Angela Zhou ’16,

Angela-ZhouThe first time I heard about was when an English teacher at my high school was spreading the word about her campaign to encourage creativity for typically STEM-minded students. I was excited to learn about the startup, essentially a Kickstarter for teachers, and to get the opportunity to visit for a day! We were prepared for our visit with a few generous gift codes, our very own shopping sprees to support projects on

Shefali Jain ’17 and I met Andrew Protain ’08, our alumnus host, in the morning after we spent a few minutes in awe at’s gorgeous new Manhattan office. We started off with a briefing from Andrew about the history of the organization, and his own experiences at Afterwards, we spoke to Elaine, a director of Partnerships and Business Development who explained the process of securing corporate donations and gave us advice worth keeping on how to approach the rest of our time at Princeton.

We then metZhou 2 with’s Data Scientist, Vlad, who told us everything from his story working in social entrepreneurship, to his goals for the data-driven future of He showed us the process of finding data insights into a question that Shefali asked of donation frequency vs. poverty level of the school, a simple task in’s data workflow with interesting consequences. We had the opportunity afterwards of standing in on a unique Data Innovation Brainstorm, a meeting across the teams at and DataKind about new features and insights from the vast amounts of data generated at It was exciting to hear all of the different ways the data could be used to support teachers and principals, as well as support education policy at large, and it was a wonderful experience to see how ideas flowed and how everyone would jump in and build on each other’s ideas.

We had lunch with Andrew and another Princeton alum, Charlotte Weiskittel ’06, and a good portion of the staff. It was great to see everyone at ease during lunch, with a lively sense of humor about the new office healthy-eating challenge. Andrew also introduced us to Dan, who Zhou3worked with Cards Against Humanity on their holiday $100,000 shopping spree and resulting infographic. After lunch, we met with César, the Chief Operating Officer, who told us his inspiring life story as a first-generation college student from a large family who set his aims high and followed through. He reminded us of the challenge of finding work that we’re passionate about, good at, and is financially feasible – pointing out that it’s wiser first to pursue your passions, a lesson that I definitely took to heart. We also learned about what it takes to manage operations at a nonprofit with so many moving components: it’s not an easy task.

Afterwards, we sat in on a Customer Relations team meeting. It was great to see how thoughtfully weighed customer input and needs, even referring to individual customers and power users by name. It was an interesting experience to see how trends that Customer Relations observed related to issues facing the Tech/UX team, and vice versa when we moved on to the Tech/UX scrum. The team went through a backlog of commits (changes to the code) and reconstructed various bug fixes and issues. It was interesting to learn about the tech issues that face an established web infrastructure, and educational to see how Tech and the UX design sides meet to discuss the state of the site. We spoke with Dave, the art director, and again with Andrew about the product development side of Even more important than brainstorming features, he brought up, is knowing which ones are worth developing, and how to properly allocate working hours.

Before we left,Zhou4 we toured the Donor Appreciation Land, where volunteers screen and send out the thank you notes written by classroom students to the donors. has a uniquely integrated supply chain process that sets it apart from other crowd-sourced project nonprofits, but I think the thank you notes from students are such a great personal touch for the user experience overall. The care and compassion that the notes indicate were reflected in the attitudes of everyone we met at everyone was passionate about the cause for education, and it was truly inspiring to see them at work connecting donors to teachers and their projects, bringing a little more joy into the world in the process.

Grace Singleton ’16, World Monuments Fund

My three-day Princeternship at World Monuments Fund benefited me in two ways. First, I got a taste of what working at a nonprofit actually entails. Second, I benefited from the advice and perspectives of the people that I met during my stay with WMF.

My first – unofficial – task during my Princeternship was to navigate New York City, a setting that drastically contrasts with the small town where I grew up. Simply navigating the subway and streets of New York was rather foreign to me. Even this basic detail – the location – was a significant part of my Princeternship since it gave me a better understanding of what it actually means to work in an urban office setting. My first real experience living and working in the city would be a grand one, since, as I found out, WMF is housed in the most iconic office building of them all: the Empire State Building.

After successfully checking in as a visitor and obtaining my day pass, I took the elevator up to the 24th floor and began my official work. After being given a quick orientation tour around the office and an introduction to the office’s computer system, I met my Princeternship host, George McNeely ’83 and another Princetonian working at WMF, Yiannis Avramides ’08.

