Frances Lu ’16, Teach For America

Frances-LuOn the foggy morning of March 20th, I arrived at the San Francisco office of Teach For America. I didn’t know what to expect from the day, but I was very excited to find out. For several years, I have been interested in the possibility of entering a career in education reform or research. I already knew about Teach For America’s teaching corps but wanted to learn more about other branches of the organization. When I entered the TFA office, I was introduced to Mrs. Courtney Monk ‘01, who works in Teach For America’s Alumni Affairs Department.

After quickly showing me the office area, Courtney and I began our day. She works on national strategy and operations with other teamLu 2 members around the country. Her work involves a lot of data crunching where she uses alumni data to create statistics and projections of future alumni. Her job puts her in a very interesting position. Because she works on a national team with teammates who are all around the country, she can basically work anywhere.  She frequently has important meetings and conference calls with members of her team and other administrators to discuss matters relating to alumni data and statistics such as retention rates.  I watched and participated in several meetings and conference calls during the day. It was exciting to get a glimpse of a different side of Teach For America.

My Princeternship was a very rewarding experience. I received great career advice and learned what type of data analysis work is done in education nonprofits. I would like to thank my alumni host Courtney Monk very much for letting me shadow her for a day!

Magdalena Henke ’16, Princeton Education Foundation

Maagdalena-HenkeFor three days during spring break of my freshman year at Princeton University, I was lucky enough to do a Princeternship at the Princeton Education Foundation. The PEF is a nonprofit organization that tries to ensure excellence at the local public schools by functioning as a link between schools and the community – encouraging private philanthropy to support many great programs that students benefit from. Relying heavily on volunteer work, the PEF has only one paid employee, Executive Director Adrienne Rubin ’88, who I was “princeterning” with.

For the PEF, a big fundraising gala was coming up soon, so finalizing all plans for that took up a substantial amount of time.  I got involved by updating files that kept track of items to be auctioned off at that gala, sorting through letters and sheets and getting a tad creative while writing descriptions for all the articles that were not in the data system yet. On my second day I had the opportunity to attend two meetings, including a “Women in Development” meeting which gave me new insights into the how and why of fundraising. On my last day, I spent some time researching existing programs similar to a new program the PEF is thinking about starting, so I collected data and came up with some suggestions on details of the program. All the while I not only felt like I was getting a much better idea of how the PEF functions, but was happy to also feel like the results of my work were in fact useful.

On the go, I learned a lot about PrincetonEducationFoundation1how valuable personal relationships are in fundraising, or really in organizing any bigger event. If you need people to be committed to a project, spending time with them on a personal level is hugely important, and only after that personal connection is built can other requests successfully follow. In the end, the best relationships, in the workplace or really anywhere, are the ones that create a winning situation for both sides.

However, I learned so many more things than “just” about the work of the PEF or nonprofits in general. I would consider my opportunity to meet Adrienne Rubin herself and get to know her better as just as valuable an experience. Mrs. Rubin has an interesting story to tell: as she originally graduated from Princeton with a degree in music and an opera voice, her path from there to the PEF was incredibly fascinating to hear. Since we were working almost side by side in the office, I luckily had plenty of time then and at lunch times to ask questions, all of which were thoughtfully and honestly answered. For all of this, I owe Mrs. Rubin a big thank you.

PrincetonEducationFoundation2After all, I not only got new insights into the PEF, but also took home many new ideas and thoughts about Princeton University, my time here, and how the Alumni network might influence my life after. Friday afternoon I left the office and found myself sad that the Princeternship had only been three days. It was an amazing experience I definitely would not have wanted to miss.

Edward Fashole-Luke ’15, Pocono Environmental Education Center

Eddie-LukeDuring my three-day Princeternship experience, I shadowed Jeffrey Rosalsky ’85, the Executive Director for the Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC). I had the opportunity to see how this private nonprofit was working with the National Park Service in the Delaware Water Gap to provide its students with a deep understanding of nature, environmental processes, and sustainability. Mr. Rosalsky was very dynamic and reveled in the opportunity to show me around his office, the EcoZone, and various parts of the education center. He was also eager to discuss how his work experiences finally brought him to environmental education, which was by no means a direct route.

