April 4, 2017
Number of Hours: 8
Total Number of Hours: 120/120
Week Summary and Internship Self-Reflection
Let me just start with saying wow, I cannot believe that I have already made it to my last day of the internship. 120 hours of gaining more knowledge, experience, and facing new challenges. And yes, this is my final blog post. Its the final episode of that favorite show you’ve been following, like in the picture above. So first let me start with a recap of my last day and then I will move on to answering some questions about my experience here at Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center.
Outline of the Day:
Unfortunately, one of my supervisors was out today. My one supervisor Oliver was in New York. Oliver and Adrian will be sending me a digital copy of their supervisor report for the conclusion of the internship. That is not to say that I didn’t have things to work on today. I was given an agenda like every other week to complete some tasks. Today, I finished up the last grant opportunity that I needed to complete which was the Non-Profit Energy Makeover Contest. Once that was completed, I submitted the grant proposal to PPL. I also sent over the remaining grant materials from my Arts & Access Grant to Oliver. I wrapped up the last bit of donations that I had been raising for Project SILK reaching a total of $370.00. I created grant checklists and info sheets for Oliver. Lastly, I met with Adrian to discuss my strengths and weaknesses in the internship and was given some helpful advice in regards to the workforce moving forward.
Evaluating the Internship Experience:
When I first arrived at this internship, I was quite nervous to start. I was not sure what to expect but I was equally eager to learn about grant writing, grant research, grassroots fundraising, and sponsorship calls.
I believe that I have gained a considerable amount of experience in grant writing and research. The process of writing and research is often not very different from much of the research and writing skills I have gained at Kutztown University. The only other difference with grants is that you must follow strict guidelines and follow important directions. Oh and you are dealing with sometimes large amounts of money that have a significant impact on the programs that a non-profit can provide to their community members. In this case however, I had the opportunity to work with the very community that I love so dearly and am a part of myself. Prior to interning at Bradbury-Sullivan I had no experience with grants and over the weeks I interned had overcome learning curves when it came to this specific area. I believe that knowing the grant research and writing process will prove beneficial should I choose to pursue a career in non-profits or in higher education.
The grassroots fundraising campaign forced me to get out of my shell when asking for money. I was tasked with raising funds for a program of my choice at the Center, and the natural choice for me was the youth program project SILK. In the end I did not reach my intended goal, however the funds I did raise will help support the program with additional resources that they need. It was certainly nerve racking to try and ask individuals for donations for this program, however towards the end of the internship, I began to really clamp down on this project and work to raise as much as I possibly could with the time allotted to me. I believe that if given other opportunities to develop this skill further that I could excel.
The largest challenge that I had faced, however was sponsorship calls. This was a challenge for me, because like many people we tend to prioritize the things that we are good at and put off things that we are not. This was certainly the case for me when it came to sponsorship calls. I believe that my nervousness with this task and general lack of training did not prepare me very well. I would have preferred to have more hands on training when it came to sponsorships, however I admit to my own personal flaws when it came to this task specifically. There is significant room for development in this area and I have recognized that in terms of the development field in non-profits this is not my strong suit. Both Adrian and I have discussed that as a social individual, I may be stronger in event fundraising and campaigning.
Throughout the internship, I believe that I was highly responsible in ensuring that I arrive on-site on time and that I always made sure that I could find a way to arrive to my internship, even if that meant taking the Bieber Bus to Allentown and back sometimes twice a week. I can say without a doubt that it was well worth it. While I also appreciated much of the independent work, I would have also liked to have more regular meetings with my supervisors to discuss my strengths and weaknesses more so that I could have improved upon them throughout the duration of the internship. But, I will be leaving this internship having gained a great deal of knowledge about working in the non-profit world and specifically in the area of development. The Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center is a great place to learn and develop these important skills if this is an area in which you can see yourself working. I would recommend that other Women’s and Gender Studies minors consider interning here and even in other areas aside from the Development Internship.
Prior to Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center, I have not had any significant workforce experience outside of on-campus jobs. Now with this experience, I will be able to better evaluate and assess my strengths and weaknesses when I decide to join the workforce or pursue my future careers. The great thing about internships is you have the ability to fall down and get back up and learn from your weaknesses, which is something that I have certainly done here at Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center. I thank both the Women’s and Gender Studies Program and the Center for having been given this humbling experience to gain more skills but to learn a thing or two about myself.
I may post again in the future. Time will only tell. Nykolai out.
Development Intern, Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center