Why these students and graduates chose HOPE for their internship

by Katherine Gish, 2022 Marketing Communications Intern

Every summer, HOPE International welcomes interns and fellows to serve with us both in person and remotely. From a unique staff culture to learning how to connect with others, some of last year’s interns and fellows share their experiences for anyone considering if a HOPE internship or fellowship is right for them. 

What inspired you to be an intern or fellow at HOPE?

Ugochi Obidiegwu, Innovation & Design Fellow: “I didn’t really know anything about HOPE, but they came to a career fair at my school. Once I saw the website, I was impressed with the quality of work, and the Christ-centeredness. I have seen other organizations that leave out their faith piece or an organization that lacks services. I loved that prayer, discipleship, and spiritual integration are a part of HOPE.”

Joshua Werth, Development Intern: “I found HOPE through Charity Navigator as one of the top Christian development agencies to work for. I heard back from HOPE first in the application process; the HR team is on point.” 

Sarah Dean, Graphic Design Intern: “I needed an internship for my major, and was looking for one. I talked with a professor about how I didn’t want to compromise my faith with a career. My professor recommended HOPE, and I really liked that I didn’t have to compromise my values.”

Emma Whiteford, Writing and Research Intern: “I found it through Handshake at my college. I was searching for internships and loved the combo of the ability to write and the ability to work in the non-profit sector.”

What is unique about serving at HOPE?

Sharon Kumar, Internal Audit Fellow: “Our staff culture is very unique. In my experience, I’ve worked with both for-profit and non-profit organizations. Sometimes in for-profit, there’s an element of “we’re here to work” and a structured system, and not as much of an emphasis on ministry and soul care. And sometimes in non-profit, there is too much of an emphasis on ministry and a lack of excellence in work. HOPE has a really good blend of prioritizing prayer and care while doing excellent work.” 

Allison Cassel, Events Intern: “We have an intern community, which is very unique. We are able to collaborate, bounce ideas off each other, and make friends. We grow closer to the Lord, and it’s really nice to navigate this season with others.” 

Emma Whiteford, Writing and Research Intern: Definitely the culture and the fact that they set time aside for staff to be in the Word, fellowship together, and pour into each other daily.” 

Chloe Powell, Church Engagement Intern: “The emphasis on connection and learning versus doing things. My supervisors care way more that I connect with people and learn about what I am passionate about, rather than doing a million projects. They emphasize connecting with as many people as you can, and learning as much as you can.”

What have you learned through the HOPE internship/fellowship?

Ruth Aguilar, Marketing Project Management Intern: “Professionally, I learned how to network. I’ve learned how to say yes to more things, knowing that it’s going to a greater purpose and a meaningful cause. I’ve learned how to be a better professional and business professional.” 

Chloe Powell, Church Engagement Intern:I’ve done a lot with InDesign and with data analytics. Those were two skills that I’ve wanted to learn about. One thing I appreciate is that if you have a specific skill you want to learn, HOPE is really flexible with that.” 

Sarah Dean, Graphic Design Intern: “Just how to work in a workspace. For graphic design, I had never worked for an organization or business, so doing that has been interesting. I learned about taking feedback from people and asking for feedback.” 

Katherine Gish, Marketing Communications Intern: “I’ve grown so much in my understanding of microfinance through this internship. Before working with HOPE, microfinance seemed like a confusing process, and I didn’t see why it was so impactful. During the internship, I learned that non-profit organizations can help alleviate poverty while giving dignity to people and their God-given gifts. Microfinance can be a tool to help people create change in their own lives and communities in a long-lasting way, rather than just a short-term solution.” 

Advice to a college student considering this internship/fellowship?

Ugochi Obidiegwu, Innovation & Design Fellow: “Don’t be afraid to come into this organization because you don’t feel fully equipped or don’t have all the answers. As long as you have a teachable spirit and a mind to learn, you’ll be fine. HOPE staff are so willing to answer questions, point you in the right direction, and give guidance.” 

Sharon Kumar, Internal Audit Fellow: “A lot of what is unique about HOPE is what you experience in person. I had two weeks in person and then worked remotely. I recommend experiencing HOPE in person, even if you spend a portion remotely. Also, be flexible. You’ll learn a ton. You’ll meet a lot of really cool people. Network and talk to everyone! See what God might have for you—it may not be what you’re expecting. You’ll learn a lot about yourself, and grow in professional maturity.”

Allison Cassel, Events Intern: “If you’re interested in working in a non-profit someday, it gives a good perspective of a non-profit done well. They are very true to what they are. I was considering if I wanted to work in a non-profit or not, and the internship really helped me understand non-profits.” 

We’re accepting applications for 2023 interns and fellows until January 27! If you’d like to grow professionally and spiritually while accelerating the end of poverty through meaningful work, apply here. 

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As Christ’s followers responding to His great love, HOPE International seeks physical, social, spiritual, and personal restoration in places of brokenness. Through Christ-centered economic development, we empower men and women to strengthen their families, build their businesses, and unleash their dreams.

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