On the first day, I sat in on a student course and helped the teaching staff with morning classes. After assisting the staff with the EcoZone course, I sat in on Mr. Rosalsky’s conference call with a Princeton alumnus from the Princeton AlumniCorps to plan more environmentally friendly retrofitting in some of the residential buildings at PEEC. Mr. William Woodrow ’70 wasBald Eagle very excited to help with the cause, and also seemed excited to meet me. Mr. Woodrow came to PEEC two days later to discuss projects in further detail with Mr. Rosalsky. I also sat in on another business meeting with building contractors.

On the second day, after assisting the teaching staff with another morning class, I helped develop the sustainability exhibit for the EcoZone to teach students the value of saving electricity. The sustainability exhibit consisted of a basic bicycle-powered electricity generator called a “Pedal-A-Watt” attached to a 12 VDC converter with attachable appliances to teach students how much more energy heating appliances consume, and the value of saving electricity. I worked on developing the sustainability exhibit to include different light bulbs, such as incandescent, CFL, and LED, to teach the students about how energy consuming lights are, if left on excessively. I later updated the sustainability curriculum’s lesson plan to include my additions to the exhibit, as well as energy consumption calculations for all the appliances used. I then proofread and edited grant proposals in Mr. Rosalsky’s office. After that, I helped Mr. Rosalsky and his children collect tree sap to make his famous maple syrup.

WoodrowMeandJeffOn the third day, I started by continuing my work on the EcoZone sustainability exhibit. I sat in on a meeting  with Mr. Woodrow and Mr. Rosalsky after having spoken to Mr. Woodrow during the conference call two days earlier. We showed Mr. Woodrow around PEEC and Mr. Rosalsky discussed his future plans for the education center, and taught Mr. Woordrow and myself a great deal about Fracking and Nuclear energy from his energy computer model.

The most valuable part of my experience was developing the sustainability exhibit and editing the lesson plans for the sustainability curriculum. I had to do quite a bit of research on energy consumption and learned quite a bit about energy conservation in the process. I also valued hearing about Mr. Rosalsky and his wife’s non-linear work experiences after graduating from Princeton. They had very interesting paths, which led them to where they are now, and that was definitely very enlightening. Moreover, staying with the Rosalsky family was a pleasure and I literally felt like their fourth child. I would recommend this Princeternship to anyone interested in either Education or the Environment.

Bethany Sneathen ’16, National Hemophelia Foundation

Bethany-SneathenMy day at the National Hemophilia Foundation started at 10 am when I arrived. My host, Ayana Woods ’98, is the Director of Education for the Foundation. We spent an hour discussing how she came to work at the National Hemophilia Foundation, the goals of the Foundation, and their patient education initiatives. One of Ayana’s primary projects is the Steps for Living website, which provides accessible information to hemophilia patients and their families, organized by age category of the patients. Ayana also provided other informative materials, such as pamphlets and coloring booklets, directed at patients of various ages and backgrounds. For instance, several of the materials had been translated into other languages. We had a thought-provoking discussion about the ethics of a nonprofit patient advocacy organization being funded by pharmaceutical companies. I also learned about how hemophilia patients receive treatment at comprehensive Hemophilia Treatment Centers at which they receive care from a specialized medical team. This model could be useful for other types of conditions that affect many aspects of a patient’s life.

After our conversation, Ayana introduced me to Marla Feinstein, who is involved with health policy. It is her job to ensure that hemophilia patients are not overlooked when policy-makers write healthcare laws. For example, the government and insurance companies may prefer covering only one type of medication for a specific type of hemophilia, but that medication may not work as well as another type of medication for a minority of the patients with the condition. Ideally, both medications would be covered by insurance policies, but when funding is limited, a minority of patients with a rare disease may not be seen as a priority, despite the fact that their medications can cost over a million dollars per year.

