by Maddie Conley
If you’re in college and are anything like me, you’re looking for an internship to beef up your skills, not to mention your resume. But what you might not know is that an internship at HOPE International exceeds just a professional experience. Here’s what you should know:
You’re not going to be taking coffee orders.
An internship with HOPE isn’t busy work—no stack of papers in your arms, pointing you toward the nearest photocopy machine. HOPE’s goal is to welcome and integrate interns as part of their departments. You will dive into meaningful projects, attend staff meetings, and even propose your own ideas. Seeing interns develop professionally is important to HOPE, and experience is key to growth. This isn’t to say you won’t be grabbing Starbucks with other interns and staff—everyone needs mid-day caffeine refuels!
Get ready to stop, drop, and pray.
Just as important as professional development, spiritual growth is high on HOPE’s list of priorities for interns. You’ll join staff devotions and prayer times during the workday each week. HOPE strongly believes in the power of prayer and its importance in its work. Interns are also paired with a staff mentor for the duration of their internship. Meeting with your mentor provides mutual encouragement and gives you space for reflection on what God is teaching you. It also gives you a chance to ask all the nerdy questions you were too embarrassed to ask your supervisor.
You can travel!
The HOPE Internship program gives interns the opportunity to go on a trip to visit Esperanza International, HOPE’s microfinance partner in the Dominican Republic. Interns tour the Esperanza office, visit clients and their businesses, and sit in on a community bank meeting. Not only do you get to eat delicious Dominican food, but it puts the work you do in the office in Lancaster, PA, into perspective.
You’ll hang with the high-ups.
Some of the most meaningful experiences for my class of interns were the executive sessions. Over the course of the summer, various executive team members sit down with the intern group to share their stories and insights on professional development during and after college life. You’ll find yourself laughing, thinking, and realizing it’s OK not having everything figured out. If you prefer talking one-on-one, you can grab coffee with any staff member to chat or learn more about their positions. Oftentimes, staff will even take the initiative to invite you to coffee or to their home for dinner.
It’s more than a job.
HOPE’s goal is to build God’s Kingdom. They desire to serve the underserved and to love people as radically as Jesus did. The cool part? You will get to be part of that bigger goal that is bigger than even HOPE itself.
Looking for a formative and meaningful internship experience this summer? Applications for a variety of internships are open now! Apply by January 21 here.
Maddie Conley was the 2018 social media intern at HOPE International and studies journalism at Messiah College. While she is always looking for a story lead and a chai latte, she is most passionate about telling the stories of the unheard and underrepresented in a dignifying way.