As Vice President for Strategic and Singleton 1International Affairs, George works on the development side of the nonprofit. This means – as one of the program directors explained to me – “he raises the money, and we get to spend it.” At WMF, as with any nonprofit organization, fundraising is a key and ever-pressing issue. George and Yiannis explained to me that, during my three days with them, I would be helping them tackle this issue by researching prospective corporate sponsors for “The Watch,” one of WMF’s major projects. Every two years, WMF publishes the Watch List, which highlights the top at-risk cultural heritage sites around the world, serving to bring visibility and support to the initiatives that restore and preserve these sites. My specific task was to investigate corporations that might be interested in sponsoring this project as part of their “Corporate Social Responsibility.” This task continued throughout the three days, culminating in a spreadsheet that compared the philanthropy policies and potential compatibility of about fifty corporations. I appreciated having my own independent project to work on during my time at WMF since it gave me good insight into the reality of workplace tasks and expectations.

Besides working on the development project, I also got to meet a lot of the individuals who work for WMF. On the second day of my Princeternship, Yiannis took me on a quick tour around the office and introduced me to people from various departments within the organization. Each person shared with me the specifics of his or her position and explained how they ended up working at WMF in particular. Through these conversations, I learned more about the general field of cultural preservation – WMF’s area of focus – and about how different interests may fit into this particular niche.

I would say that the personal interactions I had during my stay at WMF – whether around the office or over lunch – formed the most valuable part of my experience. Each person that I talked to was eager to hear about my interests, share their own story, and give me advice. This advice spanned from academic to career to general. The unifying theme of these conversations was encouragement of exploration. I was reassured that, at this point, it is perfectly acceptable to not be totally sure of what career path I want to follow and encouraged to explore my interests by taking advantage of the multitude of opportunities currently surrounding me. This advice, coupled with the exposure I gained to the realities of working at a nonprofit, made my Princeternship a valuable experience both on a personal and professional level.

Kathryn Little ’16, APPRISE

Kathryn-LittleI started my morning by walking from my dorm up to Nassau Street, since APPRISE is located just across the street from Princeton’s campus. As soon as I reached the office I was greeted by Deena, one of the Policy Analysts at APPRISE, who called over her coworkers Zach and Dan and introduced them. As the four of us had a nice breakfast of bagels, they gave me a quick overview of what I would be doing throughout my day at the office. Once Deena brought me around the office so I could meet the other employees, I settled in to shadow Dan for a while.

Dan is a Senior Policy Analyst who is working mostly on the National Retrospective Evaluation of the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). WAP provides weatherization services to low-income households, including sealing cracks that let in too much outside air. Dan’s overall goal is to estimate the amount of energy saved by the program, and he does a lot of work with statistics and data analysis. After he explained his work and answered my questions, I moved on to shadowing the other Senior Policy Analyst, Daya. She is working on a related project called the Weatherization Innovation Pilot Program (WIPP). This project aims to develop innovative energy savings approaches.

The final person I shadowed in the morning was Leah, another Policy Analyst, who was working on a survey task. APPRISE implements many surveys to collect data to assess program effectiveness. Leah had recently sent out a survey, and when I went to shadow her, she was fielding questions and answering emails from the survey recipients. She still took the time to answer my questions and explain her work, and then it was time for lunch. We had a fantastic meal at Winberie’s with Nick and Matthew, a Policy Analyst and an intern.

After lunch, I shadowed Nick, who is working on the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The program provides aid to low-income families for use on their heating and air conditioning bills. Little 1Nick is in contact with representatives from all fifty states, as well as some territories, to aggregate and analyze data about their LIHEAP results from past years. After talking to Nick for a while, I moved on to shadow Kathi, who is a Research Director, and she is in charge of various surveys. I was able to listen in on a conference call between her, a Research Assistant, and someone from a phone survey company. I spent the end of the afternoon at APPRISE shadowing Deena, who had shown me around the office when I first arrived and who also works with surveys. There was a small sendoff celebration for Zach because it was his last day at APPRISE, and then Deena and Daya reviewed the day with me and answered any final questions I had.

All told, it seems that most people in the office work primarily with either data analysis or surveys. However, all the people I shadowed work on very different tasks for different clients of APPRISE. They are all quite capable of working independently and take care of their own business. Still, the separate projects do not inhibit a nice office atmosphere; the small size of the organization makes it easy for everyone to know one another well and hold friendly conversations. Everybody was very open to answering my questions and showing me what a day at APPRISE is like.