Next, I spoke with Angelina Wang about the history of the National Hemophilia Foundation, the national and international efforts of the Foundation, and how the Foundation funds research projects relevant to hemophilia. Scientific research and clinical trials provide the information needed to support the arguments for policy-makers to consider the needs of hemophilia patients, but it is difficult to run clinical trials involving a rare disease with a small patient population. Research has been turning towards genomics, since analyzing the genotypes of individual patients can allow for more individualized treatments. I learned that the Foundation is also very involved with HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C campaigns because, in the 1980s, the medications for hemophilia patients were made from donated blood plasma, and the blood supply at the time was contaminated since no one knew to screen donated blood for HIV or hepatitis C. Therefore, many hemophiliacs contracted these diseases. Additionally, we discussed the recent efforts to assist a hemophilia foundation in Nigeria, where hemophilia has so far been ignored for political reasons. 

At this point, I went to lunch with Ayana. Over sushi, we discussed personal aspects of living a professional life as a Princeton alum. Upon returning from lunch, I met with Development Manager Kristin Hokoyama and Senior Development Manager Jeremy Griffin. They talked about seeking funding from various sources, including individual donors and events such as Hemophilia Walks throughout the nation. They advised me on the importance of networking, and described the culture and dynamics of the office. Everyone I met at the National Hemophilia Foundation was very passionate about nonprofit work and the goals of the Foundation.

My last meeting was with Manager of Media Relations Keith Hudson. He described the hierarchy of the public relations department, and emphasized the importance of being an “everyman” when it comes to communications in the modern work environment. The National Hemophilia Foundation communicates with the public through social media, and with a more targeted audience through their magazine called Hemaware and a more condensed online Enotes version of this magazine.

Spending a day at the National Hemophilia Foundation Sneathen 2provided me with valuable insight into the workings of a national patient advocacy program. Since my interests lie in the health sciences and health policy, it was deeply beneficial for me to see how the National Hemophilia Foundation interacts with government and insurance policies, patients and physicians, the public, and research institutions to promote what is best for the hemophilia community. I enjoyed this opportunity, and I am very grateful to Ayana and her coworkers for being so friendly and sharing their experiences, information, and advice with me.

Rana Ibrahem ’15, National Hemophilia Foundation

Rana-IbrahemDuring my Princeternship, I had the chance to spend the day shadowing the Director of Education at the National Hemophilia Foundation, Ayana Woods ’98. This extraordinary opportunity was filled with numerous conversations with her colleagues and herself regarding the nature of their work and any lessons they learned in their career paths.

Throughout the day my fellow Princetern and I learned about the work that Ayana does to further the ‘Steps for Living’ website that educates those suffering with hemophilia. Learning about all the initiatives and efforts that go into producing a website of that magnitude helped me gain a better understanding of the educational component to public health.

Ayana also set up meetings for us with many of her colleagues so that we could learn from each department in the organization. Ibrahem 1Furthermore, I had the chance to discuss public policy regarding the coverage of hemophilia medication by health insurance companies. I was also able to gain a better understanding of the efforts and measures taken by the National Hemophilia Foundation to implement and utilize new scientific research in their advocacy, education, and policy efforts. Lastly, I was able to learn about the structure of a national foundation and its relation to its chapters across the country.

Overall, I found the experience to be incredibly rewarding and eye opening. It was a great chance to be able to speak with people who work so hard on matters related to public health at the national level. I was able to explore both my career and academic interests. Lastly, this helped me better realize that I fully intend to work with different advocacy groups during my time as a physician. I am so thankful to Ayana Woods and all of the great people at the National Hemophilia Foundation for their care and conversation during my Princeternship!

Douglas Wallack ’16, Magnet Schools of America

Doug-WallackI arrived at the Magnet Schools of America in Washington, D.C. on a Thursday morning.  To be clear, I wasn’t actually at a school for the duration of my Princeternship, but at the office of MSA’s governing body.  From the moment I got there, my alum-host Crystal Moore ’96 was busy at work, tirelessly juggling a huge variety of tasks ranging from data systems improvement to fundraising to organizing MSA’s annual conference in Tulsa.  When I wasn’t shadowing Ms. Moore on the job, much of my work dealt with the conference; I helped collect the information of school district superintendents and other guests who would be invited.

