Busy, busy

What a week! Here's whats going on in my life:

Gulf Coast Fund
- I'm really happy with how this is going. I have a lot of independence, and responsibility. I'm working on fundraising and development, and I get make proposals of idea that I think are good.
DoSomething.org - It's such a dynamic and unpredictable place to work. The atmosphere is fun and relaxed, but so much gets done - even on snow day.
Uncommon Schools - I made it to the next round! I've been invited to an Immersion Day where I will be giving a "read-aloud"... whatever that means?!
TFA - anxiously waiting...

Economics - I got an 82 on the midterm... I did not achieve my goal of acing the exam. So, I started going back to recitation. But between my TA's accent, and his inability to clarify ideas, I'm not sure how productive recitation will be.
Everything else - More midterms/presentations coming up...

President's Service Award - I got one! Thanks for the nomination!
RA - I've been cultivating my application for RA of the Month for February. I've done 10 programs so far, and I've recruited only the finest RAs to write my nomination. Fingers crossed.
Alternative Breaks - I had a successful fundraiser tonight, however last weeks Haiti benefit went anything but well.
Civic Camp - it's really coming along. If you're interested in attending a conference about how to turn your passions into a profession, keep March 26 open!
SNOW - I hate you! You make my socks wet!

First day at Gulf Coast Fund (GCF)

What a day gang! I went in for my first day at GCF... it was basically a training on what GCF does, how it's related to RPA (Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors), what I'm expected to do, and what software I'll be working with.

-I learned a lot about RPA. RPA uses a very unique model where it sort of houses it's separate "special projects" in house. RPA is the fiscal sponsor of GCF, but GCF is still a very independent agency, responsible for its own fundraising, decision-making, operations, and grant giving.
-I learned a lot about the challenges facing not-for-profits today... the most prominent being the ever-growing problem of sustainability. This is particularly relevant for GCF, as it suffers from major "Katrina fatigue" - that is, how people have almost forgotten that Katrina survivors are still struggling to get back on their feet.
-And I learned that Nancy Lublin's "Not-for-profit management" class has prepared me extremely well for working in this field. I was able to talk to my supervisor and her colleagues about a lot of things that I don't think they expected me to know about: like the difference between a 501(c)3 and 501(c)4, or about different parts of IRS Form 990. Thanks Nancy!

It was a really cool first day, and I really appreciate that my supervisor spent the whole day with us (the other intern is a junior from Hofstra University)... and she's SO nice and really young.

I also applied for the Funded Internship Award from Wasserman, and I really hope I get it! I need it to LIVE!

I got another one!

Another internship that is. At the Gulf Coast Fund, a project of the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. It sounds so fancy... except the unpaid part.

I think that working at the Gulf Coast Fund will provide a contrast from Do Something, and my experiences at both places this semester will give me a good idea of what the not-for-profit sector is really like. The Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors is an older, bigger organization that allocates funds to support community organizations, and Do Something is a younger, smaller company that works with closely schools and teenagers. I think I'll really enjoy working at both places, and my only concern is being able to balance 2 internships, 16 credits, being an RA, Alternative Breaks, other activities... and trying to find a job!

My goals for this week:
-Ace my econ midterm
-Impress my bosses at DS and GCF
-Win RA of the month
-Work on the Civic Camp planning process

...the blizzard.

Today was a really long day... especially because of the blizzard. Due to fatigue, this post will take the form of a common icebreaker activity - roses and thorns:

My first day at Do Something... in a blizzard:
Rose - My first task was really cool. I had to read through 600+ applications, and choose the 5 best to win a free computer!
Thorn - They asked me to go out in the snow to go to Staples and buy labels and envelopes. Staples was closed.

Going to school... in a blizzard:
Thorn - I woke up and got ready for 9:30 class, but the bus never ended up coming. So, I missed class.
Rose - My 4:55 class was canceled, and so i had NO class ALL day!

Being an RA... in a blizzard:
Rose - Staff meeting was canceled so that we could have Snow Day programs. I ordered pizza and held a well-attended event with another RA. Success.
Thorns - None!

