Please provide a brief description about what you do in your role.
As a Strategic Priority Intern, it is my job to conduct research about the six strategic priorities of Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA): immigration and refugee services, affordable housing, social enterprise, integrated health, disaster services, and food/nutrition. There are 4 other interns and we work together to collect, organize, analyze and present data about individual Catholic Charities agencies along with the strategic priorities with which they work. Catholic Charities will use this data to provide resources and recommendations to agencies so that they are able to better serve their clients and expand their services. There is an additional project working with the Catholic Prison Ministry Coalition (CPMC) which requires the interns to contact Catholic Charities agencies around the nation so that their information can be included in a database for prison ministry, re-entry services, and court-mandated programs.
What does a day in this position look like?
Something that I love about this internship is that there is not a specific schedule for each day. Since we are so close to Washington D.C, there have been many opportunities for us to go to Capitol Hill, present at the White House, and attend advocacy or networking events. We also make many trips to near by agencies to see how their services have developed, how their agencies are run, and witness the great work they do first-hand. On a day without any excursions is usually filled with meetings, research, contacting agencies, and working with staff to discuss our research and plan for the final presentations about each Strategic Priority.
How did your SJU education prepare you for this opportunity?
At SJU, and as an International Relations major, we talk a lot about the root of injustices around the world and how to combat those injustices. This education and passion has helped me at CCUSA by providing me with a basis of knowledge and experience that is unique to Saint Joseph's. Because of this background, I have given new ideas for agencies to develop into programs and have been able to work with the social policy group about how to attack injustices that affect our agencies and their clients.
What advice would you offer to other students searching for internships and jobs?
Don't be afraid to put yourself out there! The best way to find an internship that fits your interests and aspirations is to make your passions known. Even if a certain organization does not have an internship that is suitable for you, they might know of other opportunities that are. Along those lines, it is also important to do research about the many internships available so you are able to weigh your opportunities to find the best one for you.