Advice for Future Interns | #4

The biggest thing that I wish I knew before working as a D-SIP intern this summer was that I didn’t need any experience in the field of philanthropy or development before I began working. I assumed that the job would be full of technical jargon and tough-to-learn techniques; however, I quickly learned that development is mainly about forming relationships with other people — something I didn’t need training to achieve. As long as you go in expecting with an open mind, you’ll be fine. Another important piece of advice, while not related to my job or even philanthropy as a whole, would be to be open to meeting new people and living new experiences. Throughout the summer, I met very interesting people — from donors to major gift officers to the rest of the people in my D-SIP cohort. Through open and candid conversations with them about difficult topics (including issues like diversity & inclusion, the role of government in philanthropy, and the future of higher education), I got to learn from the different perspectives of those around me. For any activity that you do, you should have a similar optimism and curiosity. This way you can ensure that every time you talk to someone, it has the potential to turn into a learning opportunity.

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