Tag Archives: #nonprofitadministration

Getting Excited to Intern with Success Academy This Summer — Audrey Preston

Before I really dive in, I wanted to mention that this is my first time blogging! I feel so adult right now – halfway done with my college degree, about to spend a summer in New York City by myself, and now I’m a blogger. Wow.

 

I’m so excited about this summer, and now that my finals are (finally) over, it actually seems real. This summer, I will be interning in the finance department of Success Academy Charter Schools, which is a charter school organization that operates about 30 schools in the city, educating over 9000 students. Unlike many elite schools, Success admits students based upon a lottery, to prove that anyone can succeed with the right resources. They emphasize many aspects of learning, from math to art and even to playing chess. Their holistic approach has gotten results, too: they are ranked in the top 1% in the state for math scores. Their inaugural class just entered high school, so it will be interesting to see how the future of Success pans out. To learn more, visit http://www.successacademies.org/

 

I was extremely lucky to get an offer with Success, and I have been so grateful to everyone who has helped me along the way. I first heard of the opportunity through Julie Hauber, who is a Career Consultant with the Career Management Center in the business school. She has been such an incredible resource for me throughout my time at Tulane. She had forwarded me an email from Matt Jasie, who is involved in the finance department at Success. He had mentioned that they were specifically looking for women to join their team, so I decided to apply, and the rest just worked out.

 

I have always been intrigued by education and education policy (although I’m not very good with kids), so this is a great opportunity for me to get a first hand look at the inner workings of a charter school organization. I will be working in the finance department, so I will be performing tasks such as organizing financial information, preparing financial statements, and submitting budgets. I may also be involved in grant writing and fundraising. I won’t know my exact duties until we get the team together, so we can work with everyone’s strengths and interests, but I will definitely have real responsibility within the organization. No coffees and copies for me!

 

This summer, I have three main goals: develop skills, build connections, and have fun. I want to be working with the actual operations of the firm and make an impact, and I want to gain experience while I’m at it. I want to learn how to write a grant, how to raise funds effectively, and how to manage a multimillion dollar budget. I also want to become a pro at Excel and become Excel-certified. The experience that I will gain on the job will be valuable, but the connections I will make will be priceless. Ultimately, I want to work in New York’s financial district, and since the financial sector is so competitive, it is really important to build a strong network. By the end of the summer, I want to have built a strong relationship with at least one person from every firm I am interested in working for post-graduation. Finally, I want to enjoy my summer. New York is an amazing city, and I am so lucky that I get to spend two months there. I can’t wait to be living fifteen minutes away from all of the places I’ve seen in movies: Central Park, MoMA, and the Empire State Building. I know finals are over now, and I’m starting in less than three weeks, but it still seems surreal. I can’t wait!

 

Until next time,

Audrey

My last days with Catholic Charities

My internship ended on July 31st, and already I have no idea what to do without my class! It was an incredibly rewarding experience for me, and even led me to pursue further internship opportunities with Catholic Charities’ Translation/Interpreting department in the fall.

The last day of class was very emotional for my students and me. We finished off the semester watching and discussing the Wes Anderson film “Fantastic Mr. Fox” and then we all played a slightly confusing yet still amusing game of Apples to Apples. My students all brought food from their home countries, including pad Thai, tacos, and pupusas (a dish native to El Salvador). I brought pizza, of course, a food very close to the American culinary heart.

My class was successful not only because I was able to eat amazing home-cooked foods, but because my students and I grew genuinely fond of each other. For instance, I have plans to attend a potluck with some of my students from Thailand and plans to tutor one of my Brazilian students and his wife in English this fall. What I loved best about the class was how familiar we all were with each other. My students often brought friends and family members to class, and on the last day there were several of my students’ children watching “Fantastic Mr. Fox” with us.

For me, the class was worthwhile both professionally and academically. I was able to practice my Portuguese, Spanish, and French language skills with my students and prepare for future language classes at Tulane. I was able to continue building my teaching skill set, learning how to teach students of varied language abilities and gather more teaching materials to take with me to Latin America when I graduate. But more than that, I was able to develop administrative and programming skills during my internship that I would not have been able to had I been merely an ESL teacher and not an administrative intern. I was given the task to set up a presentation about Adult Education classes in New Orleans, a task that was not easy to accomplish at first. When I first tried approaching language access/education groups in New Orleans, I didn’t get much of a response. After repeated efforts however, I was able to get in contact with a representative from Delgado Community College and bring him to our program site. Dozens of students attended the meeting and I was proud to find out that the Catholic Charities’ ESL program will continue bringing Delgado representatives to our program site because of my efforts.

I would like to reiterate how very beneficial this internship has been for me and how much I have learned through it. I know have more skills and ideas to bring back to Tulane and offer to prospective employers. If I had one piece of advice for future interns, not only with non-profits, it would be to be as proactive as possible and develop positions and responsibilities for themselves. No one will give you opportunities, you have to make them.

I would like to thank Dr. Thomas Allen and the Center for Engaged Learning and Teaching for awarding me a summer internship grant and my colleagues at Catholic Charities for accepting me as an intern and making me feel so welcome this summer.

Midway through my ESL internship

Hi all! At this point in the summer, I am about halfway through my internship with Catholic Charities here in New Orleans and I have no idea where half the summer has gone. In my Level 2 class, we have made it through about seven out of the 15 chapters, covering topics such as First Impressions, Work Vocabulary, Job Hunts, and Traveling. I can honestly say that the reason we have progressed so rapidly in the course is because of the enthusiasm of my students. I have never met a group of students (adult, college seniors, or children) that was so eager to learn. In no class at Tulane have I witnessed such perfect attendance (and my students almost never show up hungover!) or so many completed homework assignments.

My students come from all over the world and their personal experiences here in New Orleans vary drastically. Even though the classes take place Uptown, I have students who travel (either by bike or public transportation) from far-flung areas like Algiers and Kenner. Although I know that some Tulane students commute to school, it stuns me every day to see all the students packing my classroom, many coming directly from full days of work.

While it is easy for me to see how quickly my students are progressing on their learning goals, it has been harder for me to identify what I am learning from this internship. Some of what I have learned has been very positive. For instance, I learned a lot about the curriculum building of a Level 2 English class and how to develop students’ conversation skills through class book clubs and political debates. Some aspects of my internship have been less positive. While my teaching experience has been exceptional this summer, my work on the non-profit administration end has been less rewarding. My efforts to coordinate adult education and social services presentations for the ESL program have not been so successful yet, but that might be the result of mass vacationing to the Gulf shore to evade the summer heat. Although I eventually (today!) received a response from one group to my inquiries about adult education in the NOLA community, it has taken persistence on my part and a refusal to give up to get anything done. Despite some setbacks, my internship has been a great experience so far, even on the administrative end, as I have gained more experience researching public/education policy on the internet and in libraries by myself in order to find the necessary information for my students. That in itself is rewarding enough.

Thanks for reading!
Olivia