Internship Reflections

I’ve had multiple internships at various institutions throughout my college career. At each of them, I learned a useful lesson about the nonprofit industry. Whether it was experience with fundraising or utilizing social media, the lessons I’ve learned have allowed me to walk away with a feeling of professional growth and empowerment.

Needless to say, my internship at CWGL, offered me those same lessons and then some. By helping to archive GEAR Campaign materials, I learned about the importance of advocacy for socio-economic rights on a global scale. From everyday office work, I learned how useful coalition building is for the growth of an organization. I was even able to get hands on experience with event planning for the Vienna+20 Symposium.

I’ve always been a firm believer in the importance of mentorship. Perhaps even more important than professional growth is personal development – something that mentorship can truly provide. This summer I was fortunate enough to not only be mentored by my supervisor, but the entire CWGL staff. The following are tiny pieces of wisdom that I learned from each of them during my internship experience:

1) Hard work deserves a break. There’s only so much a single person can do on their own.

2) Take your job seriously, but not your life. The complexities of life are much more enjoyable when viewed through a positive lense.

3) It’s okay to push the envelope. Especially when the issue at hand is backed by support of others.

4) It’s okay to disagree. Sticking to your own opinion is more respectable than agreeing with the unanimous opinion around you… even if it is that you think Beyoncé isn’t “all that.”

5) No matter how hectic things can get, it’s important to stay positive. The power of a smile is limitless.

I will take these valuable lessons and skills I’ve learned with me as I venture off into my senior year at Rutgers University. Here is a gracious thank you to my new family at the Center for Women’s Global Leadership!

by Mariel Quintana, Economic and Social Rights Intern, Center for Women’s Global Leadership, Rutgers University

Photo: “Organizing CWGL files.” Many thanks to our interns, Samantha Dugan, Katie Glick, Hanaa Lakhani, Mariel Quintana for all of their hard work this summer. Best of luck next semester!