From Campus to the "Real World": Choosing a Summer Internship


By Emily Kaufman, Summer Liberal Arts Intern I write this in my glass-walled office, sitting next to my two fellow David Project summer interns, and chuckling at the a recent memory of freaking out about finding the right summer internship. Like many college students, I am still trying to figure out what I want to do when I graduate in just a few short years, which makes summer internships all the more important. Internships can help you discover what you do and do not like, and what direction you should go in next. During my search for summer internships I basically wanted to find an internship that could give me “real world work experience” and foster my professional growth while also giving me an idea of what direction(s) I may want to go in afterwards.

I ended up choosing to intern for The David Project at their headquarters in Boston, MA for the summer. After being an on-campus intern for The David Project this past semester at my small liberal arts college in Connecticut I was already familiar with the relational advocacy aspect of the organization. However, now this new summer internship in their offices allows me to work more in the behind-the-scenes aspects of the non-profit. It is great to be able to see how all these different aspects of the organization enable The David Project to not only function but to also flourish.

Thus far, I’ve noticed a lot of similarities between The David Project and small liberal arts colleges, such as the one that I attend. These similarities helped me transition and adapt easily to The David Project. Like liberal arts colleges, interning at The David Project allows me to dabble in a variety of departments because it is so small. With a staff of fewer than 15 employees at The David Project, everyone is very close and works together constantly. This collaborative environment means that I can work in marketing and development, do projects in communications, and craft relationship building strategies, all while learning about the non-profit world in a fluid manner.

My experience interning at The David project not only benefits me but will also benefit my liberal arts school. I am gaining experience in the non-profit world but am also learning more about Israel and relational advocacy, which I can bring back to campus and apply to my community.

I can honestly say that this internship at The David Project has shown me that summer internships are not just for beefing up your resume (although that is a plus), but if you find the right one, it can really help you in your path to discovering your identity and what you want to do moving forward.