My Summer Internship Experience: Hillary Dale (MPA-PNP)
I decided to attend Wagner because I wanted to come to New York City. I saw it as a hub of international development—a lot of large nonprofits are based here, as well as the UN. This summer I worked as a logistics and IT intern at Action Against Hunger. A large part of my role was being a go-between, between headquarters and the field. I gained a lot of experience working with remote, decentralized teams, which is something that I’ll face a lot in the industry. Action Against Hunger—their mission is to eradicate global hunger. They do this through a variety of cross-sectoral projects. So we work in water and sanitation, we work in nutrition and agriculture. We do a lot of emergency nutrition response, as well as capacity building, so we try to enter communities and leave them better off. NYU Wagner prepared me for this internship by introducing me to the field and to the organization. I did not really have any particular interest in logistics before this, but I met with an NYU alum who had been in this internship before. He told me about the work and put me in touch with my boss and it was a great fit. I was particularly drawn to Wagner because of the emphasis on professional experience and professional development. I applied for the Ellen Schall Experience Fund because I found that it’s very difficult to find part-time or paid positions in the nonprofit industry. So the Ellen Schall Experience Fund really enabled me to get my foot in the door and feel supported throughout the summer. Not only with the funding, but with a group of students that we went through the summer together as a cohort and went through professional development experiences. The NYU Wagner core curriculum really made me feel comfortable and confident. When I came to the internship, I felt like courses such as Financial Management, Managing Public
Service Organizations, and Econ really gave me the groundwork and the basic skills I needed to be dropped into a workplace and catch up to speed, and feel confident. The internship has continued past the summer. About midsummer, my boss expressed interest in keeping me on board, which I was very enthusiastic about. I’ve really enjoyed working for the organization. I think a crucial part of that was that from the start I was able to jump into projects and really take ownership, and kind of make myself a valuable asset. I’d like to make an impact on the international development world by bringing my passion and my professionalism to an industry that can often be very discouraging. I think it’s made up of a lot of really hard work with not a lot of benefit. So just being able to keep my eyes on the goals that I’d like to accomplish and maintain that passion.