“Don’t wait to be told what to do,” encourages Tyler Rogers, a member of the internship panel hosted by Georgia State University (GSU) at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies (AYS). On February 23, GSU students gather to hear first-hand experiences from fellow students who obtained interesting internships in the non-profit sector.
Rogers earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Education from GSU. After working as a teacher for several years, he craved a change of pace and learned about an internship opportunity at the UPS Inc. Foundation through GSU’s Career Services Department. His advice to GSU students, “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”
During his time as an intern, Rogers facilitated a partnership between UPS Inc. and other private foundations to develop a network of drone delivery services in Rwanda that delivers medical supplies in a fraction of the time it would take by land.
“You have to align your passion with your skill set,” advises Jake Acker, another member of the panel. Acker is a Masters of Public Administration (MPA) Candidate at GSU and also interns as a fellow at the Office of the President at CARE. Acker spent time in the Peace Corps after finishing his undergraduate degree and learned about the fellowship at CARE from a former GSU classmate. CARE is an international development agency that focuses on advocating for women’s issues worldwide. He stresses the importance of students harnessing their ambition in order to pursue their passions.
Stella Jemna, a panelist who is also an MPA Candidate at GSU, works as an intern for the American Turkish Friendship Council (ATFC). Jemna’s work in the ATFC entails providing young Turkish women with the resources and support they need to graduate high school. Out of the 83 young women involved in the program, 60 have successfully completed their high school degrees. Jemna underscores the significance of publicizing the work she does, “It is so important to let the public know what we’re doing because without that awareness the world would never know.”
Christabel Ghansah, the final member of the panel, told students that her internship at the Gwinnett, Newton, and Rockdale County Health Departments was not her first choice. She originally saw herself working for an international organization, and accepted the internship at the health department out of necessity. However, she gained invaluable experience giving presentations in the professional setting. “Don’t just stick to the assignments given to you,” Ghansah warns, “Internships can be a place to discover your passions and develop valuable skills for the future.”
Internships offer an invaluable opportunity to practice hands-on involvement in the field. With non-profit internships, GSU students can serve their community as well as gain professional experience.