Internship Diaries: Children’s Defense Fund

Today’s post comes from our new Communications Student Assistant, Alyson Fraser, ’14. We are excited to have Alyson on board  and you can look forward to more SpiderWay posts from her student perspective over the next year.

So my junior year is finally over and it’s now officially summer time! Like many other University of Richmond students, instead of relaxing all summer I will be out working as an intern (woohoo!). This summer my internship is at the Children’s Defense Fund’s National Headquarters in Washington D.C. Because I am a Jepson student, we have a mandatory internship the summer after our junior year. Even if an internship wasn’t mandatory I would definitely have wanted to take advantage of the wonderful opportunity to work here!

I first heard about the Children’s Defense Fund  (CDF) from my dad my first year in college. CDF is a child advocacy organization that does policy work, research, and programming all aiming to provide children with a safe life, a great education, and healthy emotional development.  It definitely sounded like something I would want to do, but sadly the deadline for the application had already passed. The following summer I spent interning in Ghana but this summer I knew that it would be the perfect opportunity! The application was A LOT of work: three letters of recommendation, an extensive application and an essay about all of my experiences that qualified me for the job. Needless to say, I felt very accomplished when I finished the application and sent it in!

Once the application was complete at the end of February, the waiting game began! A couple of months had gone by and I still hadn’t heard anything so I was starting to get a little discouraged. Because of the large volume of applications (almost 200 each summer!)  CDF takes about six to eight weeks before notifying you about an interview. Well, six to eight weeks had come and gone so I was all ready to accept another offer for an internship when one morning I woke up to a call from CDF. We soon set up a time for a phone interview and the interview went so well that she offered me the position on the spot. After taking some time to compare my options I knew this was a once in a lifetime chance and I had to take it!

So here I am: in Washington D.C., with the first week of my internship behind me. I’d say it went really well and I have enjoyed meeting all my colleagues.  In two weeks I will be attending a training conference in Tennessee.  I look forward to seeing what I will learn from this great experience. The Children’s Defense Fund is a dream organization for me and working with them long term would be amazing and would line up perfectly with my Jepson degree.


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