Mark Bowling ’21 – Administrative Intern at A Better Chance in Manhattan, New York

My internship experience was at the national office for A Better Chance. The mission goal of A Better Chance “is to increase substantially the number of well-educated young people of color who are capable of assuming positions of responsibility and leadership in American society”. They achieve this goal through their college preparatory program that refers scholars to the nation’s top boarding, day and public schools. As an alum of the program, I sought the opportunity to give back in anyway I could.

My responsibilities were administrative. I was responsible for verifying that registered participants were going to attend the upcoming events. I also completed a project that required me to consolidate data about the participant schools onto a spreadsheet. The final product was later transferred onto a word document so parents and students can refer to it during the registration process.

The search process was pretty simple. I contacted my program manager from when I was scholar if they had any internship opportunities available. The manager referred me to the regional manager who had internships available. We exchanged emails over the week and I had the internship confirmed before the beginning of the summer.

The experience helped me achieve my career goals by giving me further insight into the nonprofit sector. I have had interest in nonprofit programs since I first joined A Better Chance. The opportunity to work there this summer was wonderful. I was able to see the drive and passion that the folks have to keep the program running at a high level. I could hear the excitement in the parent’s voices when I would call them from the office. It was all around a great environment to work in and I will keep that in mind when looking for a career.

Tips for students interested in finding their own internship and in participating in the funded internship awards process:

  • Look for an internship at a company that you may have had exposure to already and want to know more about
  • Be attentive to your email to avoid missing out on opportunities
  • Be on top of the funded internship awards process (this means having people look over all your materials in advance and submit them on time)
  • Network with people at places that interest you whenever you can

The funding from the Summer Experience Fund helped cover my transportation costs to and from the office. It also covered the cost of dress clothes and food for my lunch. The funding meant everything to my internship; it would not have been possible without the generous funding from the SEF.

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