Certificate: Nonprofit Management
Minor: French and International and Comparative Education
Organization: The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
Role: Foundation Relations Intern in the Development Department
How did you find your position? I found it on Career Link!
What were the responsibilities associated with your role?
I worked with grants at every stage of the process, from prospect research to benchmarking foundations, from proofreading to collaborating with other departments to strategize grant-writing, from research on neighborhoods surrounding the museum and incidence of disability to writing my own grant in support of arts and music programs for an exhibit at the museum. I also had the chance to calculate budget projections for a few grants.
What did a typical day look like in your role?
One of the best parts of my internship was that there was no such thing as a typical day. Some days, I worked solely on prospect research, meaning I analyzed graphs and giving reports to determine whether or not the museum might be a candidate for a grant from a certain foundation. Other days, I went to meetings with other staff as they strategized grants for upcoming projects. One particularly fun day, I got to dress up in 80s fashion and make designs on Lite-Brites and practice spin art for an event. Every day brought new challenges, new opportunities to learn, and new opportunities to enjoy getting to know my colleagues.
The typically consistent thing in my workdays? Carousel rides and going to exhibits!
What is your dream job?
This summer actually impacted my dream job a lot. Before my internship this summer, I knew I wanted to work in the nonprofit field in some capacity. I was interested in fundraising events and working “on the ground” for programs. In some capacity, I am still extremely interested in those roles. However, because of my internship in development, I realized that I have a passion for that field. I really enjoyed doing such meaningful work, and being in a role that allowed for so much collaboration with others. That being said, my dream job would be a development director for a NGO in the education or human security subsectors.
How has your major in the College of Arts + Sciences aided you in achieving your career goals?
Being in the College has given me the opportunity to develop a lot of important skills for the workplace. Because I have a major and minor in two languages, I have had to communicate, both verbally and in writing, a lot. Needless to say, that is an extremely important skill – particularly in grant-writing, but truly in any workplace. No matter what position you work in, you will need to communicate with others. Being in the College teaches you to be an active listener (how else do you keep up with professors flying through lectures at 100 miles a minute?), a strong analyst, and an excellent questioner. I had the tools I needed to analyze data, donor and visitor interactions, and requirements for any given grant. I had the confidence to question everything, and to learn from anything. These are skills that my education in the College has provided me, and these are the reasons a liberal arts degree is so valuable!