When there was a free minute, Ms. Moore explained to me some of MSA’s governing principles.  I was already familiar with the idea that magnet schools, by definition, have specially focused curricula – think performing arts high schools, or STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) schools.  It seems to me like an interesting and promising solution for American public education, which – if you believe the reports – has stagnated to only middling status internationally.  What I didn’t know about before was MSA’s commitment to diversity and desegregation.  As I understood it, desegregation in schools was pretty much a bridge that the American public had crossed quite some time ago now (I’d figured that it was included as an important magnet school principle as a nod to the organization’s own history or something).  In fact, there is still a lot of de facto segregation in public school systems today, and MSA is trying to fight that.  Everything I read these days contends that education is one of the nation’s most pressing issues, so it was very cool to hear one take on it in person from the field.

For the morning of the second day, I went with Ms. Moore to a talk on “Mayoral Governance and Student Achievement” (basically, the effects of having a city’s mayor head its own school districts) Wallack 1at the Center for American Progress, which is a think tank in Washington.  The talk was something between a debate and a lecture, and apart from serving as a forum for an interesting topic, it was also a meeting place for many of the D.C. leaders, lobbyists, and experts in education.  One thing that Ms. Moore and I talked about afterward was a point brought up by one of the speakers – Neerav Kingsland, CEO of New Schools for New Orleans.  He mentioned several times the importance of having educators run schools.  I could see the wisdom in this, to a certain extent: ownership in the process means that in their roles as educators, the teachers will be held accountable to a higher standard.  But what I didn’t understand was whether Mr. Kingsland actually meant that teachers themselves should be administrators.  While I get the spirit of self-sufficiency and self-regulation, I don’t think this makes sense.  I’ve had plenty of brilliant teachers who could tell me all about analyzing poetry, the French Revolution, or partial derivatives, but wouldn’t make great administrators.  So Ms. Moore and I talked about that for a while and how it is important for education policy to have the big picture ideas, but also pay meticulous attention to the finer details like this.

I’d like to thank Ms. Moore and the rest of the staff at MSA for letting me stick around with them for a couple days.  It was a very cool way for me to see the day-to-day workings of a field of such crucial importance.

Alyssa Lipshultz ’16, Magnet Schools of America

Alyssa-LipshultzI interned for two days at Magnet Schools of America in Washington, D.C. under the mentorship of Crystal Moore ’96, the nonprofit organization’s Director of Organizational Leadership & Development.

During my Princeternship, Magnet Schools of America was preparing for their National Conference that will occur in the beginning of May. To help with preparations, I provided input on the electronic invitation and updated contact information for school districts that will be invited to the event. This latter task required most of my time at MSA, as I worked state by state consulting each district’s website and compiling information. This task gave me a better understanding of the structure of various school districts. My own public school district only had 3 schools: one elementary school for the north half of our tiny town, one for the south half, and a combined middle school for all students. In contrast, as I researched various school districts, I came across districts like the Wichita Public Schools, whose elementary school students have the choice to attend several different schools, some traditional and many with focuses which include aerospace and engineering, communications, computer technology, dual language, environmental, health and wellness, International Baccalaureate, international studies and communication, leadership, literacy, multimedia, performing arts, science and technology and more. Other districts across the country offer a similar array of choices to their students. While I was familiar with the idea of school choice in theory, it was not until I looked through districts’ websites from across the country that I fully grasped what this concept means in practice. Also, spending time at MSA, I learned how these innovative programs regularly bring together diverse students who share a similar interest and then proceed to promote academic excellence. Thus, even the simple task of consulting school districts’ websites in order to compile contact information was a significant learning experience for me, as I was not fully cognizant of the diversity of school options or the success of innovative educational models in the U.S.   

While at MSA, I also had the opportunity to learn more about fundraising. I drafted a grant application and accompanied my mentor to a class on corporate giving at the nearby Foundation Center. This helped me to better understand what non-profit work and grant seeking entails.

