KLI Sponsors Summer Internships
An Important Growth Opportunity for CMC Students
Below are reflections from a few of this year’s KLI interns who spent part of their summer at public, not-for-profit or social enterprises.
Ben Feldman ’14
I spent 10 weeks interning for Landesa, a non-for-profit, non-governmental organization and past Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership winner that works to alleviate poverty by securing land rights for the world’s most vulnerable. My position was with the program department, the heart of Landesa’s work, which is responsible for researching, developing, and implementing land reform polices by partnering with governments of developing nations.
My responsibilities as an intern consisted of research, memo writing, and project support. Through these responsibilities I completed projects dealing with international development, women’s land rights, public funding opportunities, potential partners evaluations, and South African peri-urban agriculture. My major project was creating a binder report on Burma (Myanmar). This report evaluated the status of land rights in Burma and outline various legal, political, social, and economic information. This research is foundational for whether or not Landesa should become involved in the region. I began to comprehend the gravity of the decisions the leadership team faces when deciding which projects to fund. In visualizing myself as the decision maker, I found it tough to value one project over another, let alone picking to improve the lives of one group and not another.
The internship gave me the opportunity to learn both hard and soft skills. My position’s requirement of advanced research and writing skills undoubtedly forced me to refine these hard skills. Additionally, the exposure to a professional provided me with the chance to learn interpersonal business skills and the value of teamwork. This was furthered by the constant reflecting on my experience through the INT 199 course online discussions.
Rachit Khaitan ’13
I worked for Endeavor, a catalyst for high impact entrepreneurship in emerging markets, out of their global office in New York City.
I was an analyst on the Insight team, which is responsible for measuring and proving Endeavor’s impact using data through research and analysis. The goal of my project was to comprehensively survey the landscape of financing available to entrepreneurs operating in Endeavor countries and try to identify “hot markets” and moreover, understand their drivers.
Working with experienced management consultants taught me to leading discussions with managers adroitly and effectively. I learned to “answer first” by initiating the discussion from a high level conclusion to progressively drilling down to smaller details. I also learned to “manage upward” by laying forth disclaimers, caveats and shortcoming before delving into presenting my work, to instill a strong notion of trust in my manager.
My experience at Endeavor has helped me realize the power of high impact entrepreneurship as an engine for long-term economic growth. In addition, it reinforced my belief of the private sector, driven by innovation and rigor, as an effective vehicle of change. I clearly envision myself working in the space of high impact entrepreneurship in the future to create tangible social impact. However, my experience with the Insight team, with an emphasis on data and structured analysis, has also reinforced my belief that working in the space of for-profit strategy consulting is the best way to equip myself with the analytical and communicative skills I would need to eventually work in an unstructured environment.
Harry Pellicoro ’15
My ten weeks were some of the most interesting and educational of my life. I can honestly say that I learned more about myself and the business world at Uncharted Play – a start-up social enterprise in New York City – than I did at any other company I have interned with in the past.
I had a variety of responsibilities this summer that allowed me to improve a vast array of skills. I split my time between the Marketing Department and Business Development Department this summer, which gave me access to two vital components of Uncharted Play’s business. The company’s mission to create “fun products and services that allow people to rethink the function of play both as a tool to address major issues facing society and as a way to keep joy at the forefront of our lives.”
I spent some time developing the company’s new “Imagine the possibilities” marketing campaign for the summer, which turned out to be a huge success. I was involved with this process from the brainstorming stage to designing the final posters.
I spent time with the Vice President of Business Development researching corporate partnerships with other Social Enterprise companies. Using this information, I was able to develop my own proposal for Uncharted Play to secure new corporate partnerships, which the company has already begun to integrate into their partnerships with State Farm Insurance Company, Telemundo, and the Wasserman Foundation. I also wrote multiple grant applications for Uncharted Play, which have all passed the initial vetting process and will hopefully lead to more funding for Uncharted Play’s works.
Before this internship, I did not only appreciate the level of importance of exemplary organizational skills in a leader, but also the foresight that a leader must have in order to anticipate the future of his or her company. I now know that if I ever want to start my own company or be a leader in the business world I will have to continue to improve my organizational skills and my understanding of the effects of each decision I make on the future of my company or the company I work for.
Christina Brandt ’14
Red Cross of Southern California
At the Red Cross I focused mainly on the volunteer engagement program, its benefits and drawbacks, as well as the current fundraising program “PrepareSoCal.”
I got to see the value of teamwork and communication first hand among all levels of staff and volunteers, something that is very important as a leader. I learned that I really like working on full projects and seeing them through from start to finish so I hope to find a career where I am able to participate in an entire project and not just steps along the way.
I would not have taken this internship or probably even have considered it without KLI’s support. By funding my summer internship, KLI gave me the opportunity to further my work experience, observe and learn from some of the best leaders in the non-profit sector, and grow my own leadership skills through communication and team building.
Jessica Dang ’13
BRAC, the largest non-profit in the developing world, was launched in Bangladesh in 1972 and now reaches more than 138 million people with its holistic approach to addressing poverty by providing micro-loans, self-employment opportunities, health services, education, legal and human rights education and livelihood training. BRAC was the 2007 recipient of The Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership.
My main goals were to learn all about the operations of a non-profit organization so that I can apply my skills and knowledge in the future, work independently, and handle multiple projects simultaneously. I have been able to use my skills in writing and research to edit all of the annual reports and assist in developing the Google Earth project, which was created to expand BRAC’s story.
KLI has helped me grow as a leader in more ways than I ever expected. Since I have been exposed to so many leadership opportunities on CMC campus, such as the Sophomore Leadership Experience, the International Leadership Association Student Case Study competition, Leadership Day, Women in Leadership workshops, and many more, my view on leadership has changed drastically. Instead of viewing leadership as holding an important position, I see leadership as being humble, respecting others, being passionate and how you care about your community.
Furthermore, the leadership skills I cultivated through my experiences at Claremont McKenna College gave me the confidence to dream big. Although I am currently majoring in Psychology, I did not realize my desire to attend business school until I immersed myself into KLI. Through the Leadership Studies Sequence sponsored by KLI, I gained a deep interest for organizational behavior and leading social entrepreneurial ventures. KLI has given me countless opportunities to learn, grow, and succeed, while actively engaging me through activities I genuinely enjoyed.
Kelsey Cherland ’14
Save the Children
I was an intern for the Public Policy & Advocacy (PPA) office at Save the Children in Washington, D.C. My responsibilities ranged from creating materials for a Capitol Hill briefing to analyzing and designing a data presentation on Advocacy efforts around the world.
During my internship, I learned through personal experience that leadership requires independent thinking in a collaborative environment. My experience with Save the Children augmented my passion for non-profits as a catalyst for leadership. KLI made this experience possible, and has impacted my career with non-profit leadership experience in America’s capitol. KLI ensured a humbling and empowering summer internship, but it also gave me life-long practical and personal lessons that will continue to shape my leadership in the future.