When I applied to the Futures in Advancement internship last summer, I really didn’t understand what the program was all about. I knew that a foundation gave out money to causes and organizations, but that was really the extent of my knowledge. By the end of my 10-week internship program, however, I learned exactly how important the Rutgers University Foundation is, and found a potential career in Advancement.
During my time as a Futures intern, I was able to meet and connect with professionals who help make scholarships, research initiatives, and community engagement opportunities possible for Rutgers students. From fun networking events, to finding funding for faculty research, an advancement professional was probably the one working behind the scenes. Throughout the internship there were so many opportunities to meet with nonprofit leaders throughout New Jersey, as well as major donors for Rutgers University. There were speaker series, dedicated to introducing us to high profile donors, and advancement professionals from different organizations and states. I was able to start building a professional network that, to this day, has been helping me with career and graduate school opportunities.
The deeper I got into the Futures in Advancement program, the more I started to realize how exciting advancement can be. The Assistant Vice Chancellor of Advancement for Rutgers- Newark, told me stories of her advancement work with the United Nations, art galleries, and other international relief organization. I had always wanted to somehow tie in international work into my career plans, and found her to be an inspiration.
After the program ended, I was offered a position as a student worker-development assistant, and jumped at the opportunity. This position has only furthered my interest. I continue to meet amazing individuals from all walks of life, and am surrounded by powerful role models. Every day is an adventure with Newark’s advancement team! One moment I’ll be helping with a syllabus for the genealogy class, and the next I am working on a letter of interest to help create social justice based work on campus.
I absolutely feel like the Futures in Advancement program has helped me grow as a professional, and I would highly recommend this opportunity to any student at Rutgers looking to make a difference.
Sadia Khalid was a Futures intern at Rutgers Newark.