Looking Back on the Summer

Charis Shin

Ten weeks ago, the 2021 cohort of the Futures in Advancement interns logged on to our first day with the Foundation, kicking off an unorthodox start to the summer. While the growing pains of technical difficulties and the loss of watercooler chats were unavoidable in this new virtual format, I think that I speak for all of us when I say that this experience was incredibly fruitful­— all thanks to the Talent Management team, our hosts, and the many RUF colleagues that have welcomed us throughout this internship. Even without ever stepping foot in the Liberty Plaza office, we have felt the camaraderie and shared sense of purpose that drives every unit, from Principal Gifts to the Zimmerli Art Museum. Likewise, each intern came into this program with a unique background spanning Rutgers’ campuses, grades, and majors; but what we all shared was the perspective of Rutgers students who have been positively impacted by philanthropy in ways both big and small.

What followed these initial introductions were jam-packed days filled with unit meetings, cohort project work, and educational sessions that gave us a 360-view of the many facets of the Foundation. Speaking from my personal experience, I was able to rotate within the Principal Gifts team to learn from Corporate Engagement, Foundation Relations, Estate & Gift Planning, and Regional Gifts. For a continuing undergraduate student like myself, this rotation-style internship was so valuable in giving me a comprehensive look at advancement and fundraising, as well as potential career paths to pursue, whether it be as a grant researcher or planned giving officer. I was also able to explore and refine my skills in a multitude of meaningful projects, and I received valuable mentorship from a number of individuals who were so open with their time and expertise. My fellow interns have shared similar sentiments regarding their work— and again, even while our specific experiences at the Foundation differed based on placement, we have all been challenged, in the best of ways, throughout this summer.

Despite these reflections, there have also been so many fun and meaningful moments during these past ten weeks that are impossible to capture in a blog post— the icebreakers before diving into our cohort meetings, the furry friends that have popped in during Zoom calls, the endearing awkwardness of being the first person to unmute. To me, these lighthearted interactions, coupled with phenomenal professional development, truly encompass what it means to be involved with higher education advancement— a highly personal, human-centered career that is about nurturing relationships with students, alumni, and everyone in between.

With that being said, I would like to extend a huge thank you once again to everyone who made our time with the Foundation so impactful and informative. It is bittersweet to say our goodbyes as we wrap up the program, but rest assured, we are leaving as individuals more connected to this wonderful university and organization.

Charis is a Futures in Advancement intern with Principal Gifts.

From Gratitude to Giving

Anna Schnetzer

Some of the most meaningful donations come from a place of gratitude. For Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS), much of that gratitude can be witnessed through the Grateful Patient Program, an RBHS major gifts program benefitting Rutgers Health.

On July 15th, the Futures in Advancement interns had the opportunity to hear from Lisa English, Associate Vice President for RBHS Advancement Services, and Asiya Fricke, Assistant Director of Grateful Patient Development, about this robust and growing program. Creating a pipeline for gifts of over $25,000, the Grateful Patient Program provides opportunities for patients of Rutgers Health physicians to extend their gratitude. These gifts directly support the programs and research conducted by the physician to further improve patient care and treatment.

After a series of speaker sessions with other Foundation staff surrounding alumni donor engagement and solicitation, it was interesting to be able to explore a new side of development that’s supported by those outside of a classic pool list of graduates. Involving conversations surrounding an individual’s health and medical experiences, Lisa spoke to how the Grateful Patient Program has higher stakes and is often much more emotional, requiring a greater level of empathy. When making patient calls, Asiya shared that remaining empathetic and patient, and actively listening are her main concerns. While these phone calls act as a pipeline for major gifts, ultimately, the priority is to make a connection with the patient through these authentic, person-centered conversations and give them a space to share their experience. For this reason, Lisa stated that the Grateful Patient Program is arguably its own skillset.

One way in which the Grateful Patient Program is similar to other programs at the Foundation, however, is in the amount of collaboration that takes place. The Grateful Patient Program would not be what it is today without the help of various teams across RBHS. To name a few, prospect development, communications, frontline fundraisers, and Foundation IT all play a vital role in this multi-stage process. From qualifying prospects to closing gifts, each team contributes distinct, yet equally valuable functions that lead to the success of the program and new milestones. This further solidifies the notion that we’ve learned throughout the course of this internship that the opportunities within development are endless – it’s just a matter of finding your niche where your interests and strong suits intersect.

