SEEK 2006 Summer Internship Experiences
Name: Jennifer Dai
Organization: Aspire Public Schools
This summer I worked for Aspire Public Schools, a nonprofit organization that builds and operates high quality public charter schools to prepare urban students for college. Aspire is a national leader in the K-12 charter movement and seeks to catalyze change in the public schools and develop outstanding educators. As an intern reporting directly to the COO, I worked on a strategy project to help the organization determine its growth priorities. This entailed developing a rubric of the right set of criteria from each school district that should be evaluated, gathering and analyzing data to measure these criteria, and presenting my recommendations to the board and executive team. Because of my experience at Aspire, I developed an understanding of school finance, the complexities of securing facilities, the charter application process, and the importance of student data and assessment and teacher retention strategies.
My internship was part of a summer Fellows program called Education Pioneers. Education Pioneers selects top graduate students in business, education, law, policy and other disciplines to work on challenging business, policy, or legal projects by partnering with education organizations, school districts, and schools. The training and development sessions that Education Pioneers provided throughout the summer allowed me to gain insights from a cohort of other interns that helped me climb up the education reform learning curve much more quickly. In addition to the cohort support, the program also allowed me to network with education leaders from a variety of organizations which introduced me to many different levers that can be used to improve public education and the lives of children.
Name: Ali Kresge
Organization: Campbell & Company
This summer, I worked as an Associate Consultant for Campbell & Company, a national consulting firm specializing in advanced planning, fundraising, marketing and executive search counsel for nonprofit clients. I worked on both internal and external projects throughout the course of the summer. First, I completed a reporting methodologies/marketing audit to help strengthen the company’s communication and branding practices. I also conducted extensive research on current constituent relationship management theories and led a company-wide presentation on best practices. Finally, I worked on several client projects, which involved performing prospect research, developing client strategies and completing financial benchmarking and analysis.
As the only intern, I was given ample attention and mentorship by coworkers. I not only gained a better understanding of nonprofit consulting philosophy, terminology and processes through this experience, but I also was given the opportunity to work directly with clients. Overall, this was a valuable internship experience that enabled me to explore the nonprofit consulting profession, as well as develop universally applicable skills in analytics, client management and research.
Name: Tiffany Marie Brooks
Organization: Chicago Community Trust
I worked as an intern at the Chicago Community Trust, one of the country’s largest community foundations, during the summer of 2006. While I attended a wide variety of events and meetings, I focused primarily on two key projects: grant making for the African American Legacy Initiative (AALI), and research and strategic analysis for the Trust’s scholarship policies. The AALI project involved reading 22 full grant proposals, conducting site visits to each organization (which involved some consulting work related to strategic planning, board development, etc.), and preparing written recommendations for funding which I then presented to the AALI board for approval. For the scholarship project, I worked directly with the Education program officers at the Trust to evaluate the Trust’s current scholarship management policies, research alternative management options, and develop and analyze an alumni database of past scholarship recipients which then informed my recommendations for modifications to the Trust’s selection criteria, reporting mechanisms, demographic targets, and management systems.
My experience at the Trust afforded me the opportunity to learn more about grant making and the philanthropic/non-profit community in Chicago, in general. As I have notions of taking a leadership role in a non-profit organization in the future, I gained many valuable insights about how grants are evaluated and the criteria that make certain grant proposals successful. In addition, I established many great connections with leaders in the non-profit community with whom I plan to keep in touch as my own career progresses in this arena.
Name: Cameron Thorne
Organization: Cool Globes
Over the summer I worked for Cool Globes in Chicago, IL. Cool Globes is a newer non profit corporation. It was founded as part of commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative to address climate change. The primary purpose of the organization is to plan and execute a major public art project in downtown Chicago during the summer of 2007. This project will utilize art to educate the public about solutions to global warming. I worked as a project manager, and I was primarily responsible for managing about 25 part-time volunteers, coordinating efforts with partner organizations (City of Chicago Dept of Environment, Dept of Cultural Affairs, etc.), and overseeing execution of primary project planning functions (soliciting artists for proposals, organizing public relations materials, etc.) As the only full time paid employee, I also did a wide range of other little jobs, including marketing strategy and helping to draft a budget. It was an exciting project that brought me into close contact with leaders in the political, non-profit, corporate, and government worlds as we tackled an issue whose solutions span across all of these realms.