I was able to attend MSA’s staff meeting, as well. Everyone at MSA was extremely welcoming, and attending the staff meeting provided me with insight into how each of Crystal’s colleagues contribute to MSA’s work, which is truly a team effort. MSA is a very small office, and, having never worked in a small office setting before, it was great for me to see this team dynamic at play. The staff meeting also gave me a better idea of what MSA’s daily work entails and what kinds of events they hold, as the team was discussing conferences that will occur in the upcoming spring, summer, fall and beyond. MSA’s new blog, Twitter and Facebook pages were also discussed at the meeting, and this really emphasized for me the expanding role that social media has in all sectors. It seems that familiarity with social media is really becoming an essential tool to have in the workplace.

Lunch was another valuable experience at MSA, as I was able to ask my mentor a variety of questions. We talked about her summer experiences during her time at Princeton, her career’s progression, her Princeton thesis topic and more. This helped me to get a better sense of what higher education and jobs I might pursue if I decided to work in education policy. I also was able to ask her more general questions about school choice and school types (charter, traditional, magnet, etc.). Specifically, I brought up some of the controversial issues related to magnet schools that I was familiar with and asked for her perspective. These conversations helped me to gain a fuller understanding of school choice.

Working at MSA was therefore a wonderful experience for several reasons. It gave me the opportunity to experience a small nonprofit Lipshultz 1working environment, which was one of my goals for the internship. It helped me to understand the work and complexity inherent to seeking grants. Speaking with Crystal gave me a better idea of what it might mean to pursue a career in education policy. I also gained an additional perspective on various issues related to school choice and education reform, and I was able to learn more about what public education looks like across the United States. My experience at MSA will certainly contribute to my understanding and viewpoints as I continue to discuss education issues with my peers on campus. It will also affect the kinds of classes and internships I pursue, as I am now more confident in continuing to explore my interest in work related to education policy. I would definitely recommend this Princeternship to anyone interested in education policy or considering a career in nonprofit work.

Thank you very much to my mentor, Crystal Moore, and to everyone else at Magnet Schools of America for giving me this amazing opportunity and for going above and beyond by being so welcoming, friendly and helpful during my Princeternship. I truly appreciate it.

Kelly Kremer ’15, Princeton Education Foundation

Kelly-Lin-KremerDuring my Princeternship experience at the Princeton Education Foundation, I shadowed Executive Director Adrienne Rubin ’88.  On the first day, she warmly greeted me and showed me around the building and her office before we settled down to chat about my interests in education and non-profits over a cup of tea. We also discussed the many stages of her career and how she had arrived at the Foundation. I found it fascinating that she, a music major, had first worked as an actuary, then for Alumni Relations, and then for a different non-profit before the Foundation. Probably the most important reason I found this Princeternship experience so rewarding was because Mrs. Rubin was a model of someone who had enjoyed her work at all times of her life. She was not afraid to switch paths when she started to be less innovative and enthusiastic about her job. I think I’ll reflect back on this first conversation with her several times throughout my life because I think it is the first time I’ve had a candid discussion with someone who genuinely found her work interesting and satisfying and not just a means to an end.

During my Princeternship, I assisted Mrs. Rubin with preparationsKremer 2 for the upcoming Spring Gala, one of the Foundation’s annual fundraisers.  For the first two days, I merged data from two lists to create a master list of local businesses approached in the past years for the Gala and researched even more businesses to add to the list of potential donors.

On the third day, Mrs. Rubin picked me up from the University at 8:20 am, and we drove directly to John Witherspoon Middle School.  The first meeting was a PTO meeting. Since I am interested in education, and am thinking about pursuing a Teacher Preparation certificate so I can teach math at the secondary school level, I really enjoyed this glimpse at how adults think about education. Mrs. Rubin talked about the latest project the Foundation is funding, a program to help teenagers deal with grief, as well as the Foundation’s mini-grant program. The parents at the meeting also raised their concerns about the pros and cons of national assessments of student academic achievement and security in the Princeton schools in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. At the second meeting, the fruits of my work on the potential donor list were handed out to volunteers who would contact the businesses about the Gala. Seeing others making use of the work I’d done was very rewarding. After we had lunch, I started a final project that compared and analyzed data from the past two years of fundraising campaigns.

Overall, I highly recommend the Princeternship program. The length of the program fits conveniently and relatively easily into break or reading period, and two or three days really is enough to give you a taste of what it is like to be out in the working world. I learned a lot about education foundations and nonprofits from this experience, and I am extremely grateful to Mrs. Rubin for this opportunity.

