The Borgen Project- Addressing Global Poverty through Advocacy
From January through April 2021, I participated in an internship with the American nonprofit called the Borgen Project. The Borgen Project is an advocacy organization that works to bring a greater focus on global poverty into American foreign policy. For more information on their mission and achievements, visit www.borgenproject.org. I applied for an internship as a Nonprofit Leadership Intern in order to learn more about the nonprofit world. I was also very curious as to what political work entailed. This internship was the ideal way to learn more about political and nonprofit work while also maintaining a diplomacy and international relations aspect that tied into my college major.
The Nonprofit Leadership Internship is a twelve week remote and independent experience. Although it is an unpaid internship, participants gain great experience in advocacy work. My responsibilities included fundraising for the organization, advocating to Congressional representatives and their staff, and bringing awareness to global poverty in a variety of ways. One of these methods include pitching a story about poverty and U.S. aid to online and print newspapers. Another important aspect was doing research on global affairs, effective policy reduction methods, and more. This research allowed me to present informed arguments when writing fundraising letters, writing letters to foreign policy legislative assistants, and even meeting with the representatives or key staff. Interns are to call and email their district’s Congressional offices every week regarding getting them to support bills going through the legislature that would help increase the aid the U.S. provides to those in poverty outside its borders.
Although this work uses an American legislative approach to addressing global poverty, people living in other countries are also eligible to be interns. The main difference would be that participants from countries outside the U.S. would not have specific designated representatives based on where they live. The internship is fully remote. In the beginning, you are given a tracker via google docs. On this tracker, a weekly list of tasks is presented, and the intern is expected to complete all of these tasks and document their work by the end of the week. Each week, the case manager would read our tracker and provide feedback. If there are any questions, you can ask your manager or other members of the team. Due to the independent nature of the work, this internship is very suitable for someone who wants to gain experience while maintaining a busy schedule of class, work, and extracurricular activities.
There are many types of internships available at the Borgen Project in addition to the one I completed- the Nonprofit Leadership Internship. There are also Political Affairs, Public Relations/Marketing, Writer/Journalist, and HR (Human Resources) internships. For more information on the remote internships available with the Borgen Project, feel free to visit www.borgenproject.org/telecommute-internships/. I wish to conclude with some of the skills I’ve developed from this experience. My communication skills have definitely improved, as I had to make asks that were outside my comfort zone. In this regard, I also became extremely capable at fundraising. In addition, I have learned much more about global poverty and the innovative remedies that are being developed. Lastly, I believe the independent nature of this internship helped me improve my time management skills. Overall, I would definitely recommend this organization to those interested in addressing global poverty, politics, or nonprofit organizations.
Katherine Strych just graduated from Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ on May 20th, 2021. She studied Diplomacy and International Relations, with a minor in Asian Studies.