Peer Insights: 3 Reasons to Intern for a Nonprofit

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May 6, 2016 by sophiawding

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With the school year quickly coming to a close, are you still in search for an internship this summer? Ever consider interning with a nonprofit organization? Nonprofit internships are some of the most rewarding and empowering work experiences. There are diverse opportunities in different sectors and industries, benefiting charities, art, politics, research, social issues and much more, for you to choose from. Beyond the obvious reasons of affecting positive change in the world, here are three additional reasons why you should consider interning for a nonprofit.

  1. You’ll get a foot into the field of your interest.

Nonprofits are the best place for career exploration. Do you want to work with animals, or the arts? Is there a specific cause you are passionate towards? No matter your interests, there is a nonprofit aligned with your focus. According to the Internal Revenue Service, there are more than 1.5 million nonprofits registered in the database. On top of that, nonprofits are always in need of fresh talent and individuals with hard skills, such as in accounting, finance, programming – you name it. You will have the chance to try a range of projects, and develop your skills to get a foot into the door of your field of interest.  

  1. You’ll  get to wear lots of hats.

Nonprofits heavily rely on volunteers. As a newcomer, you’ll have the opportunity to not only learn your role, but explore what your supervisor does, and the roles of everyone else in the organization as well. Aside from building a diverse skill set, you’ll have the chance to connect with  your higher-ups and co-workers, and actively seek areas of personal growth, whether you are an intern or a volunteer. Also, nonprofits tend to give you flexibility during the day, allowing you to work around summer classes or other commitments you have. 

  1. You’ll get to flex all your muscles.

Getting to do interesting work and take on challenging projects is one of the most exciting aspects of working in a firm, and this rings especially true for nonprofits. Nonprofit work is likened to working in a small business, where you take on a broad range of tasks and responsibilities. You work with passionate people, who are change makers in the world and welcome fresh, new ideas and outlooks. It is a great time to take initiative and ownership of your projects. Lastly, in this time and age, corporate America highly emphasizes corporate responsibility and citizenship in its culture, and working for a nonprofit shows your commitment to these values.

To start you off on your nonprofit internship search, check out the list of organizations that were just on campus for the UT Nonprofit and Government Career Fair. In your search process, try focusing on a cause you are passionate towards and seek out nonprofit organizations aligned with your passion. Reach out to the person of contact and ask whether they would like an extra set of helping hands this summer. More times than not, the answer will be yes! Good luck on your internship search, and remember, “We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make the difference.”

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