We are often asked what makes a successful intern program. Internship programs, when done right, are a win-win. The student is able to gain knowledge, skills and experience while the organization benefits from a project getting done. If I can share one critical thing that we have found helps our program be successful, it’s to make sure you have a project that the intern is dedicated to working on. When there isn’t enough work, it’s easy for the program to go off the tracks. When that happens, both the student and the organization struggle to see the benefit of hosting a student. I’m excited to introduce you to our Social Work Inter, Holli Rash. Holli’s first blog talks about the many thing’s we’ve had her working on in the first semester.
Since August of 2015, I have been able to apply my knowledge about human behavior and social justice as a social work intern here at GLCYD. One of the largest projects I’ve worked on was mapping the presence of Nonprofit Organizations throughout Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. This has benefited GLCYD by providing a clear picture of the non-profit sector in the U.P. I began the project by perusing the state of Michigan’s IRS’s Tax-Exempt Master File, a huge undertaking! I sorted the organizations down city by city to collect relevant data from the Upper Peninsula. After extensive analysis, I compiled reports showing the different types of non-profits. This is an ongoing project, and currently I’m finding the number of nonprofits that serve youth in our communities.
I’ve also helped around the office with other projects, such as grant-writing, events, and even a new advocacy program!
Overall, my time spent here at GLCYD has taught me so much about the non-profit world, including how to be an impactful, competent and dedicated professional in the social work field. Having this internship is my stepping-stone towards a future in policy, advocacy, and other roles that can only be imagined.
Holli Rash is an intern at GLCYD through NMU’s Social Work Program. She will be graduating in Spring of 2016. After getting her BSW, she plans to pursue a graduate degree in Social Work with a focus on Policy Analysis, Research, and Community Development.