Name: Rich Billings
Organization: Envision Schools
This summer, I worked as intern with Envision Schools in San Francisco. In this role, I completed projects in numerous functional areas: marketing, operations, strategy and finance. My greatest responsibility was redesigning Envision's complex, multi-school, multi-year financial model and using this model to generate financial projections instrumental in obtaining a $7 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Additionally, I collaborated with Envision's CEO to create and update marketing materials, investor prospectuses, business plan and five-year growth plan. I also led a strategic analysis of expansion opportunities for Envision's next cluster of eight schools and presented this analysis to the Board of Directors.
This internship was obtained through Education Pioneers, a summer Fellowship Program for students interested in education reform. Education Pioneers selects top graduate students in business, education, law, policy and other disciplines to work on challenging business, policy, or legal projects for partnering education organizations, school districts or schools. As a result, my summer also included 5 training sessions with my 30-member, Bay Area cohort which allowed me to meet leaders in the industry and explore ways to use my business skills and interests to make systemic change in education.
Name: Mark R. Himmelsbach
I was a Corporate Development intern at KaBOOM!, an organization that envisions a great, safe, and fun place to play within walking distance of every child in North America. Specifically, I designed a fundraising and sales strategy for Operation Playground, an initiative to build 100 playgrounds in Louisiana and Mississippi and restore the childhoods of those children affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. KaBOOM! raises most of its funds from corporations and I was able to work with corporate social responsibility (CSR) departments from Fortune 1000 companies. Specifically, I researched corporate social responsibility and corporate giving trends and identified a plan to reach potential donors. I developed a multi-million dollar sales pipeline as well as an outreach strategy that included a sales pitch and collateral materials to send to companies. In addition, I participated in fundraising calls and developed contract materials for companies participating in Operation Playground.
In addition, I worked closely with the CEO and COO to develop a more formalized MBA internship program, represented the organization at a national disaster relief conference, and was able to participate in a playground build at the S.J. Green Charter School in New Orleans, LA.
Name: Yvonne Chao
Organization: NYC Center for Charter School Excellence
I worked as an Education Pioneer Fellow with the NYC Center for Charter School Excellence, an independent, not-for-profit organization, launched in 2004 as a partnership between New York City and the philanthropic community to support charter schools in New York City. I worked with the Director of Facilities and Real Estate on marketing and outreach for charter school facilities development. My two key projects were (1) identifying and building relationships with potential development partners, and (2) creating guidebooks for architects and developers to introduce them to and encourage their participation in charter school facility development. I worked with individuals at the Charter Center, the NYC Department of Education, for-profit and non-profit developers and architects, and community development corporations. For the development partners project, I created a dashboard for assessment of potential development partners and initiated relationships with several community development corporations. For the guidebooks project, I created two guidebooks for use in marketing and outreach efforts to engage the private sector in the charter school facility development process. I also participated in various ad hoc projects as needed at the Center.
My internship was part of the Education Pioneers summer Fellowship program. Education Pioneers selects top graduate students in business, education, law, policy and other disciplines to work on challenging business, policy, or legal projects for partnering education organizations, school districts or schools. Through the program, I participated in training sessions and retreats throughout the summer to learn about the efforts and challenges in public education reform.
Name: Shweta V. Vyas
Organization: One Acre Fund
For my summer internship, I managed the creation and implementation of a horticulture project in Western Kenya. I worked for One Acre Fund, a non-profit organization started by a Kellogg alum. One Acre Fund helps small-scale farmers pull themselves out of poverty by providing them with inputs, education, and backend market access. I helped move the families from their subsistence crop to a higher value cash crop to increase income coming into the household. In addition to implementing our horticulture crops, I developed management toolsets to ensure that our field officers were able to easily manage the work of their farmer groups.
My internship experience was very unique. I was able to utilize the business skills that I learned at Kellogg in an unconventional way to make a lasting impact in the lives of our farmers.