of the non-profit to learn more about what they do in particular - people love sharing about what they do and this could help you network.
  • Step up when other teams ask for help. Sometimes keeping interns busy can be challenging when an organization is moving too quickly. Stepping up to help other teams when you're not as busy will give you good exposure to other work and make life easier for your manager.
  • Build relationships - take time to be a friend to those you're working with, even if you think there isn't anything you can "gain" from them.
  • It is completely okay to ask for help, but if you have extra time, go the extra mile by Googling or watching a YouTube video on how to do tasks you're not quite sure how to do. This will save your manager time and will impress!
  • Practice not apologizing too much. When you're new to an organization, it can be hard to feel up to speed on everything. Instead of apologizing when asking questions or when you don't know something, practice being confident and solution oriented.
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