Student Internship Stories: Mayowa Hassan (QST’23), Social Innovation Forum (SIF)

CCD: Tell us about your experience. What were your responsibilities?

MH: My experience with the Social Innovation Forum (SIF) was super nice. As a Program Intern, I worked intimately with the program team of the Social Innovation Forum. My tasks were mostly concerned with its Accelerator program which uses a marketplace model to connect social impact organizations, funders, and in-kind partners. First, I created market scans consisting of hundreds of non-profit organizations within the Greater Boston area to gain a better idea of their location, available contact information, mission, and whom they serve. The organizations that I researched most were focused on combatting recidivism through comprehensive re-entry programs, advancing education and career opportunities for immigrant youth, and civic engagement. Using this research, I then performed outreach to many non-profit organizations to see if they wanted to apply for the program. Later, I evaluated applications and, during team meetings and meetings with funders, I shared my input and took notes as well.

CCD: How did you get the opportunity? What resources at BU or elsewhere did you use?

MH: The professor of my SM131 class emailed me about this opportunity and then connected me directly to the Social Innovation Forum. After I submitted my application, my high school mentor texted me about the opportunity and then recommended me as well. I am super thankful for both of these men because without them I would not have known of this amazing internship.

CCD: What was the best thing about the experience? What was the worst?

MH: The best thing about the experience was the team! Everyone was so kind, compassionate and so hard-working. It inspired me to be the same. At SIF they were always willing to adapt in order to best serve those in their network. I learned a lot from them. I also thoroughly enjoyed the conversations that I was blessed to have with non-profit leaders. Their passion for their work was so strong and their impact within their communities was powerful. The worst thing about the internship was that it was fully remote due to the pandemic. Even with that being said, the SIF team still fostered a warm and welcoming environment. They planned fun team games, team lunches, chats with the interns, and we had very engaging discussions concerning daily icebreaker questions.

CCD: What was the most memorable part of your experience?

MH: SIF attended a Racial Equity Learning Community (RELC) session in which we learned about the aspects of white supremacy culture and how entrenched it can be within ourselves and our society. It really opened my eyes to the ways that my criticism about myself could be a result of my environment and forced me to realize how much I was negatively effected by it.

CCD: What advice would you give to another student about making the most of an internship, job, or other career-related experience?

MH: Remember you are not perfect so go into it willing to learn and grow. Ask questions when you are confused. Also, be yourself and try your best!

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