by Sam Young, marketing intern & junior marketing major, Mike Cottrell College of Business
Through a love of community serivce, management major Taylor Allen was able to land an internship with the renowned nonprofit organization, the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
What made you interested in doing this internship?
I am heavily involved in various service projects at University of North Georgia, one of which is doing an annual fundraising event for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. I feel deeply connected to the Make-A-Wish mission- to grant wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions and to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy. When the opportunity arose to be an intern for them, I knew I wanted to spend my summer learning how a nonprofit organization operates behind the scenes of its charity work.
How did you get your internship?
I got my internship by networking. Through the Athletic Department’s Make-A-Wish fundraising events, I have had the opportunity to meet several Make-A-Wish representatives. I made sure to introduce myself whenever they visited Dahlonega. When it came time to apply for internships, I reached out to one of the contacts I had for the organization and asked if they were looking for interns. Sure enough, they needed someone to fill a spot on their development team for the summer. Lesson learned- always put yourself out there and network with as many people as possible!
What is your role?
I am the Development Intern. I help with fundraising efforts, national alliance partnerships, donor relations, as well as community events all over the state of Georgia. My main project for this internship is to revamp one of their fundraising opportunities. I am building a point-of-sale fundraising campaign from the ground up that businesses can participate in and raise funds for Make-A-Wish Georgia.
What skills have you learned in your classes that could be applied to your internship?
Mike Cottrell College of Business classes have prepared me well for this internship by developing my presentation skills, marketing skills, persuasion tactics and Microsoft Excel expertise. I rely heavily on the fundamentals learned in marketing. I am always thinking about who my target audience is when developing fundraising pitches. I even do marketing research on the targeted companies before presentations so I can make the visit as personable as possible. When I get to present, I use persuasion tactics learned in class to encourage them to give their time and funds to the Make-A-Wish cause. Almost everything I do is in Microsoft Excel. Learning about the different filters and relation tools of Excel in my Business Information Systems class has really proven helpful when sorting through our marketing research sheets.
What skills have you learned in the position and how could you work on them for the future?
My internship has helped me develop my project management skills and donor relation skills. In the upcoming year, I plan on earning my Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. I have also learned the intricacies of hosting large-scale, state-wide events. I will use this new knowledge when planning any future community engagement events. Lastly, this internship has given me the confidence of initiating and fostering new partner relationships. I will utilize this skill when continuing to build my network and enrich my professional friendships.
How has your internship prepared you for post-graduation?
This internship has done a great job teaching me the business side of nonprofit organizations. The analytical skills, communication skills, and technical skills I have learned at Make-A-Wish Georgia can be transferable to any business sector. I now feel confident in being able to successfully handle my first job post-grad. I have learned that if I do not know at first how to complete a task or responsibility, I can quickly problem solve and learn the process that needs to be done to get the job completed correctly.
What tips do you have for other students looking to get an internship?
If you are a student looking for an internship, always put yourself out there when in a crowd of people you aren’t too familiar with even if you are uncomfortable. Meet as many people as you can. Network as much as possible, and then don’t be afraid to reach out to your new contacts letting them know you are looking for an internship experience! If they do not have any openings, they may be able to point you in the right direction to someone who does. The world is smaller than you think when it comes to connections!