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Erin Speltz

Erin Speltz

 Intern Name: Erin Speltz '15
Peace Studies and Economics
Intern Title/Name of Organization: Nonprofit Data Analyst Research Intern/Minnesota Council of Nonprofits

How did you find out about the internship and what was the application process?
I was researching organizations that connected both my majors, peace studies and economics. While doing a search on google, I came across the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits. I didn't see any internship postings that were of interest, so I went on their staff page and called the executive director. He told me to send him an email with my resume. Soon after I met with him and another staff person to discuss starting a research position for me.

What were some of the highlights?
I really enjoyed attending all of the cool conferences and events that MCN puts on every year. I even helped with a "meet and greet" Amy Klobuchar event. The conferences and workshops allowed me to gain valuable insight on numerous skills such as nonprofit management, leadership, and grant writing.

What was a "typical day" like? What were some of your major responsibilities?
Each day I would discuss a plan and set some goals for the day with my partner. We would then analyze, clean, and manipulate data to look for trends in the nonprofit sector. I could expect to experience a challenge followed by an achievement almost every day. I would also plan and attend meetings to brainstorm and communicate what I was working on with other co-workers.

What were some of the challenges of your internship?
In order to do my job I had to work with computer programs that I had never heard of before. Learning how to use the programs was very challenging but a very important skill I have obtained.

What did you learn?
On a technical level, I learned how to look for problems in data and use a program called STATA. I also learned about the financial aspect of running a nonprofit, the importance of grant writing, and the roles of different departments in a nonprofit.

What advice would you give other students interested in internships?
When finding an internship, first think about what you want to get out of an internship. Find an organization that you think may be able to provide that experience for you. Then contact them even if they don't appear to have an internship.

(April 2015)