Interview @ Gulf Coast Fund

I just interviewed for an internship at Gulf Coast Fund, which is a division of the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. Sounds fancy, right? Well it kind of is! I was intimidated when I first walked in for the interview, because the office was so nice! There was gold and marble everywhere, they owned the whole floor of the building, and they asked me if I wanted coffee!

However, once I met the team that worked at the Gulf Coast Fund, I felt much more relaxed. The two women who interviewed me (one was a former intern, and the other phoned in from Connecticut) were both really friendly. They seemed like they genuinely wanted to get to know me, and asked me a LOT of questions about my resume... they also told me to never remove 'YouTube' as one of my listed interests.

I also learned a lot more about how the Gulf Coast Fund, and foundations in general, work. Basically, here's what happens: 1) Not-for-profit organizations submit a grant to the foundation... 2) The people who work at the foundation process the grant, and figure out if the organization deserves/needs the grant... 3) If they give the green light, the advisory board reviews the recommendation, and if the board approves, then the organizations gets the grant!

I'll hear back around Friday, and I'll let you know what happens. Tomorrow is my first day at Do Something, but for right now... AVATAR!!!

I got one!

Not a job... but an internship! The perfect internship! Business Development at Do Something. Here's the play by play:

Monday: I interview at Do Something. It goes very well, and they tell me to expect a response on Wednesday/Thursday.

Tuesday: I wait anxiously.

Wednesday: It's 6:00pm. I'm in class and I get a phone call, but I just ignore it... SO stupid, I know! I let the call go to voicemail, and I listened to the message after class. It was Do Something (duh!) and they "just wanted to ask a question." So mysterious! I call back immediately. No answer. I leave a message. I am very anxious.

Thursday: I call back in the morning at 9:00am. No answer. I leave another message (sorry). I read twitter. They're in MIAMI! Do I call again? Do I leave another message? No, that's obnoxious. But they said I'd hear back on Wednesday/Thursday, right? Maybe I didn't get it. One friend just got into grad school. Another has a great job offer. I am jealous, and a little sad.

Friday: This morning, I get a call from an unknown number... from FLORIDA! It's Do Something again! I got the internship! I am relieved, no longer envious of my friends, and very happy! For them also but mostly for me.

This is really good news! I was starting to get discouraged and I was feeling overwhelmed, but I think that landing this position will be a GREAT energy boost. I go in on Wednesday for my first day! Stay tuned for updates.

An Uncommon Interview

So I just got off the phone with a recruiter from Uncommon Schools. I think it went pretty well, but I'm not sure about whether or not I'll get it. I thought my answers were well thought out, but maybe a bit too long winded. Also, due to the extreme cold in my room, I think I might have sounded nervous because I shivered a couple of times. At any rate, Uncommon sounds like a great place to work, and picks up the slack where a lot of other "alternative education" programs fall behind:

vs. TFA - Uncommon provides much more support for teachers in the form of weekly professional development.
vs. Teaching Fellows - Uncommon has stronger leadership within the school with both instructional and managerial directors.
vs. both - Uncommon has a huge focus on structure, discipline, and academic rigor that extends to each classroom, which can't really be accomplished in a program that inserts one teacher per school.

I hear back from Uncommon about whether "this is a good stopping point in the process" or "if I advance to the next round" in 2-4 weeks (February 18-March 4). I'll keep my fingers crossed until then...

P.S. - My recruiter reads ramilgetsajob.blogspot.com.

