I’ve had many different jobs throughout my four years of high school. I’ve tutored, did some babysitting, and spent many hours volunteering. However, this summer was very different; I applied and was accepted to the NYU Bronfman Center Summer Excelerator. Through this program I made many new friends (all with different Jewish backgrounds and experiences), I got to partake in various workshops and seminars, and really enjoyed getting to experience New York City through a Jewish lens.
In addition to my own individual professional development, I was also paired with the Jewish Teen Funders Network (JTFN) for a 5-week internship.
Each morning at JTFN I was greeted by the staff with a smile. While I didn’t always love waking up early to make the long commute to the city, each day when I arrived at my cubical and began working, it was all worth it.
By participating in this program, I had the opportunity to:
- Learn new skills – The main skill that I learned was how to track programs and key staff in order to disseminate information about JTFN resources.
- Gained work experience – Though its basic skills, I went through a learning curve when I first began working in the office. I learned how to make sure I got to work on time, how to manage my time effectively, and how to interact with coworkers.
- Gained independence – My direct supervisor, Alana, made sure that I had all the information I needed and laid out the scope of the work. I was then responsible to manage my own duties. I knew that the JTFN team was counting on me to deliver and I couldn’t let them down. I definitely gained a lot of independence and self-confidence.
Additionally, I enjoyed learning about the scope of the work at JTFN. I was treated not as an intern but as an equal among the team. The staff often included me in their meetings and sought my opinion on an array of topics that they discussed. I also had the opportunity to visit off site locations, participate in a book club discussion and facilitate a workshop for teens.
My time at JTFN provided valuable work experience, independence, and a better understanding about Jewish teen philanthropy.
Thank you Jewish Teen Funders Network staff for making my first professional work experience a positive and meaningful one!
Peter interned for JTFN through the Summer Excelerator-Teen Internship Experience hosted by the NYU Bronfman Center. He is a freshman at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ. and is majoring in Computer Engineering.
Over the summer, I had the privilege of participating in a 10-week Collegiate Leadership Internship Program (CLIP) through the Bronfman Center at NYU for Jewish Life. CLIP placed all of its participants in various Jewish-related organizations for our summer internships, and on Fridays, we would learn how to network, the secret to a perfect resume, how to nail an interview, and many other imperative skills to help us for the job searching process for after we graduate from college.
I was lucky enough to have been placed at the Jewish Funders Network (JFN). While I was not familiar with JFN prior to my placement, I quickly became acquainted with the ins-and-outs of the organization and its unique role in Jewish philanthropy.
While my experience at JFN was new, I was no stranger to the world of Jewish philanthropy. Starting in my freshman year of high school, I joined the Center for Youth Philanthropy and Leadership teen board program (better known as PACT) through the UJA Federation of NY. At first, I was quite apprehensive about the program, simply because I had trouble imaging how a cohort of teenagers would be able to raise enough money to have an impact on those in need. I could not have been more wrong; in just eight years, participants of PACT have collectively raised $1.3 million, donating to organizations across the globe, helping everyone from at risk youth to impoverished Holocaust survivors.
After I graduated from the PACT program, I was unsure that my path with PACT would ever cross again, given that my field of study is not in philanthropy. Amazingly, during my time at JFN this summer, I was afforded the opportunity to use the plentiful skills that I acquired through PACT. The Jewish Teen Funders Network (JTFN), which sits under the umbrella of JFN, is a network of all Jewish teen philanthropy programs and actually included my program, PACT in their network. As the main resource for Jewish teen philanthropy, JTFN strives to elevate and support program leaders in the field. I had the sincere privilege of working with the JTFN staff this summer, specifically helping with a summer camp leadership training event called “Cornerstone Lunch and Learn,” organized by the Foundation for Jewish Camp and the UJA Federation of NY. During the Lunch and Learn, the JTFN staff engaged in critical thinking activities with teenaged counselors at various summer camps in order to help them be more successful as counselors, and in life. Toward the end of the activity, I had the chance to share my experience in Jewish philanthropy with the group of counselors, discussing that while I am not intending on going into the field of Jewish philanthropy as my career, the skills that I learned at from the PACT program and at JFN are applicable to almost any field of study. Just as these teenagers were learning about the importance of applying their skills as counselors to other areas in life, I too have learned how to apply such skills into different fields, thanks to my time at PACT and my internship at JFN.
Clara interned for the Jewish Funders Network through the Collegiate Leadership Internship Program (CLIP) hosted by the NYU Bronfman Center. She is a sophomore at New York University and is majoring in Nutrition.