I found it incredibly valuable to see how data analysis is useful in a variety of energy-related research. I could see myself pursuing almost any of the projects that I got to observe, so the Princeternship definitely helped me establish one kind of work that I would be interested in doing after college. My sincere thanks go out to Dr. Jacqueline Berger *96  and Mr. Carroll, the President and Managing Director, and to all the APPRISE employees for welcoming me into their office. Thank you also to Career Services for setting up the opportunity for me to explore the field for a day.


Mary Gilstad ’15, Princeton Education Foundation

Mary-GilstadI spent three days during reading period with Adrienne Rubin ‘88, the Executive Director of Princeton Education Foundation (PEF). PEF is a nonprofit foundation that supports Princeton public schools by raising money for projects and improvements. For example, they are the source for the Teacher Mini-Grants given each year to teachers in the area who have innovative ideas for projects to do with their students that require a little bit more financial support than what is provided in the public system. PEF also helps fund improvements to school facilities like the recent creation of a “Learning Commons” multi-media and hang-out-friendly reading/research space in the library at John Witherspoon Middle School.

On the first day of the experience I met Ms. Rubin on Nassau St. and we went over to the Princeton Public Schools administration building, where PEF is housed. We said hello to the receptionist and the new superintendent Steve Cochrane before going up to the PEF office for a day of small nonprofit work! We began talking about what I wanted to know and why I was there and I took the opportunity to learn about Ms. Rubin’s career path and her thoughts on career matters. That discussion was inspiring because I enjoy hearing about other people’s life journeys a lot. I asked a few burning questions at the start but it soon became clear that what I had come for and what I wanted to learn would come to me simply through working and asking questions as I went along.

My first task was to write a draft grant proposal for the annual Music After School program in Princeton middle schools. The program aims to provide extra instrumental music instruction to middle school students who start an instrument but who do not have the financial resources to take private lessons as many of their peers do. It is an annual activity that PEF tries to make possible but it needs fresh funding every year. I found that I enjoyed grant proposal writing because it felt like was an extremely focused yet still creative writing task.

The next day I began work on data entry: tracking and entering donations to PEF through an online data system. This was my first time doing that work so in addition to the work of entering data I was being a fresh eye to review the Standard Operating Procedures for each type of entry. We were trying to create a foolproof SOP for the tasks so that Ms. Rubin could perhaps easily give the work to an intern or other worker in order to focus on other work. A part of this work was also categorizing and logging donations to be processed. I enjoyed this work because I was yet again helping out the organization while learning something new myself. The final large project I did with PEF was reviewing the website looking for broken links and ways to improve. I wrote up my findings and suggestions and viewed it as an exercise in writing clearly and a study of effective websites. I was able to peruse other education foundations in the area as well in order to make comparisons and I discovered certain elements that can help and hurt any website. I will keep the new knowledge I gained in mind when I encounter website design in the professional context again.

Although the grant writing was my favorite task, my favorite activity was the Parent Teacher Organization meeting on the third day. I watched and took notes while the new superintendent of all area public schools spoke about his vision for the next few months and the members of the PTO asked questions and voiced hopes and skepticism about the upcoming year and leftover issues for the next. I liked the meeting because it revealed the challenges and values in the public education sector in my very own neighborhood. It was interesting seeing the form that certain nationwide issues take in Princeton, such as the achievement gap and the image of parents and teachers arguing about what is best for the children.

Mary with Adrienne Rubin wearing our respective Princetonia.

Mary with Adrienne Rubin wearing our respective Princetonia.

I hope to stay in touch with Adrienne Rubin past this short internship with her. She taught me that networking is not about combing through other people in search of superficial connections and potential partners, but instead about taking an honest interest in others’ lives and work. During our extensive conversations about experiences in general we discovered that we had the Princeton Band in common so for our picture at the end of the third day we posed in our respective current jacket (hers is the 25th reunion jacket her class made last year.) I would encourage anyone with some interest in how nonprofits really work and how they can be an active part of a school community to try the Princeternship with PEF.

Molly Fisch-Friedman ’16, Princeton Education Foundation

Molly-Fisch-FriedmanThis past intersession, I had the opportunity to shadow Adrienne Rubin ’88, Executive Director of the Princeton Education Foundation (PEF).  The Princeton Education Foundation’s mission is to support the Princeton Public Schools through fundraising, outreach, and support of programs throughout the school district.  As it turned out, Adrienne was actually leaving her job at PEF to work for another service-oriented organization, so she was full of advice about the nonprofit field.  I also got a lot of exposure to the way that philanthropy benefits education, which was really interesting to see, and I loved getting the chance to talk with Adrienne about her job, her life, and how her experience at Princeton influenced her career.