Job Fair = semi-success

So I just finished my job fair experience. I was overwhelming at first. All the elevators were packed, and the atmosphere felt so competitive. I've never seen so many 20-year-olds in suits before. Out of the 120 tables, here's everyone I talked to, what they're about, and how things went:

-Citizen Schools: Teaching fellow program. Lots of independence. Definitely a good match.
-City Year: 10-month public service in schools. Compensation = food stamps. I am over qualified.
-Deloitte: Only internships for seniors right now. I missed the job boat. It's a stretch.
-Institute of International Education: Programs range from Fulbright to grad research. A bit of name dropping occurred. Thanks Bill. Good fit. I'll follow up.
-localbacon: Career development website. Also a stretch for me. But I thought I clicked with the dudes at the table. If I can think of a new name for their website, I will definitely apply.
-NYC Teaching Fellows: I asked what the main difference was between Teaching Fellows and TFA. I think it struck a chord with the recruiter. I wasn't feeling it. I will probably not apply.
-Revolution Prep: Sounds like they're looking for someone with teaching experience, right? Wrong. Marketing. Not for me.
-Teach For America: I talked to the campus recruiter about changing my site preferences. I'm seriously considering adding LA, SF, and NOLA to my list.
-The Doe Fund: They're looking for MSWs. Nothing that starts with a B.
-Uncommon Schools: I already have a phone interview tomorrow. Bam.

It's always really awkward talking to recruiters, and I wonder if I am actually making an impression. And when I don't connect with the person, it makes it that much harder to start a conversation with the next person. At any rate, I think I got a lot of good experience at putting myself out there and selling myself, and I have a lot of thank you e-mails to write. Hopefully, I'll hear back, and maybe even get a couple of interviews.

Preparing for a job fair!

I've been to a job fair before, but I'm a lot more nervous about this one because the stakes are a bit higher. So, I did a couple of things to prepare for today:

1. I utilized the career center resources.
NYU's career center really does have a lot to offer, some of it useful, and some of it not so much. Example: Wassertube. This video was useful. This video was somewhat entertaining, but ultimately not useful. My only hope is that Katie and Rachel were trying to be ironic by making a very awkward and unprofessional video that was intended to demonstrate how to act less awkward and more professional.

2. I printed out like 20 resumes.
Luckily, I managed to amass a large collection of resumes before my (it's not really mine) printer broke.

3. I am dressed professionally!
Yet warmly.

4. I looked up the employer list, researched which companies I am interested in, and prepared a pitch.
My pitch includes a brief description of who I am and why I'm interested, what I know about the company, and a question about the company.

I feel prepared now! I just had a power lunch with my friend Ivan, and he gave me a great confidence boost. I'll let you know how everything goes!

Interview @ Do Something

Today was a busy day! But the highlight was definitely my interview at Do Something. I got there early, and walked down their hallway, and ended up NOT at a reception desk but in the middle of the main office. Surprise! I had imagined the offices a bit larger, but it was just as energetic and chaotic as I had expected. I was introduced to EVERYONE in the small office (including one of my residents... weird!), and then I was taken into the interview room.

I think that the interview went as well as it could have gone. I was asked your average interview questions: what experiences can you bring to this job; what's an example of a time you failed; how did you hear about this company; why do you want to work here... and I think I did pretty well. I guess since the stakes were lower, I felt less pressure, and so I performed better, but I still really want this job! As I left, I felt pretty good.

I just sent in a follow-up e-mail, and I will hear back by Thursday. I think that I did everything right so far, and I feel like if I don't get it, it will have to do with my past experiences, and not my lack of interview skills... unless someone else was somehow funnier, more charming, and more attractive than I am. I'll let you know as soon as I hear back.

Interview Week!

Last week was about getting interviews, and this week will be about actually doing them. Here are the big events for this week:

Monday 2/1 (11:30am) - Interview @ Do Something
Tuesday 2/2 (8:00pm) - LOST Season 6 Premier (The beginning of the END!!!)
Wednesday 2/3 (11:00am-3:00pm) - Job Fair and Diversity Expo
Thursday 2/4 (9:00am) - Interview with Uncommon Schools, (6:00pm) "Your Passions and Your Professions" workshop
Friday & Saturday - Coaching Training

It's becoming more difficult to stay on top of things and to keep up the pace that I've been going at, especially because classes are starting to heat up, RA-ing is taking up more time, and it doesn't help that we have fire drills at 7:00am. I'm trying to stay organized, but I have a feeling that something's gotta give sooner or later.

I'm off to campus now, and then to Union Square for the interview! Wish me luck! It's so cold...