Why Should I Intern At A Non-Profit Organization?

Written by Liz Groth

With SNC’s Career and Internship Fair approaching (September 30th), students all across campus are busy putting the final touches on their resumes. This bi-annual fair hosted by Career Services features a variety of companies and organizations looking to hire St. Norbert students, past and present, either as interns or as full-time employees. Among these companies and organizations are several non-profit organizations, including Cerebral Palsy Inc., the Greater Green Bay YMCA, the National Railroad Museum, and the YWCA. While many students might not think to look into interning at a non-profit organization, there are some significant benefits to this type of work. I had the chance to speak with Kelsey Rice, a student at St. Norbert who has interned at both Make-A-Wish and the Volunteer Center of Brown County, about her experience working with non-profits.

One thing to consider when speaking with different companies and organizations is where you think you can make the biggest impact. In other words, where is your help needed and where can you use your skills most effectively? Non-profits like Make-A-Wish and the Volunteer Center are always looking for interns and volunteers, so it’s easy to make a big difference through organizations such as these. Kelsey talked a lot about the direct and positive impact she was able to have on other people’s lives when I spoke with her, saying that she “loved every single minute” of both of her internships and explaining that it is “awesome to feel valued” for doing such important work. She also told me that her fondest memories from her time at Make-A-Wish were simply seeing the impact the work she was doing had on all of the kids and families. “All of the moments we got to spend with them were really great” she explained. Kelsey mentioned that it was wonderful to work for an organization that “truly lives up to their mission on a daily basis.”

Internships are a fantastic way to network with employers on your search for your dream job, but there are more connections to be made than simply this. Kelsey reflected on how her non-profit internships  helped her to learn how to communicate and work with other people better. Her experiences also taught her that “you really do learn something new from every person you work with.”

Working for a non-profit organization is a great way to gain real world experience and build up the skills you will need for your future career. Kelsey’s internship at Make-A-Wish was as a Special Events Intern, so she mainly focused on the “behind the scenes” parts of putting together major events like the Make-A-Wish Golf Outing, Walk For Wishes, and Yacht Blast For Kids. Her responsibilities for this position included event production, brand management, and event analysis. Now that Kelsey is working at the Volunteer Center this semester, her job requires her to work closely with the Green Bay Press Gazette by submitting local listings of volunteer opportunities every week. She assists with the Volunteer Center’s website and social media and is working on putting together a weekly newsletter that will reach over 10,000 people in the Brown County area.

When I asked Kelsey how she thought interning with these two non-profit organizations  would help her prepare for her future career, she responded by telling me that she is excited by all of the real world experience she is getting and that she has a lot of opportunities to partake in meetings. Kelsey explained that “at both Make-A-Wish and the Volunteer Center I have felt like my work is important and that I really bring something to the table. I think that sometimes this might get lost at a for-profit, where they may have interns doing things the superiors just don’t want to do.”

If you’re interested in interning for a non-profit organization, the Career and Internship Fair is a great place to meet and talk to non-profits such as the YMCA, the National Railroad Museum, Cerebral Palsy Inc., and the YWCA. The fair will take place Tuesday, September 30th from 3:00-5:00pm in Michel’s Ballroom.

Can’t make the Career and Internship Fair? Not a problem. Stop by Career Services anytime Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00am and 4:30pm to discuss available internship options.

If you’re interested in internships or volunteer opportunities through any of the non-profit organizations previously mentioned in this article, you can visit their websites by clicking on the links below to learn more:

Make-A-Wish

The Volunteer Center

YMCA

YWCA

The National Railroad Museum

Cerebral Palsy, Inc.

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