On my first day there, Adrienne picked me up and we went to John Witherspoon Middle School, where we sat in on a focus group about school lunches.  There were about 15 children there, and they talked about the things that they liked and didn’t like about school lunches.  The Vice Principal and the Kitchen Manager were also present, which showed me how dedicated the staff of the school was to the interests of the students.  Adrienne told me that she is periodically invited to events like these because it shows the school district, the students, and the parents that PEF is involved and interested in the happenings in the schools.  She also said that the information that she learns at these kinds of events is valuable for applying for grants, whether it is for arts programs or for the free and reduced lunch program.

After the focus group, Adrienne molly fand I went to her office, and I helped her deal with a lot of the tasks necessary to the running of PEF.  I helped enter data into Salesforce, which is a data aggregation and storage tool that PEF uses to keep track of donors, families, and events.  The work that I did was to help  PEF plan for their Annual Spring Gala.  I also created a few forms using an online form service, including forms for Gala tickets and auction bids.  I really appreciated the fact that Adrienne was giving me concrete tasks, and I knew that the things I was doing were actually helping her and the organization to continue in their plans for the Gala.

On my second day, Adrienne took me to a presentation by Women in Development, a group for women who work in nonprofits in Central New Jersey to discuss their roles in the nonprofit industry.  Adrienne told me that it is also useful for networking, and she actually found out about her current job at PEF through Women in Development.  I had the chance to talk to a few different women at the meeting, and I really appreciated hearing their stories as well.  The guest speaker was the Executive Director at NJCASA, the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and it was really inspiring to hear her speak about her experience in the nonprofit world and all of the different nonprofits that she worked for.  After the meeting, I got to talk with Adrienne about her experience as well, and I really appreciated getting an “expert” opinion about the nonprofit field.  I’m considering careers in government, nonprofits, and education, and Adrienne and I talked about all of those different fields and her experiences with many of them.  Hearing her story really got me thinking about how I want to pursue my future, and it also gave me the chance to bond really well with Adrienne.  We talked about all sorts of things, from life at Princeton to religion, and I felt like Adrienne was really interested in working with me and showing me the ropes of the nonprofit industry during my Princeternship.

I finished out the week by helping her clean out her office and sorting through old files and donations.  It was sort of like looking through PEF’s time machine, because I got to see their old advertising materials and read old newspapers.  Adrienne admitted that sometimes the work isn’t exciting, but that the work is interesting and fulfilling, and that those moments definitely outweigh the less exciting moments of her job.  I really appreciated her honesty, because I know that no job can always be perfect or exciting, but at the end of the day, if you’re doing work that is fulfilling and you’re working towards a valuable goal, then you’ll find a way to appreciate your job.

I had a great time working with Adrienne at PEF, and I really enjoyed getting more hands-on experience in the nonprofit world.  Not only was I able to help PEF plan for its Gala, but I was able to help Adrienne end out her time at PEF successfully.  I’m really grateful for Adrienne because she was a great host, and I felt like she really was interested in sharing as much wisdom as she could with me.

Dierdre Ely ’17, Veterans Campaign

Deirdre-ElyOur first president, George Washington, once said “when we assumed the soldier, we did not lay aside the citizen.” That is the credo of Veterans Campaign, the nonprofit political startup where I spent three days of my Spring Break. Founded in 2010 at Princeton by Seth Lynn *10 WWS, then a captain in the Marine Corps, with the help of other senior military officers then at Princeton, Veterans Campaign aims to increase the number of veterans serving as elected officials within U.S. government. The ethos behind this work? While many veterans possess both the interest and the leadership skills to make effective and successful public officers, most don’t have the requisite knowledge of our political system they need in order to make that jump to that different kind of service and therefore are unable to do so. That is where Veterans Campaign comes in. Through the workshops it organizes, Veterans Campaign teaches veterans about campaign strategy and U.S. politics, giving them the knowhow on how to get elected, a strategy which has worked for many of the workshop’s alumni.

I was lucky enough to be shadowing Princeton alum, Norm Bonnyman ‘12, a former member of the Princeton ROTC organization who had been heavily involved in the founding of Veterans Campaign as an undergraduate, and who now works under Seth Lynn, now the organization’s Director, as the Chief of Staff. As Veterans Campaign is still in its infancy Seth and Norm are currently the only two permanent employees, which meant that I was able to interact directly with the two people at the top of the organization’s ladder, giving me a greater look into the inside workings of a political non-profit. However as Veterans Campaign is tied to the Center for Second Service at the George Washington University’s Institute for Public Policy there are often other people around the office, most of whom who are former-military men now studying at GW itself.

My first day was short butEly 3 sweet. After taking the Metro to Foggy Bottom, I met up with Norm at Veterans Campaign’s offices, which were across from the legendary Watergate Complex, on Monday afternoon. Once there, he introduced me to Seth and then took me through the basic history of the organization, starting from a single-day workshop for veterans at Princeton to its incorporation into a start-up. Finally, because of my experience with the Adobe design suite, Norm gave me an assignment: to design a new logo for the organization that could be used for all manner of branding purposes, including on the website.

The second day Norm took me into the nuts and bolts of creating a start-up, from finding the idea, to filing the paperwork, to working out the legal and monetary details. He then let me listen in on his phone call with one of Veterans Campaign’s Board Members, Simone Lightfoot, in preparation for her visit later in the week. I also continued my work on the logo, coming up with an idea that encapsulated the goals of Veterans Campaign and that Seth and Norm can now use as a jumping board. They then gave me another task: updating the organization brochure to a new eye-catching design format, something that I am continuing to work on for them even now that my Princeternship is over.

In addition to all of this, Norm had his family friend, a high school student named Will who was touring colleges, visiting from his hometown in Georgia. Norm and I, of course, were more than willing to talk to him about the many benefits of going to Princeton, and it made me incredibly happy to be able to list this experience as one of those said benefits.

On my last day Norm contacted a friend from home who works in the office of Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), and organized a private tour of the Capitol for Will and I as a special treat. Although Congress was out of session at the time it was still incredibly exciting for me as I had never been in the Capitol building before. We saw the original Supreme Court and Senate chambers, walked through the Rotunda, and even got to ride on the special underground train that travels between the Senators’ offices (which are across from the street from the Capitol) and the Capitol building itself. Next Will and I went on a private tour of the National Archives where we got to see the Charters of Freedom, i.e. The Bill of Rights, The Constitution, and The Declaration of Independence, another first for me. After that I headed back to the offices one last time to continue work on the new informational booklet. The final act of the day was a meeting between Norm and some of the GW fellows discussing the organization’s future events, including a major women veterans workshop, talk series, and networking event at the end of the year.

Ely 1My experience at Veterans Campaign was incredibly fulfilling and motivating for me. I have always loved anything related to politics, but until this point had never had the chance to explore those interests. Norm was amazing not only in his wish to make sure I had the chance to experience anything I was remotely interested in while there but also in the advice he gave me on how I could get the most out my experience at Princeton and through that achieve my goals, which included putting me into contact with the professors who mentored him both before and after he graduated.

Not only did this Princeternship make me even more passionate about making politics my life work, but also it gave me a perspective on a whole new manner through which I could achieve that: a political start-up. The success of Veterans’ Campaign has given me the knowledge that even as an undergraduate I have the ability to positively affect the world around me with my ideas and can take my ideas and run with them. My hope is that, like Veterans Campaign, I will find a way to focus on a yet untended facet of U.S. politics and translate it into something sustainable and effecting. But until I achieve that, I plan to stay involved with Veterans Campaign as much as possible.

Michelle Nedashkovskaya ’16, World Monuments Fund

During the Spring Break of my junior year, I had the opportunity to spend three days as a Princetern at the World Monuments Fund (WMF) office on the twenty-fourth floor of the Empire State building.

Upon arriving at the WMFMichelle 1 office, I was greeted by a warm, comfortable atmosphere and a hot cup of tea to help me recover from the harsh winds that gusted through the city streets that morning. I first made the acquaintance of Yiannis Avramides, a colleague of my Princeternship host and, coincidentally, a member of the Princeton Class of 2008. After enjoying a brief introduction into the general background of WMF’s mission and current projects, we were joined by my charismatic host and the organization’s VP of Strategic and International Affairs, George McNeely of the Princeton Class of 1983. Though I did my research beforehand and was already fairly familiar with the goals of WMF as a private, international, nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of historic architecture and cultural heritage sites around the world, it was fascinating to talk to George and Yiannis about their particular roles in the organization and how they got to where they are today. With the completion of my short orientation for the Princeternship, I was led on a tour of the rest of the well-designed and welcoming office, meeting and greeting the rest of my “colleagues” for the duration of my time at WMF.