Sara Good ’15, Princeton Education Foundation

Sara-GoodBefore 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, Good 1I 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.

Katherine Maffey ’16, APPRISE

Kate-MaffeyI started off my day with a very long commute – walking across campus and up to Nassau Street. APPRISE is conveniently located a short walk from my dorm, and I arrived there around 9 am to meet Colleen Driscoll, a Policy Analyst. We started off with an informal breakfast and some introductions – Colleen, Lauren, and Zach (all Policy Analysts) briefed me on some general information about APPRISE while I munched a delicious bagel. They answered my general questions, and then Colleen took me to meet Dr. Jackie Berger ’96, the President of APPRISE, and David Carroll, the Managing Director. After the introductions, I was off to shadow a Senior Policy Analyst, Daniel.

Daniel gave me a general overview of a large project he and many other analysts were working on at the moment – the National Weatherization Assistance Program Evaluation. Daniel talked about the many steps necessary for gathering the data they needed, and then explained a little bit about how they analyze it. When the half-hour was up, I headed one desk over to talk to Lauren, a Policy Analyst.

Lauren was doing some work on a LIHEAP project – Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. She showed me how they help pinpoint how well states target certain groups. She also helped me to understand a bit about how APPRISE uses public information like census data in some of their many projects. After our time was up, I was off to the conference room to sit in on a meeting.

Leah, a Policy Analyst, and Daya, a Senior Policy Analyst, kindly let me sit in on a meeting while Daya caughtMaffey1 Leah up on work they were doing together. Although it was the same project that others had been working on, they were working on a distinct and specific aspect and I found that fascinating. As their meeting ended, Lisa, a Research Director, came in for her meeting with them. They were discussing ways to streamline the work they were doing by possibly creating a database. Once the meeting was over, I went to meet with Jeffery, another Policy Analyst.

Jeffery was also working on the WAP project, but a very different aspect of it than anyone else. He was directing and managing a team of technicians who were going to the field to collect data from houses that showed anomalies compared to the majority of houses after weatherization. His job included organizing the technicians, pre-screening the homes with calls to be sure the trip would be worth it, and deciding which homes to visit.

At the end of my time with Jeffery, I had an excellent lunch at Winberie’s with three of the Policy Analysts and an intern. Upon our return, Colleen spoke to me about what she did. She was working on several different things, one of which was a deferral study for homes that had not been weatherized. After Colleen, I went to talk to a Policy Analyst named Will, who showed me some of the basics of the statistical analysis program that the Policy Analysts used, called Stata. He demonstrated how some of its features were very useful to the Policy Analysts and explained  how Stata was used for the tasks they performed.

After shadowing Will, I talked to Deena (another Policy Analyst) about the training that she has had while at APPRISE. She had just received a specific certification that would allow her to perform audits on houses to collect data. It also gave her more knowledge behind much of the data that she was analyzing for her job.

Carlos was the next Policy Analyst I talked to, and since I had heard much about the WAP project, which he was also working on, he talked to me about some visits he had done earlier in the year. He went with some experts to evaluate the efficiency of solar panel water heaters in some homes in several different states. It was neat to hear firsthand about how some of the data that they analyzed was collected.

The final Policy Analyst I shadowed was Zach, who also was working on the WAP project. In addition to that, however, he also was doing a specific study in Minnesota, which analyzed much of the same data as the WAP project, just on a smaller scale. I finished out the day chatting with Colleen and Daya about the company in general, and they answered any questions that I still had.

I learned so much over the course of the day! Before shadowing all of the Policy Analysts, I had had no clue that there were so many steps and parts to a data analysis project, especially one the size of the WAP project. I am very grateful to Dr. Berger for allowing me to shadow, and also to all of the Policy Analysts that took time out of their day to speak to me, especially Colleen Driscoll who facilitated my visit. I really enjoyed the atmosphere as well as learning about nonprofit and data analysis work. I am also grateful to Career Services for opening up this experience to me – it has definitely given me some great perspective on the business world as a whole in addition to nonprofit work specifically.