I finished working with Fund 17 about a week and a half ago. I’m really proud of the work I did! I completed the legal resource document, and it will be used to as training material for the Fund 17 interns this Fall, and also as a reference guide for fellows consulting with clients. Impact assessment was a real challenge, but I’m glad I got some exposure to it. Reaching the last client to complete the satisfaction survey was a real challenge, but I luckily got it taken care of. The only date that worked for the client to complete the survey was after the end date of my internship, but it was nice to put in the extra work to reach our goals of having those surveys completely finished.
This experience was a great exposure to the complexity of the law. I got to dive in to the various areas of the law that a small business touches, from the Cottage Food Law to General Liability Insurance. I would love to get to see these areas of law in practice, and an additional experience I would like to take on is to consult clients on the legal issues I learn about. I also liked when a lawyer contacted us for a meeting and told us about her career. My advice for students interested in a legal career to meet with a lawyer to learn what the day-to-day job is like, and also to get exposure to different types of law to learn what you’re drawn to. My advice for a student that wants to work for a nonprofit is that they shouldn’t expect immediate results from the work they do. They also should make sure that the work they do truly positively impacts the people they want to serve, and the best way to do this is to learn about impact assessment. It’s not the most fun part of the job, but it’s one of the most important!
So far my legal projects at Fund 17 are going great. I applied for legal assistance through the Pro Bono Project, and our application was accepted. Now we are just waiting to be matched with a lawyer. I am almost finished creating a legal resource for entrepreneurs, which will also double as a teaching material for Fund 17’s future fellows.
The area of my internship that is proving to be difficult is impact assessment. I first had to research it and try to learn the impact assessment best practices for micro-finance nonprofits. This is still an area where I need to improve. I surveyed two out of our three clients and the surveys went well. They both seemed to have benefited from working with us.
I’ve been trying to figure out our 501c3 application for the past few days, and have been frequenting the IRS website, something I wouldn’t normally do. The application is pretty hard to understand. The instructions alone for Form 1023, which has to be completed before you can begin the actual 501c3, are more than 10 pages long. Luckily, a lawyer contacted us about helping us with the application. The meeting is on Monday, and I hope she can give us some guidance because this is really complex material, and you don’t want to make any mistakes when it comes to the IRS!
I think that right now, I am most proud of the legal document that I have been creating. I’ve found some really informative, reliable resources online that I think will help entrepreneurs a lot. I also am happy to have found potential pro bono legal assistance within the first week, because I had just assumed that it would be much harder to find. I think that this internship is teaching me the complexity of different areas of the law. I’m learning tax law and business law. Because a lot of my work is self-directed, I’m learning the importance of being self-motivated. This is the most hands-on work I’ve ever done and it will directly affect people’s livelihoods, so I’m glad that I’m also learning about accountability.
I just finished the first full week of my internship at Fund 17. It has been going great so far! I met with Haley, Fund 17’s director the week before to discuss my projects for the summer. She asked all the interns what they would like the focus of their internship to be, and I liked being able to personalize the internship to my preferences. I told her I wanted to focus on legal issues, so we decided that my responsibilities as the legal intern would be to prepare for our 501c3 application, look for pro bono legal assistance, assess Fund 17’s legal needs, and compile information on small business licensing laws. I think this will be a new, stimulating area to study. Another one of my responsibilities is to learn about impact assessment best practices, and to conduct client satisfaction surveys, which I think will be more of a challenge. I created a client satisfaction survey earlier this year to learn about entrepreneur’s satisfaction with Fund 17, and after some editing from Haley, I was finally able to give the survey to an entrepreneur, Anna. Fund 17’s guidance benefitted her business, and I’m happy I got some concrete evidence of our effectiveness. I’m excited to do the rest of the surveys next week and see what the results are. Hopefully they are as successful as Anna’s.
Fund 17 is almost ready to launch its crowdfunding campaign to raise money for its budget for the first year of operation. Check it out here. I’m excited about an upcoming training we will have about New Orleans geography. I don’t know a lot about the history and topography of neighborhoods in the city, which will be led by another intern. Having this knowledge is important for me as an intern and as a resident of New Orleans. So far the internship is going great and I hope that my projects progress as quickly and successfully in the future as they have been this past week!
This summer, I will work as a summer intern for a Fund 17, which is a non-profit started by Tulane senior, Haley Burns. Fund 17 provides financial opportunity and education to small business owners in New Orleans, and helps them gain the skills to be successful in today’s economy. The Financial Empowerment, Community Outreach, and Business Development teams make up the Organization. I am on the Community Outreach team as a Client Relationship Specialist. I will be the liaison between the Financial Empowerment and Business Development teams. My job is to be working for our clients, who receive financial advising and apply for micro loans.
I learned about this internship at the beginning of this semester and interviewed with Haley to intern during the school year. She said that we could stay and work during the summer, and I was immediately interested. This summer I hope to get in touch with New Orleans beyond Uptown, improve my research and writing skills, and learn more about related career options.