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Internships at Suited for Change: A Dynamic Experience

By Emma Hill

Emma Hill at Suited for Change's Annual Gala, the 31 anniversary

Hi! My name is Emma Hill. I’ve been an intern here at Suited for Change throughout the summer.


From the day I had my interview, it was clear to me that Suited for Change was a place I’d love working with Fernanda, the marketing and program manager– and my supervisor!-- greeted me with much enthusiasm and kindness through the Zoom screen, and most of the fears I had about how the interview would go were gone in an instant.


On the first day of my job, l sat down for a team meeting with the staff. Liz, the executive director, said to me: what would you like to do while you’re here?


The advantage of interning at a small organization is that I can participate in many of the things Suited for Change does day-to-day. There’s room for me to help beyond mailing letters and sorting clothes in the back room. Many internships trade hands-on experience for name recognition– here, because the team is so small, I’ve had all kinds of opportunities to learn new skills.


I told Liz and the rest of the team that I wanted to learn about how nonprofits operate.


They said, how so?


I had a lot of things to choose from.


At Suited for Change, I have learned valuable skills for anyone looking to enter the nonprofit sector out of college. I have reached out to several organizations about potentially forming a partnership with us– Suited for Change relies on partner organizations across the DMV to recommend women to our boutique. I’ve written blog posts like this one. Fernanda has allowed me a lot of room to write about the things I’m passionate about. I’ve had opportunities to professionally connect with fantastic people both here in the office and at our 31st anniversary Gala, which I helped run during my first weeks at Suited for Change.


I’ve also learned a lot about grant writing, which is critical to securing the funds any nonprofit needs to operate. While researching and applying to grants hasn’t been the most exciting part of my internship, it's a great experience to have in my skillset. I decided I wanted to do it; Liz pulled out her huge database of grant information, briefed me on the process, and gave me the freedom to go for it!


Perhaps most importantly, I have gained valuable communication skills while I’ve been here. Suited for Change thrives when both clients and volunteers have great experiences. I’ve met all kinds of people from all walks of life, getting to know their stories, their aspirations, their most mundane moments, whether I’m helping a client zip us a dress or sorting huge bags of donations out in the hallway with the volunteers. I’ve laughed with the staff in the office about topics from the Barbie Movie to pronouncing “Boeing.” They are always willing to take time for my questions, or to review my work. They treat me not as a person to delegate tasks to, but as a valued member of the team.


My experience has been different from that of other interns who have been here. Eva, the previous intern, worked hard to prepare for our 31st Anniversary Gala. Tessa, who now works full-time here as the development associate, created our newsletter when she interned here in 2019. It’s still sent out monthly!


If you’re interested in entering the nonprofit sphere once you graduate from college, consider applying for an internship here at Suited for Change! It’s a one-of-a-kind experience you won’t forget.


Note from Suited for Change:

Dear Emma,

Your journey as an intern at Suited for Change has been truly inspiring. Your dedication, from forming partnerships to grant writing, exemplifies the proactive and hands-on approach we value. Your kindness and exceptional interactions with our clients have not gone unnoticed, and we are incredibly grateful for that. Thank you for embodying our core values and being an outstanding part of Suited for Change. We look forward to witnessing your continued success.

With much love, Fernanda


 

Emma Hill, intern, at Suited for Change's Annual Gala
Emma Hill

About Emma Hill:


Emma grew up right outside of Washington, DC, in Northern Virginia. She is a class of 2024 student at William and Mary, with a primary major in political science and a secondary major in studio art. She’s passionate about empowering the underserved, and knows her time at Suited for Change will equip her to do that once she graduates! Emma loves to create, and is often found outside painting in the park, or working away in her basement on quilting projects.



 



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