This summer I’m working in Washington, D.C. as a Development Intern with The Fairness Project, a nonprofit organization that works on ballot initiatives that elevate economic fairness in the United States. I started working at TFP less than a week after I left Dickinson’s campus, and moved to D.C. the day before I started my job. While I only had a small amount of time off between school and work, this summer I’ve been energized by the staff that I work with as well as the strong office culture that they’ve created. On my first day, the staff welcomed me with a donut at my desk, which I couldn’t eat because I have Celiac Disease, but the gesture was appreciated and made me excited for the work that I would be doing over the course of the summer.
In terms of how I found my internship, I was searching on indeed.com for internships involving my major (Political Science) that combine with my interest in political campaigns and nonprofit work. The Fairness Project stood out to me because their work is incredibly impactful, as of writing they’ve put a total of $4.74 billion in workers’ pockets, mostly through raising the minimum wage in states. I also could tell through their job listing that while much of the work that they do is very serious and demanding, they also make it fun (they listed a sense of humor as something that they looked for in candidates). After submitting my resume and cover letter to TFP, I heard back from them asking for an interview. After my interview, they asked me for references and within a few weeks of applying they offered me the position of Development Intern.
Concerned about how I would be able to live in D.C. for the summer without a significant source of income, I applied for an internship grant from Dickinson. The internship grant I’ve received not only makes it easier for me to pay for food and rent, but it also allows me to not work a paying job in August (after I complete my internship) and instead potentially work on a political campaign for a short amount of time. So far this summer has been great, I’ve learned a significant amount about how development works on a broad scale and also how organizations like The Fairness Project raise funds in a competitive environment, which I will certainly discuss in future blog posts.