Top 5 Reasons to Intern at a Nonprrofit

Jill Clardy / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

After completing a course at Ohio State University called “Rhetoric and Community Service,” I realized a few things about the importance of interning at a nonprofit. I also learned that even though you don’t have to take a course to intern at a nonprofit, doing so has its benefits.

About the course “rhetoric and community service”
In this course, I was instructed on how to get the most out of my experience with a nonprofit. In that, it helped to make writing for my nonprofit, Community Shelter Board, more effective. Additionally, this course provided feedback on my writing as well as interaction with other students interning at nonprofits.

CSB is a nonprofit that raises money and awareness for their mission to end homelessness in Columbus, Ohio and surrounding areas. Here I was able to write for their social media, press releases and stakeholder emails.

Interning at a nonprofit
If unable to find a course like this at your college, internships are still one of the best ways to get real-world experience to apply what you are learning in your coursework for your major.

My experience with interning at CSB over the last four months has provided me with knowledge about the way nonprofits work, how to write for them and why this work is so important. But what about other students experience interning at a nonprofit?

In the blog post “5 Reasons To Intern With a Nonprofit,” by Natalie Dance, a marketing student at Brigham Young University, Dance details why she thinks you should intern at a nonprofit.

In addition to Dance’s reasons for interning at a nonprofit, below I provide my own top 5 as a student in a strategic communications major.

Top 5 reasons to intern at a nonprofit

    1)Engaging in your community
    I can’t think of a better way to take part in bettering your community than interning at a nonprofit. The experience is one you’ll carry with you for a lifetime, whether you better understand the importance of volunteering, do another internship at a nonprofit, or end up working for one.

    2)Writing for a cause
    When interning at a nonprofit, everything you write is for a greater cause. You’ll never be expected to work on a campaign to get children to want junk food or to develop products that have no social benefit. Writing for a nonprofit is a great way to hone in on your ability to engage in civic duty while learning how to write in the voice of your organization.

    3)Learning how to work on a deadline
    College students always have deadlines and this is also true in the workplace. Nonprofits are constantly working against the clock to raise funds and to get people to participate in functions and volunteer as well. Interning at a nonprofit will fortify your ability to accomplish what needs done in the workplace in a timely manner.

    4)Understanding the use of social media in the workplace
    As you can see in the blog post “How Non-Profits Relied on Social Media in 2012,” by Sam Laird, nonprofits rely on social media heavily. Nonprofits aren’t the only organizations that do so – many companies do. As students of the millennial generation, it will be expected that we know how to use social media and what better place to get a real-world application than an organization that often relies heavily on it.

    5)Building your resume and gaining a competitive advantage
    Virtuosity aside, having some experience at a nonprofit, whether it be an internship, volunteering or through post-college work experience, does look good on your resume. It displays both a desire to engage in your community as well as selflessness.

Interning for CSB has been one of the best and most fulfilling experiences in my college career. This is why I am glad to announce I will be doing another internship for CSB in the fall semester.

Best wishes to all my fellow students out there and may you all find the path that fits your journey into the workforce.

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