Why Internships Are An Investment in Your Future

Lauren at the D.C. Bar Foundation.

If you are thinking about an internship next semester, you may have lots of questions. What might my internship site expect of me? What new skills will I acquire after completing my internship? Now that I am wrapping up my own experience, I can confidently say that an internship has many rewarding benefits.

It’s a great way to experience what it is like being responsible for the demands of a full-time position, and handling different tasks that bring their own unique challenges and rewards.

I had the privilege of interning with the DC Bar Foundation this past Spring. The organization helps low-income individuals receive pro bono representation when it comes to fighting poverty, homelessness, unemployment and overall injustice. The foundation’s motto is “Do What You Love,” and the employees of DC Bar Foundation love helping the D.C. community fight for justice.

I interned in a communications development position, which allowed me to work on projects that were independent-based. I wrote drafts for newsletters that inform the public about the social and economic issues that affect D.C. communities. For example, one newsletter covered low-income tenants being evicted due to speaking out against illegal landlord practices that threatened their health and safety, as well as that of their families and their communities. Other projects consisted of compiling analytic research - discovering connections between each social and economic issue and finding rational solutions - and administrative tasks. Thanks to my internship, I was also able to learn unfamiliar platforms such as Asana (a project management tool), and Salesforce (our CRM for tracking donations). 

I will be able to apply my internship-developed knowledge to my career, as organizations are in need of individuals who are mature enough to work independently as well as with a team when necessary.

Lauren E. Munroe, Spring 2019 intern at the D.C. Bar Foundation.
DCBF.

Even though my colleagues are vastly different in education and life experiences, they still support each other and combine their talents to keep a positive and productive atmosphere. For instance, they combine their talents to help the team better understand the legalities of tenant contracts, state and federal programs that assist low-income communities, and grasp the process of drafting grants for funding community-based programs.

I will be able to apply my internship-developed knowledge to my career, as organizations are in need of individuals who are mature enough to work independently as well as with a team when necessary, and who possess critical skills like writing, researching, documenting and reporting, and proficiency in productivity software platforms.

While the idea of working as an intern to prepare for real-world careers may seem overwhelming (especially if you are still in school), do not let your fears get the best of you! Internships are a great way to gain career experience, software knowledge, confidence to work independently or in a team setting, and will build character.

Lauren E. Munroe

Lauren is a student at Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, Massachusetts where she is currently majoring in Philosophy and minoring in Global Religious Studies, Writing and Writing Studies. Lauren is a Spring 2019 intern at the D.C. Bar Foundation, a non-profit that provides legal representation of low-income District residents.