Before starting this Princeternship, I did not know much about the world of nonprofits, but I was excited to learn. On the first day, Adrienne Rubin ‘88, my host (who is currently planning her 25th reunion!), invited me to join her at Community Works, an event held at Frist where many people associated with nonprofits attend and give presentations. Adrienne was a presenter and her presentation was centered around planning a fundraising event. She gave some really great tips. I really enjoyed seeing how the two different sessions differed from one another. Even though the content of the presentation was the same, the audiences’ reactions and interactions were very different. Adrienne and I discussed later that it is always important to cater to the audience. A more active audience might enjoy more open communication and audience interaction, while a less active audience will probably prefer more information and less interaction. Before, during, and after the event, I met many people: executive directors of other nonprofit organizations, board members of the Princeton Education Foundation, and other Princeton alums.
The next day, I met up with Adrienne at The Red Onion, a really cute and affordable little sandwich shop on Nassau Street. There, she bought me an egg salad sandwich to have for lunch later in the day (the sandwich was delicious, by the way). We drove down Witherspoon to her office, held in an old Princeton Public School building. She showed me how she organizes her data, and then she showed me an error in this data. She asked me if I would look at a list of names and email addresses of donors, trying to find out what happened to the data and why some email addresses and names did not match up. It took a while, and I felt like I was trying to find a pattern that did not exist, but I finally figured out the problem. While it was not an easy fix for Adrienne, she was really grateful that I figured it out. I was really glad that I was able to fix the problem so that she didn’t have to spend all that time looking for the problem.
Day 3 was a really fun day. In the morning, I went with Adrienne to the Women in Development meeting that was held at the Arts Council building. I met so many wonderful people, many of whom were intrigued by the concept of the Princeternship. During the meeting, I was impressed with the way the women interacted. One woman led the discussion, but throughout the meeting, somebody would ask a question. It would not be just the speaker to answer. Everyone in the room would contribute and help one another out. The sense of community that I felt was so strong. These women came from all over but were nonetheless willing to share their ideas with each other. After the meeting, we went back to the office where I sorted through some instructions, correcting for continuity. For lunch, Adrienne took me to her son’s favorite pizza place: Conte’s. I can see why she and her family love it so much. It is the best pizza I have had in Princeton! We talked about my schoolwork, the highs and lows of her work, and the work of nonprofits in general. My final task of the day was to enter the new donors into the database she uses.
I really enjoyed my time at my Princeternship. I got to learn so much about the sense of community within the world of nonprofits. If I was not considering joining a nonprofit before, I certainly am now. I cannot thank Adrienne enough for the wonderful experience.