After finishing my internship I feel a distinct sense of accomplishment in more ways than I imagined. As I have written in previous blogs, I have learned so much that I can take back to the class room. At Brandeis I have created an IIM around Urban Studies. Over the course of my internship I conducted over 40 interviews of community leaders that have used ioby to help create the change they want in their own neighborhoods. These interviews have given me insight into what needs community members have from their community. It also has shown me many different ways that people go about ensuring that their neighborhoods are healthy and vibrant. I have saved all of the research that I have done and may use it for a project some time this year.
While I did expect to have an enriching academic experience, I also got to meet and work with talented and passionate people. It was really awesome working directly underneath the co-founders of the organization because I not only learned how the organization functions in the present but I also learned about how the organization has changed and grown. These relationships will definitely help me as I enter into the workforce.
I would definitely recommend this internship to anyone that is interested. While it was not a very established program like other internship opportunities, It did allow me to get real hands on experience. As a senior this internship has given me a better idea of what working a 9-5. It has also helped me narrow down what I want to be getting from a job that I might take after this school year. I think that it was really helpful to have personal interaction with the leaders of the organization. If anyone is looking into working for ioby I would recommend investing in relationships with the co-founders. They were not only hardworking but also very willing to talk about their experience. We discussed topics ranging from grad school to the process of starting a non-profit.
I am so grateful that I have had this important opportunity. It has not only taught me so much but also made me feel productive throughout the summer. I hope to find a job next year that will be as rewarding as working for ioby this summer.
I am more than halfway through my internship and I have learned a lot, although sometimes in ways that I did not expect. When I came into my internship I thought that I would mostly learn about cities and the effects that local community projects have on a neighborhood. In my WOW application I wrote that I had a desire to learn about different projects through phone interviews. During my time at ioby I have been tasked with running a follow up survey to learn about the lasting impacts that ioby projects have had on their communities. These calls have been helpful in teaching me about different ideas that people have for their neighborhoods. Learning about creative small scale urban projects will help me continue my academic growth as I pursue my IIM in urban studies and possible career path in urban planning. In addition to this my phone conversations have allowed me to interact with a variety of people across the country that I would otherwise be unable to meet.
Reflecting back on when I started my internship, I initially thought that I had not gained any new skills but after giving it some thought I have realized that growth can sometimes be hard to detect. I feel that this internship has helped me become more comfortable cold calling people on the phone. I feel like I am part of my organization, a concept that takes some getting used to. This feeling of being part of an organization has made it a lot easier to speak for ioby (our policies, mission etc.). This process has been facilitated by attending weekly meetings with the full staff. During these meetings every person shares what they have done last week and what their plans are for the next week. In addition, we practice sharing stories of our project leaders. We have also had the opportunity to ask open questions to the co-founders of the organization.
While I have learned a great deal about urban projects, I did not expect to learn so much about non-profits as a whole. The organization that I am interning for, ioby, is a very small non-profit. At the headquarters there are only 3 full time staff members. I have had the awesome opportunity to work in the same room as everybody in the organization which has given me an interesting perspective as to the daily happenings of a nonprofit organization. I am glad that I have been able to learn so much through my internship and I look forward to learning more in the coming weeks. Bellow I have attached two pictures that are examples of projects that I have been able to learn about through my interviews.
Revamp and Rebuild raised money to rebuild a community garden
Prenatal Yoga en el Bronx offers bilingual prenatal fitness to low income communities in the Bronx
This summer I am working in Brooklyn, NY for a small non-profit called ioby. ioby stands for “in our backyard” and it works to help support local community projects across the country. ioby is an online crowd resourcing platform that allows people to post, organize and fund-raise for project proposals made to improve a community. Many people that use ioby do not have experience fundraising or community organizing. Because of this, ioby offers trainings on grassroots fundraising and organizing in order to help everyone achieve their goal. The idea behind this organization is that people know what their communities need most. Often times city planners or people in positions of power have set ideas on what a good community looks like. ioby is different because we try to empower people to achieve their own vision of a vibrant community. Check out this video to learn more.
I found the organization through a colleague that I worked with at the New York City Council, last summer. Earlier this year I sent him an email asking whether he knew about any organizations that were active around issues of public space and urban issues. I also told him that I am involved with organizing on campus at Brandeis and would be interested in exploring that field as well. My colleague knows the co-founder of the organization sent me some information and put me in touch. I browsed through the website and decided that I was interested in working for this organization. From there I sent a cover letter and resume and went through a phone interview. I was thrilled when offered the internship.
So far I am two weeks into my internship and I have done a number of different tasks. Because this organization is so small (3 full time staff and 5 part time staff), I will be doing a little bit of everything. One project that I have already completed is researching and outlining blog posts for 3 different topics that relate to many proposed projects from our website. These topics are food education, art in tactical urbanism and women of color in biking. ioby is planning on hosting webinars around all three topics to dig into the topics that our project leaders find interesting. These webinars will also provide people with information on how to successfully complete projects that fall within these 3 subject areas. In addition to the research, I am helping out with the logistics of the organization. I have been helping with book keeping to make sure that the organization’s finances are all in order for auditing. The biggest project that I will be taking on this summer will be running a phone survey of all of the people that have used our website in order to improve the organization as well as understand the long term impacts that our organization has had. Right now I am waiting for finalization of the questions before beginning the calls.
This summer I am looking forward to running this survey and improving my data analysis skills. In addition to this I am looking forward to learning more about how a small non-profit operates. I am really happy to be working with ioby. So far my interactions with my co-workers have been great and I am looking forward to the rest of the summer.