On behalf of the Futures of Advancement interns, I would like to thank Lisa and Asiya once again for giving us the opportunity to learn about this meaningful program and all the work that goes into making it such a success!

Anna Schnetzer is a Futures in Advancement Intern with the Rutgers Biomedical & Health Sciences team

Newark Day 2021

Camila Ventura Martinez

On Thursday, July 8th the Futures in Advancement Interns headed off to Newark (virtually of course!) to meet with the advancement team working within the Rutgers University- Newark campus. As an alumna of Rutgers-Newark, I was especially excited to learn more about the team and their work as well as how they came to be where they are today.  

Our day started off with meeting the ever inspiring and genuine Robin Semple, who is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Development for Strategic Initiatives at Rutgers-Newark. Vice Chancellor Semple shared with us many stories of her professional journey, including her trip to the United Nations Plaza as a young girl which paved a path for the experiences and goals she has accomplished since. Vice Chancellor Semple emphasized her focus on humanity, culture, and global thought as her drive for her extensive work within nonprofit, development, and higher education. She mentioned that she used her values and diverse interests as an advantage to try new things and gave the interns the advice to do the same.

Vice Chancellor Semple also shared other pieces of her role within development including her work with management and prospect development, the opportunity to work on a diverse team and how diversity allows for a multitude of perspectives, as well as the opportunity to be part of other initiatives such as a task force within the Foundation focused on race, philanthropy, and enhancing the participation of alumni of color/communities of color.

Our meeting ended on an inspirational note, with Vice Chancellor Semple sharing with us her guiding poem, Human Family by Maya Angelou, that closed out a very memorable and motivational meeting. Thank you, Vice Chancellor Semple!

In the afternoon we had the opportunity to attend an Early Career Panel hosted by Campaign Coordinator at Rutgers-Newark, Emilie Vocaj Wan Bok Nale, that included Special Project Coordinator, Alexandra Brown, and Development Associate, Nate Nakao as panelists. Our time with Emilie, Alexandra and Nate gave the interns a look into their journeys, their current work, and projects, as well as advice from their own experiences.

Each panelist gave a different and honest perspective of how they came into the world of development that added to the reality of maneuvering through your career. Emilie, Alexandra, and Nate each detailed their own stories of how they found their current positions as well as what they are currently working on.  Their projects were especially interesting to learn more about, as they each had an assortment of projects that highlighted the many different aspects that happen within the field of development including, work with combating food insecurity, scholarship workshops, and memorialization.

Each panelist also offered insight in their experience with professional lessons and gave advice to the interns as they start their careers. The lessons touched upon work life balance, being kind to oneself, and pacing yourself through your responsibilities. Lastly, their advice included to never forget your “why”, to put a focus on visualization and your own values, as well as the advice to never let go of curiosity to always find a way to learn despite the level you are within your career. Their insight was very much appreciated, and we are so thankful for the opportunity to meet them!

Overall, Newark Day left me in very high spirits with a lot to ponder and apply to my own goals. This opportunity, alongside the many opportunities to meet with and discuss with Foundation staff has been incredible so far. As we near the end of our internship, I know the many perspectives we have come to learn of will be takeaways we will continue to use as we progress into our own journeys ahead!

Camila Ventura Martinez is a Futures in Advancement intern with the Rutgers Biomedical & Health Sciences team

Big Ideas Communication Speaker Series

Anna Masciandaro

One of the first things I heard about at the Foundation was the Big Ideas Campaign. I knew what the 12 Big Ideas were and how they came to fruition, but I didn’t know about all the collaborative and interdepartmental work that goes into rolling out a comprehensive campaign. Luckily, the other interns and I had an opportunity to talk with Jessica Miller, the Associate Vice President of Campaign and Board Operations, and Renee Mathys, the Associate Director of Public Relations, to learn more about Big Ideas and the surrounding communication.

At the speaker session on July 15th, one of the key things the speakers brought up was how multidisciplinary the 12 Big Ideas are which requires a multidisciplinary approach to marketing them. Not only do they work with each other to roll out the campaigns, they also work with prospect development (among others) and utilize data to determine how to best market to stakeholders. It was also interesting to hear about the different ways they’re trying to reach their target audience or get the word out. In addition to using the typical outreach channels (email, newsletters, social media), the Foundation is also looking to expand into Hulu and YouTube ads where viewers would get a Big Ideas ad based on the content they’re streaming.

