Interning at Carpenter’s Shelter can be described in one word: rewarding. As the Communication and Design Intern, I have been with the shelter since June. I came to Carpenter’s just after graduating with my B.A in Communication from the University of Wyoming, and on a whim I decided to pack up and move to the DMV area in the hopes of better career opportunities.

I stumbled upon the Communications and Design Internship posting through Idealist and thought this position would be perfect for my transition to the professional world. On my first day at the shelter, I remember my expectations being blown away as I walked through the door. As someone who had not been exposed to a large amount of poverty, I envisioned the shelter as being something you would stereotypically see on TV; not the clean, welcoming, and professional environment I came upon.

Having had several internships in college, I expected to run errands, get coffee, and perform tasks that the staff didn’t have time to do. However, that was not the case. At Carpenter’s Shelter, interns are treated like staff members and given a variety of responsibilities, all of which not only help the shelter but also give them valuable experience and connections necessary to be successful in the professional world.

Since being at Carpenter’s Shelter I have had a plethora of experiences that not only helped me professionally, but also personally. I was given the opportunity to attend the Discovery Creating Change Conference, work on the development of Young Philanthropists, our newest giving circle, and develop an array of original content that I have since been able to add to my portfolio to present during interviews.

I have also grown a lot personally since being with the shelter. Working at a homeless shelter, you are exposed to some extreme stories of sadness, abuse, and poverty, all of which will make anyone take a step back and evaluate all that they have. I remember one client in particular telling me her story and sharing some very personal details about her struggles with homelessness. That moment awakened my desire to continue working in the non-profit sector and ignited my passion for helping others.

This is more than just an internship. It’s the opportunity to develop your skills, build your network of connections, and contribute to social change.

For more information, please click here. All interested applicants are encouraged to send a thoughtful cover letter and resume to Courtney Bishop.