During my time with the AIDS Policy Project, I have learned a lot about the non-for profit industry. From working with the organization, I think that I have a much better understanding of how these kinds of groups function and are set up. The close relationship that I had with my boss allowed me to gain real insight into what it would be like to run a program like this, and just how much time and energy must go into it in order to make it a success. I was able to get dinner with my boss towards the end of my time and just talk about what it takes to get a non profit off of the ground, and what kinds of skills you have to have in order to do it.
I am walking away from my internship with a more clear focus of what I may like to do in the future. Through working with the AIDS Policy Project, I was able to meet many different organizations through various conferences, and through those I was able to meet many people with different perspectives. Because this was my first time actually in the professional world, this was very useful to me and spurred my thinking of what I would like to do in the future.
If I were going to give another student advice about having an internship, I would say that until you’ve had this experience you may not know exactly what path you can follow. Even if your internship does not show you exactly what you want to do, it may show you that you definitely do not want to do something else, which is valuable in and of itself. So pick an internship that relates to a potential interest and see where it goes!