Creating a fundraising initiative, like Big Ideas, is more than coming up with the topics, it’s also about making sure people know about them. With 12 distinct Big Ideas, Jess and Renee emphasized the importance of making sure that while they’re easily distinguishable from each other, they also need to be cohesive in how they’re branded. Not only do they have to consider Foundation branding when creating communications materials, they also need to think about the Rutgers brand and creating a brand house instead of a house of brands.

One of the biggest challenges with advancement communications is coming up with messaging that gets the point across, sustains people’s interest, and maintains brand identity but doesn’t sound repetitive. That being said, what stood out the most to me during the session was the sheer amount of content that the communications team is able to develop with input from the campaign team. From creating the landing pages for each Big Idea to developing and timing social media posts with email and newsletter blasts, it’s truly impressive the amount of content that communications is able to create with a team of 17 people.

Attending this speaker series truly made me appreciate all the behind the scenes work that goes into advancement communications and how much teamwork and collaboration it requires. When you look at the landing pages for Rutgers Big Ideas you only see the final product. You never see all the drafts and scrapped copy or the multiple edits of the videos. With this speaker session, I have a newfound appreciation of all the hard work that goes into large fundraising initiatives, especially those as extensive as Big Ideas.

Anna Masciandaro is a Futures in Advancement Intern with the Campaign & Board Operations and Prospect Development teams

Building Connections & Finding Meaning

Isaiah Bryant

On June 29th, the Future in Advancement team hosted a panel of three development officers led by Sean Howard, a former Futures in Advancement intern and current Leadership Giving Officer for Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. The three panelists were:

  • Divine Tabios, Senior Director of Development, School of Arts & Sciences
  • Shelly Horn, Senior Director of Regional Development, California
  • Erin Capone, Director of Development, School of Social Work

Each of these development officers provided their own insightful experience into the world of major gifts. During the discussion, the panelists were able to share their respective professional journeys that ultimately led to their careers in development. With them all coming from varying backgrounds and therefore having different skill sets, it was interesting to learn the ways in which their work was similar yet also different. This not only gave the interns a better understanding of the work that goes into being a development officer, but also the quality of character exhibited by the three panelists.

This group gave first-hand accounts of what makes their experiences so meaningful. They emphasized the importance of communication in their roles as development officers–focusing on building genuine connections with donors over time. Continuous conversations and regular outreach is one of the best ways to effectively connect with donors and match them with areas of need. Each panelist had their own tricks of the trade, but they all had a sense of why they do what they do. None of their work is for naught and because of that they find genuine enjoyment in it.

Additionally, they spoke about combining your passions with your career. Erin Capone mentioned that she was pursuing her doctorate in social work. For her, pursuing a higher degree was about having greater knowledge that she can utilize to advance the work she already does. Her views on community and finding meaning in the work that you do was a powerful reminder to do what you love and pursue your dreams at the same time.

I would like to thank all the panelists who took the time out of their busy schedules to share their experiences with us. I would also like to give a special thanks to Sean Howard for moderating an incredible panel.

Isaiah Bryant is a Futures in Advancement intern with the School of Engineering

A Lifelong Relationship with Rutgers

Zoya Pandher

On June 29th, the Futures in Advancement interns had the opportunity to hear from Chuck Chaplin, the Vice Chair of the Rutgers University Foundation Board of Directors. In previous weeks, our cohort had met with various Foundation employees to learn about the different departments and roles within the organization. These sessions gave us a better understanding of the important of philanthropy and advancement, especially at the university level. However, our talk with Chuck Chaplin provided a different perspective, as we heard about his connection with Rutgers, the successes and challenges he faced throughout his career, and the many pieces of advice he offered during his talk.

Chuck started off by speaking about how his personal connection with Rutgers started at a young age thanks to his mother, who worked in the English department at Rutgers Camden. He went on to earn a degree in Psychology at Rutgers, and eventually created a scholarship in honor of his mother. Seeing as I also come from a Rutgers family, it was incredible to see the kind of lifelong relationship that can be built and maintained with an institution, and how that can go on to help so many others. One thing that really stuck with me after the session was an experience that Chuck shared from working at a dining hall on campus while he was a student. He said that many of his coworkers had children who attended Rutgers and were grateful to the university in a way which wasn’t true for many of the students who were eating in those same dining halls. To me, the role that Rutgers takes in its larger community is a huge part of what makes this university what it is, and hearing that story made me even prouder to be part of such a community.

Chuck also spoke at length about his professional journey. As someone who has barely started their professional career, I didn’t expect to relate so much to someone at the top of their field. However, hearing that self-doubt is something you still deal with even when you are experienced and well-respected was surprisingly reassuring. After this session, I learned that the most important thing is to take action, no matter how small; and the worst thing you can possibly do is let yourself be frightened into inaction. Although you may not be able to get rid of the feeling altogether, you can keep moving forward.

As each week passes and I learn more about the Rutgers University Foundation, Rutgers as a whole, and the people who make these institutions what they are, I become more and more motivated to leave my own impact however I can, and to maintain my relationship with Rutgers as long as I can.

Zoya Pander is a Futures in Advancement intern with the Zimmerli Art Museum

2021 Alumni Day

Leilana Austin

On June 10th, the current Futures in Advancement interns had the opportunity to connect with past interns for Alumni Day. What ensued was a much-needed conversation about the importance of connection and honest communication in terms of success.

Speaking with those who had already gone through the program allowed us to see how much this internship has the potential to be a catalyst for great professional success. However, what I did not expect to take from this meeting was a sense of relief. This feeling came mostly from all the alumni sharing their experiences creating and presenting their cohort projects. As many know, group work tends to be quite challenging, especially when the participants do not know each other well. For us current interns, the fact that we are completely virtual made the ability to connect more difficult. Thankfully, we were reminded of the importance of just getting to know each other. We had met with each other a few times prior to Alumni Day but our conversations were focused solely on our project. The first cohort meeting that we had after Alumni Day was more focused on learning about each other and creating a more genuine connection. Since then, we have implemented ice breakers for every meeting which has made a considerably positive difference in the way that we all communicate with each other. 

After being in the internship for about three weeks, we had not had an open conversation about how we were all feeling. The topic of imposter syndrome was brought up by an alumnus and it gave us the chance to speak honestly about it for the first time. This was a conversation that we had carried into our following cohort meeting. The term itself refers to feeling like a fraud or imposter because of doubting one’s own abilities or accolades. There is so much research into how it disproportionately affects women, minorities, and high-achieving people; but what none of us had realized was that we were all experiencing it in one way or another. Unbeknownst to us was the existing sense that we all had to be as professional as possible at any given moment. Because of that, we avoided all candid interactions with each other. Sometimes as interns, it is difficult to feel as though you are an asset to those you work with or report to. Therefore, I have grown an immense gratitude for all of those at the Rutgers University Foundation who have made all the interns, past and present, feel as though they are an integral part of the work being done.

I want to thank all of alumni who came to speak and who gave us the space to have free-spoken communication.

Leilana Austin is a Futures in Advancement intern with the School of Arts and Science

From Futures Intern to Full-Time Leadership Gift Officer

Catherine Emery

The Futures in Advancement Program is a ten-week summer internship at the Rutgers University Foundation, the fundraising arm of Rutgers.  Over the 10 weeks, interns are given a professional workplace experience and an education on the many facets of development. I participated in the program this past summer and, this fall I applied and was accepted into a full-time position as a Leadership Giving Officer with the RBHS team. I truly enjoy speaking about what my experience was like because the internship has had lasting impacts on my career!

An important takeaway from the Futures in Advancement program is the great emphasis on professional growth. The Rutgers University Foundation supports the fundraising efforts of the University, and the Futures program are exposes participants to front line fundraising, data analytics, strategy and planning, revenue processing, communications, and so much more. The internship takes you through these several occupational possibilities by tasking interns with meaningful individual placements, group assignments, professional development workshops, and valuable networking opportunities. A highlight of the program is that the cohort gets to present their group project to the entire foundation at the conclusion of the summer. If you find interest in development, or in another field, the Rutgers Foundation wants to help you find success throughout your professional path.

Photo by John O’Boyle

In my experience, I was still in the process of figuring out where I wanted to begin my career and this was something that I was open about from the beginning of the program and something that was welcomed by those I worked with at the Foundation. I had received my MSW because listening to others was something that I enjoyed and valued. I wanted to make a career out of building relationships but didn’t know exactly how to break into that; I also had an interest in fundraising but was unsure if I had the skills needed to be successful in it. While working with the Principal Gifts team, I rotated through diverse fundraising departments, which allowed me to interact with crucial support teams at the Foundation. With the help of the Talent Management team, I was able to make an informed decision about my career that was based on my skillsets and interests—finding a path that would both challenge and excite me. Because of my experience, I walked away from the program ready to move into fundraising!

