Being a Futures in Advancement intern for Rutgers-Newark has been life-changing for me. It has been refreshing to learn about all of Rutgers-Newark’s great initiatives to improve higher education and especially the city of Newark. I have learned that Rutgers-Newark is the most diverse university in the United States, and an incredibly unique anchor institution. Although I have only been an intern for a short time, I feel so connected to this city; I am moved by Rutgers’ strong commitment to be a part of Newark, and seeing how it has immersed itself in the community. For example, as part of the 2014 strategic plan, Rutgers-Newark helped create an extremely creative and collaborative public space called ExpressNewark in the historic Hahne & Co. building. The intention of this space is to highlight and foster the community’s diverse, innovative, and creative culture. Additionally, ExpressNewark houses Rutgers’ Institute of Jazz Studies, which has the largest collection of Jazz artifacts in the world; I hope I get to explore this collection soon. Among the many exciting things about Rutgers-Newark is its Honors Living-Learning Community (HLLC). The HLLC challenges the traditional model of an “honors college” by emphasizing social justice and creating future community leaders through a holistic assessment of students. The HLLC allows people from different walks of life to be a member of the Rutgers-Newark Community despite their test scores.
If it were not for the Futures in Advancement program I would have never taken the initiative to explore Newark or learn about how revolutionary Rutgers-Newark is, I would not have met some of the most inspirational and accomplished individuals I have ever come across, who I now consider my role models. I am so thankful to have this opportunity for my professional and personal growth.
I think any Rutgers student, should consider being a part of this program because you get to not only learn about non-profit work and what it looks like for higher education, but so much more about Rutgers University that you would not learn otherwise. I feel it is so important for every student to know the role advancement plays for the institution and their education. By being a part of the community’s development initiatives, student have the opportunity to be an agent of positive change and strengthen the sense of community. While I am not a student at Newark, being a part of this program has certainly motivated me to be more active in my community and made me realize how truly passionate I am about non-profit work and social justice. Ultimately, the Futures in Advancement program has changed my life because it has presented me with a new and exciting career path, and work worth doing.
Tasnim Bhuiya is a Futures in Advancement intern with Rutgers-Newark