After a short moment of silence at the first meeting of the SIDAR interns and the Futures interns, bursts of laughter ensued. Over the past weeks, the current interns have heard nothing but high praises about the inaugural cohort, and we were able to experience why. Hearing stories from our units about how the past interns went above and beyond their duties made the inaugural cohort seem like celebrities, which is probably why the Futures cohort was so quiet when meeting them—we were star struck! We spent time getting to know and learn from our program’s veterans. We heard great insight on how to work together as a cohort and the Futures interns were able to see the deep friendships that resulted from this internship. After hours of giving and receiving great advice on how to make the most of this internship, and more importantly, where to get the best pies; both cohorts ended the day with cheery smiles.
When sitting in a conference room surrounded by the inspiring SIDAR cohort, I realized how unique each intern is, and how each contribute to an overall standard of excellence in the foundation. Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” A habit of excellence was certainly established with the inaugural cohort of interns. They excelled during their ten weeks and were amazing predecessors for the following Futures to have. Every intern who has been selected exudes excellence in how they present themselves and the Rutgers University Foundation. With almost all of the former interns either employed, or pursuing a master’s degree, it is clear that this excellent, ambitious, and entrepreneurial spirit is noticed by many people.
When thinking about an internship, most imagine the quintessential meaning of the word—making copies, getting coffee, or doing tedious work that was passed onto you because no one else wanted to do it. Futures in Advancement is unlike a “quintessential” internship. The goal of this program is to provide interns with real-life work experience and first-hand knowledge about a growing career field in development. The program planners place the interns in departments where they can truly contribute to the best of their abilities. Every department sees the potential of the interns and makes sure to utilize their creative and hard-working spirit. The Futures are not assigned tasks just to keep them busy, but rather given assignments that challenge their intellect and academic abilities. Every day, we are learning something new and expanding our knowledge of working in a professional environment. I am confident that when my time with this internship is completed, I will have gained the tools and experience needed to excel in my professional career. Within the past few weeks, time has flown by so quickly and I’ve learned so much. There is no greater experience than feeling that your work is appreciated, and your thoughts and input are valued. The foundation has given me the tools to excel myself and expand my professional knowledge. This internship has been one of the best ways I’ve spent my summer and I’ve been fortunate enough to spend it with such an amazing group of people.
Mannela Iparraguirre is a Futures intern with Donor Relations