When I transitioned into my full-time position, I felt a unique preparation that I would not have felt if I did not have the internship experience. This isn’t just because I was familiar with the Rutgers University Foundation; it was because I learned how to present myself as a professional and navigate a workplace. I felt excitement to begin because I was no longer afraid of facing professional challenges. I had confidence in my skills. I would tell anyone to pursue the Futures in Advancement Program! The program welcomes students of all majors and creates an experience that will help them grow within their interests. This is evident among the success of the past four cohorts. Futures in Advancement is a one-of-a-kind program and I am so lucky to have been a part of it!

Futures in Advancement. 5/29/19. Photo by John O’Boyle

How Did We Get Here?

Gianna West

Week 4 of my internship is coming to an end and I have already had the opportunity to meet so many amazing professionals at the Foundation. Throughout my time here, I have noticed that no two stories are the same, yet all are worth listening to. The office is filled with so many diverse people from varying backgrounds. Even my fellow interns all come from different majors. Everyone’s upbringings, challenges, experiences, and achievements are a series of footprints that brought them to the world of advancement. And yes, the phrase “when I get older, I want to be a fundraiser” isn’t necessarily common, but it seems that the right people inevitably end up here.

The funny part about that phrase is that everyone isn’t just a fundraiser either. There are many components that work together to form the strategic planning and execution of a campaign. The Futures Interns and I recently had the opportunity to attend the Diverse Careers Speaker Series where various Foundation staff spoke about their paths to advancement. The first session’s panel consisted of Lisa English, an Associate Vice President in RBHS, Marco Battaglia, Assistant Athletic Director for Development, and Katie Mayfield, Director of Development in RBHS. Due to my own placement in RBHS, it was very interesting to learn about the career paths of staff in my unit. It was also surprising to hear about other department’s staff, such as Marco’s football background that led him to Athletic Development. After speaking about their past work experience and backgrounds, the panelists gave us beneficial advice to use in the future. They told us to find out who we are and what are our passions, identify our skill sets so that we can use them to our advantage, and to always believe you deserve success so that you will not fall victim to imposter syndrome. These words of wisdom will stick with me on my professional journey.

The second session comprised of Roberta O’Hara, an Associate Vice President in Donor Relations, Anthony Colella, Director of Visual Identity, and Candy Knaus, Director of Application Development & User Support. These three staff members spoke more about their unique positions within advancement and what exactly they do in those positions. Being an IT major and the nerd that I am, I was delighted to hear from Candy about everything that goes on in the Foundation’s IT Department. I was also amazed to learn from Roberta about how much work is done in the Donor Relations team. Even the amount of work it takes the Communications Team to make a campaign visually engaging was an eye-opener. It just goes to show that there is always more than meets the eye.

Being able to experience the Rutgers University Foundation from the inside has given me a whole new perspective on advancement and made me realize how important it is in higher education. A question was asked during the second speaker session about words that could be used to describe the work at the Foundation, and there was one answer that stood out to me: Purpose. From the outside looking in, one may not be able to see that amount of collaboration and work that goes into the running of the Rutgers University Foundation. Everyone is making an impact, and the staff who surround you are so friendly and welcoming that even if you never thought you would end up as an advancement professional, you can’t help but think you belong here too.

Rutgers Futures in Advancement. 5/29/19 Photo by John O’Boyle

Gianna West is a Futures in Advancement intern with Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences

Alumni Day: Futures Then and Now

Elizabeth Hunt

Coming into the Futures in Advancement Internship Program, I knew that I would be given the opportunity to learn and grow both personally and professionally. What I did not realize was how far this program has come in developing advancement professionals. My cohort is the fourth class in this program which started back in the summer of 2016. We recently had the privilege of meeting alumni from the previous cohorts, during one of the sessions planned for us. To me, this was the most insightful days so far, as I was able to discuss my feelings towards the internship thus far, my concerns, and my aspirations; in return, I learned what the program meant for the alumni and how their professional paths developed because of their participation in the Futures in Advancement internship.

