Some years ago, I moved back to my native Atlanta, where opportunities for geologists were few, so I had to find another career. My college placement office showed an opening for an intern at the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, one of the larger preservation groups in the country. Having just returned from Maine with a new-found interest in historic buildings, I decided to accept the internship while I found other work.
Little did I know that that internship would evolve into a career in nonprofit management that included almost 20 years with historic preservation organizations, then arts groups, conservation organizations, and others. It changed the course of my life.
The fact of the matter is that those who are connected will find it much easier to find a job, and internships provide an important means of meeting and becoming connected to leaders in the field.
Besides the importance to the individual, frequently interns make remarkable discoveries that aid the organization–and the community–in the long term. Here are two illustrations: