Summer 2018 marked the debut of the Graybird Foundation Intern Program. The Intern Program prepares participants for future career challenges using bidirectional Internship Evaluation. In the Program’s inaugural year, interns and their managers met biweekly to agree on projects to focus on, flesh out measurable expectations for contributions, and identify potential areas of growth.
Managers measured interns’ performance, while interns provided feedback to managers on the opportunities they were offered through those projects.
Our four 2018 interns worked directly with Graybird clients, including Gatepath, Golden State Youth Orchestra, and Reach for Home. They followed specific projects—including a fundraising video and a website renovation—from the brainstorming stage to completion. Under the direction of CMO Renée Spooner, marketing interns collaborated with Graybird staff, designers, animators, website programmers, and filmmakers, making early and continuous contributions from their existing skill sets. With the leadership of CFO Helen Boyer, finance interns participated in revenue and expense analysis and learned to forecast expenses for the coming year. Throughout, interns reflected on the skills they hoped to develop in pursuit of their individual career goals, and asked for opportunities to practice grant application and database management, graphic design, and client relationship- building as a result.
The goal-setting process at the core of the Graybird Intern Program grew out of the Foundation’s collaborative work environment. “Our ability to make an impact for our clients is amplified by the contributions of our interns,” said Graybird Founder Jill Grossman. “Looking out for each other and working together lets us generate the creativity and the compassion we need to do this work.”