By Victoria Wasserman, Rita J. & Stanley H. Kaplan Family Foundation
This is the third in a three-part series chronicling one foundation’s experience with having an intern. The first post was written by the foundation’s Executive Director and the second by its Program Officer. This third post is by the foundation’s current Intern. We hope the series will inspire other foundations to follow suit.
For many college students and recent graduates, internships are no more than a resume filler or course requirement that usually leads to a dead end. My internship experience, however, was something much more fulfilling. The skills developed and lessons learned from the months I have spent interning at a small foundation are worth much more than three college credits or a weekly stipend; they are lessons that I will remember and skills that I will utilize throughout my professional career. Some of these lessons include:
The role and power of philanthropy: Before I graduated, I thought I needed to look for jobs at big-name nonprofits or a government agency in order to have a hand in changing the world. I have come to understand and appreciate the oft-overlooked, behind-the-scenes power of philanthropy, particularly of the small foundation variety, and the domino effect of impact that even a small grant can have on an organization or community. More than that, I have developed a deeper knowledge of a somewhat opaque field in which few people get a behind-the-scenes look.