In the first 5 weeks, I truly have learned the value of what it takes to be a loyal Scarlet Knight. Rutgers is my home away from home, and I am forever grateful for it. The Futures Program has provided me the opportunity to explore my curiosity with guidance from inspiring professionals. This opportunity to engage in speaker sessions, executive meetings, and professional development opportunities has been beyond impactful. Rutgers is a massive entity and without the Futures Program, I would have never known what it takes to keep this great University operating.
Donor gifts and loyal alumni support is a true pillar of Rutgers. I am grateful that I am learning the importance of this now as an undergrad, as fostering a culture of philanthropy is critical to being a Scarlet Knight. One should have pride in their university and understand the magnitude and importance of giving back. I have made gifts on Giving Day, however I truly did not understand how my donation benefits not only myself but also the entire student body. The Futures Program is helping me better engage myself, here at Rutgers, and continues to strengthen my Scarlet Pride.
Student giving is ultimately a sense of empowerment. At Rutgers, when a gift is made, the donor has the choice on where they want to make an impact at Rutgers. As a student, I take it as an honor to be able make an impact so easily. During this summer, the interns are working on a strategic plan on how to increase student philanthropic engagement at Rutgers. The Rutgers University Foundation wants to hear a plan and try to implement a plan that we get to create as a team. The Foundation understands that as students we know what the university community wants and needs and that is what I love about this internship. This program is unlike no other and your voice will always be heard.
Another perk of this program is that there are endless networking opportunities, especially with Rutgers Alumni. All of the stories and unique career paths explorations is a privilege to hear. My favorite part, when talking to alumni, is to compare and contrast my student experience with that of someone who possibly graduated five, ten, twenty even over fifty years ago. It is still crazy to think that there are almost 500,000 Alumni of Rutgers and as my college career is coming close to the end, I am proud to say that I will be a Scarlet Knight forever.
Dylan Gonzalez is a Futures intern in Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences.