Getting Started


So I’ve settled into my new place, found the grocery stores and figured out the TriMet system (at least my routes) without any major hiccups. I knew adjusting to a new city wouldn’t be easy but I was more worried about the transition from student to intern.  I told myself there was no point in being nervous (it didn’t help, I still was) and that I would go in to work each day and do the best work I could do and learn as much as I possibly could.  It’s only my second week but I’ve learned a lot already.

My favorite aspect of my internship is getting to learn more about the nonprofit world. It’s been great to see all the different parts of the organization and how they work together.  I saw this first hand when I sat in on a meeting the development was having with an email marketing specialist.  He had some great tips about segmenting our donor list, as well as, when and how often to reach out to different audiences. I was fascinated with the way each team member was involved and took into account their respective specialties.   The program systems specialist would ask questions that I could barely comprehend and the database assistant could come up with a response to almost any question asked when it came to facts and figures.

I learned so much from sitting in on that meeting and was thankful that my boss had invited me to do so. My PDXSX experience is off to a great start. I look forward to learning more about the non-profit world and taking advantage of every opportunity that presents itself.

Shannon Sloan

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5 Responses to Getting Started

  1. michelletag says:

    I think one thing I’ve enjoyed about interning at a nonprofit is the fact that you can dip your toes into a little bit of everything. You can experience a little bit of event planning, logistics, donor relations, and really anything you can thing of that would be involved in any other sort of business. Glad to hear you’ve enjoyed your first couple of weeks!

  2. zolfaghari says:

    Hi, Shannon! Great post. I love that you mentioned the fact that you not only had to adjust the transition from student to intern, but to an entirely foreign city. I can remember when I first moved down to Eugene and had to figure out the same obstacles as you: where to eat, how to commute, and everything else can that be daunting in a new city. Also, I’m happy that you’re able to find so much interest in the work. I feel like that’s one of the more important things to have in an internship. I wish you the best!

  3. shannonkluss says:

    Working in-house, especially at a very focused non-profit organization, is a great opportunity for team members to see all the aspects of the organization and how they intertwine with each other. Just because one person is managing the Fundraising department, doesn’t mean they won’t work closely with the Events or Development departments. From one of my past experiences, the most interesting aspects was attending the weekly staff meetings and going around the table and informing everyone what they are working on. It’s a great chance to stay current about what’s going on in the office, and maybe even dabble in other departments!

  4. Bree says:

    I’m so proud of you Shannon! I’ve known you for a couple years now and it’s exciting to actually get to be there to see all of your hard work pay off! And if you need someone to show you around the east side of Portland, I’m your girl! As for downtown…I wouldn’t even bother. You’re probably well aware that I got lost the first day of class (sorry about the frantic text messages!). Anyway, I’m glad your internship is going well and that you are learning a lot. Have you decided if you were still interested in working for a non-profit in the future?

  5. Allyson Will says:

    That is so great that you were able to sit in on a meeting. I learn something new about my internship company in each meeting I sit in on. It is a great way to get inside the minds of each person in your company. I’m sure that people who work for non-profits are especially passionate about their jobs so there is probably some great brainstorming going on in meetings. I am glad you are enjoying your internship. Congrats!

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