Several hours into the day, I was given a few interesting assignments that I would be tackling over those three days. The list of brief assignments included a research project on the Old Summer Palace built during the Qing dynasty in China, the summarization and outline of a text on international cultural preservation organizations, and conducting a short investigation into Russian media coverage dealing with the potential destruction of the Shukhov radio tower in Moscow. Overall, I found the completion of my assignments to be extremely rewarding because I could see first-hand how my efforts were relevant to the tasks being undertaken by various professionals at the World Monuments Fund; each of them was extremely appreciative of my minor contributions and it was generally a pleasure to assist them in any way possible.

To comment on my experience at the World Monument Fund as a whole – I must say that I genuinely enjoyed it and benefitted from it. It was an incredible and rare opportunity to glimpse into the professional environment of people that are so passionate about and dedicated to the cause that they work for and to be so hospitably taken in and introduced to their everyday life. My goal coming into the Princeternship was to get a feel for what it would be like to work at a non-profit office like WMF, and though I remain unsure of where exactly I see myself after Princeton, the experience and insight I have gained by simply being around such a professional environment will definitely help me further along my journey to discovering my place in the world.

I would absolutely recommend participating in a Princeternship to all Princeton undergraduate students because I believe that experience is a great one to carry while continuing along our professional paths and making the decisions that will shape our futures. I would also like to take another opportunity to thank George, Yiannis, Katie, and everyone else I had the pleasure of meeting at WMF for making my Spring Break such a memorable, enjoyable, and productive time of my sophomore year.

Shefali Jain ’17,

Shefali-JainI had the opportunity to take the best study break of my first Reading Period at Princeton University with a visit to the New York office of this past January. I shadowed Princeton alum Andrew Protain ’08 and also met members of several departments at is one of the most innovative nonprofits today. It is an online charity that encourages peer-to-peer philanthropy by connecting teachers in need with donors across the United States and teachers from 56 percent of public schools in the United States who have posted a project on What makes so unique is its transparency. People can see exactly where the funds will be spent as well as receive verification from teachers through the form of thank you emails and photos. In addition, donors who give over $50 to any project also receive handwritten thank you letters from the students. has been soJain Host picture successful because it forges connections in a way few other charities do. I was given a $50 gift card prior to visiting the office so I could see what the donation process was like and it was incredibly fun navigating the site, which could display projects based on geographic region, subject area, and approaching funding deadlines, amongst other filters, and reading through the wide variety of projects posted. I donated to a teacher who wanted new books to teach her special needs students in a high poverty New York neighborhood about the Arctic and how the actions of students could impact the environment on a global scale. My donation provided the remaining funds required for this teacher’s project to reach its goal and I received an email less than an hour later from the thrilled teacher telling me how her commute to work that morning had been the best one she’s ever had because she learned about my donation. Another teacher I donated to wanted to buy graphing calculators for her high school students with learning disabilities so they could complete their high school math requirements and fulfill their dreams of pursuing a college education. Again, it was only a matter of hours before I received a thank you email.

Jain DonorsChoose OfficeAfter going through the donation process, I was even more excited to arrive at the Princeternship site, and I was not disappointed. The new office of is bright, airy, and quirky—a perfect reflection of the focused, yet fun, atmosphere of Throughout my day, I met with representatives from the Data Science, Operations, Customer Relations, Logistics and Business Relations, and Partnerships and Business Development departments of

I was also able to sit in on a Data Innovation Symposium Brainstorm session, where I learned the significance of data collection at Because has connected people from such varied backgrounds (socioeconomic, geographic, etc.), it has a wealth of data that can be used for a variety of purposes.  The three main uses for the data outlined in the brainstorming session were:

  1. To improve the internal structure of to make it more efficient.
  2. To provide information about nonprofits who want to use a model similar to that of
  3. To make the data open t.o the public so that it can provide information to policy makers.

I had never considered data analysis as a path for me to consider prior to my Princeternship, but during the day, I realized the potential of the field to directly improve society. It was inspiring to see the ability to affect change for good the way that is able to do. Through the various team meetings I sat in on, it was evident that all the team members of are passionate about their cause, innovative in their approach, and bold in their future goals.

Thank You CardsI also visited “Donor Appreciation Land,” where the Thank You Packages for donors are assembled. Seeing the handmade thank you cards from students drove home why is so successful. Simply put, forges connections—and that is what keeps teachers and donors, alike, returning to

It was a privilege to be able to gain insight into the model of such an innovative nonprofit and I thank Mr. Protain and all at the office of for this eye-opening, enjoyable, and rewarding Princeternship experience!