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Kimiko Fujioka Guillermo ’16
Describe what you were looking for in an internship and how you found the position you held.
I was looking for a collaborative environment, but also a workplace that would allow me to grow and also reflect on my career goals. I knew I wanted to work in an office environment from 9-5 as this is traditional route after graduation.
I actually found this position as a Fundraising Assistant at World Bicycle Relief last minute. My first internship fell through and as a result Smret Smith of the Career Advancement Center was able to recommend me WBR. I interviewed during my spring break.
What were your responsibilities at your internship? What did your average day at work look like?
I conducted major donor and prospect research to ensure positive fundraising results and assisted in major donor analytics using Excel and SalesForce. I also wrote blog posts for the marketing department.
Read my blog publications: Dairy Farmers and Its Cooperative and 5 WORLD WATER DAY FUNDRAISING ACTIVITIES YOU CAN DO TO TAKE ACTION.
My biggest project was creating a robust internship program with an intern and supervisor handbook to streamline productivity. This internship program will be used in the Chicago office and also be distributed in our offices in Colorado, Africa, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
Every day was different at WBR. Every week my supervisor would give me at least 5 projects to complete by the end of the week.
Describe a project or responsibility that you found particularly rewarding—and why.
Creating an internship program for WBR was extremely rewarding. This was an ongoing project all semester. I helped tweak a job posting; I recruited at various colleges around Chicagoland through job boards/phone calls/emails; and I created two handbooks, one for an intern and the other for the supervisor.
These handbooks comprised an acronym list, a map of where people were sitting in the office with fun facts, interview templates, first day checklist, glossary of programs, and an example of how to manage projects effectively. Finally, I presented a learning opportunity project for the intern and supervisor with templates for a learning plan and informational interviews. A learning plan is a robust outline of how to create career goals and action plans. This handbook would help alleviate the first two weeks of stress and also help the intern’s learning curve.
I presented the internship program to my supervisor and the head of the marketing team at the end of the semester. I received great feedback and also they said they were also going to use these handbooks for new employers. What was the most exciting is that they indicated they would distribute this handbook to the offices in the US, Germany, the UK, and Africa.
What did you gain from your internship? This might include: specific skills; ideas about your future career; anything else you want to comment on.
Though this internship I gained special skills such as grant research and became more familiar with SalesForce and Excel. This internship also allowed me to reflect on whether I want to work in a non-profit after graduation. I realized that I am effective in an office environment, and that work culture includes collaboration. I learned also that it is so important to receive feedback as a young professional. You don’t need to work harder, but just smarter.