During our time with the former Futures Interns, the conversation was a back and forth dialogue of information that drew on some very powerful lessons. I learned that many of the past interns had returned to the foundation in varying professional capacities. For example, Sean Howard returned part-time after ending the first program, and a year later became the special projects coordinator for the Talent Management Team. Another alumnus currently works at the Douglas Residential College as an advancement assistant, and another former Futures intern works in development events. I also learned that the Futures in Advancement internship allowed them to find direction in their careers, as they were not sure where they wanted to go professionally before the program. The foundation has provided countless opportunities to past Futures interns and is currently giving us the same opportunity.

Through the rest of the day, we continued discussing their experience with the internship and asking questions. Tahsin Alam, Associate Vice President for Talent Management and Organizational Development, joined the group to discuss career planning. This discussion was particularly insightful as we were able to ask questions not only to him but to the Futures Alumni as well. I learned that keeping in contact with not only Tahsin but each other, the Foundation, and alumni would allow us to build a well-rounded professional network when applying for jobs. As a result of this internship, many of the graduated alumni found professional opportunities, while those who were still in school gained resume-building experiences. Tahsin provided advice on applying for jobs and what we might expect from our first job search. For me, this was useful as I had taken a year off after I received my undergraduate degree. I was able to see what I needed to change and how to better leverage my skills this time around. Overall, I felt more professionally empowered.

After alumni day, I can honestly say that I know I made the right choice in accepting the offer to join the Futures in Advancement internship. I learned that the advancement profession can give professionals a unique skill set that can be applied in many different careers both in and out of the profession. I learned that I am capable in any career that I choose, and being a part of this program has proven this fact all along. There have been many people that have come through this program; each with a unique skill set, background, and personality. Advancement is about building relationships, engagement, and development for the future. This program has already given me the opportunity to build those connections, and I realized how important that is for many industries. I hope that throughout the next 7 weeks, I continue to grow into the professional I know that I am. Alumni Day was an extremely valuable day, where I was able to see how this internship experience will impact my future.

Rutgers Futures in Advancement. 5/29/19 Photo by John O’Boyle

Elizabeth Hunt is a Futures in Advancement intern with the Alumni Engagement Team

Everything is Connected

Hailey Lemasters

Rutgers Futures in Advancement. 5/29/19 Photo by John O’Boyle

There are very few times in which the thought of waking up at 6am on a Monday and commuting over an hour has been particularly thrilling; however, working at the Foundation has completely changed this for me. No matter how long the commute, how much traffic has conspired against me, or how groggy I may feel in the morning, walking through the doors of Liberty Plaza and sitting down at my desk is an instant pick me up.

The introduction to my unit, the “small but mighty” campaign team as my unit hosts Jessica Miller and Ingrid Cordasco like to say, quickly transitioned into a warm welcome into the huge family that is the Rutgers University Foundation and this year’s class of Futures interns. After receiving my first project to audit the Dean Advisory Boards, I quickly learned that in order to complete this assignment, I would need to meet with professionals in many different departments to strategize a streamlined process of communication and data collection. A meeting with Karen Hurst, the Director of Gift Processing and Alumni Records, opened my eyes to just how vast and intricate the hierarchical structures of the Foundation and the University truly are. Despite this complexity, there is one common goal that unifies the entire Foundation: advancement. This common goal transcends the individual initiatives of specific schools and departments, which is key for the successful launch of the next multibillion-dollar comprehensive campaign.

Our University did not achieve the prestige it carries today by the work of individuals operating on their own. Akin to a kaleidoscope, many shapes and colors are constantly shifting, but a beautifully complex mosaic always remains. Work in advancement impacts nearly every aspect of the student experience at our University. Foundation staff work and coordinate with each of the University’s 29 individual schools daily. As Jess Miller has said to me on more than one occasion, “a rising tide lifts all boats.” As I continue in my internship, I am excited to see how the different units, boards, councils, and teams come together to launch our University’s next comprehensive campaign.

Rutgers Futures in Advancement. 5/29/19 Photo by John O’Boyle

Hailey Lemasters is a Futures in Advancement intern with Campaigns

A Look at Rutgers-Newark

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.

Rutgers Futures in Advancement. 6/4/18 Photo by John O’Boyle
Rutgers Futures in Advancement. 6/4/18 Photo by John O’Boyle

Tasnim Bhuiya is a Futures in Advancement intern with Rutgers-Newark