Unlike traditional work experiences, the path of an intern can be challenging depending on the line of work. At human-I-T, the opportunities and challenges can vary—which benefits everyone that works here. Our internship experience has proven so invaluable that our interns continue to be chosen over their peers in the new opportunities they seek. Those same interns attribute their experience at human-I-T for shaping their future. As you read Morten, Guli and David’s experiences, you will see how human-I-T has been a key stepping stone in their career path. human-I-T is not just another nonprofit to work with; it’s one that makes a difference in both your professional and personal life.
Morten, Project Management Intern
My internship at human-I-T has had a great influence on me both personally and in my career. Coming all the way from Denmark (Europe), some would perhaps find it difficult to settle in a foreign culture such as the U.S. However, when you are greeted in such a warm and welcoming way as I was, no words can describe how much you want to go back to the U.S. after returning home. I have made new friends in a foreign country and I have learned what mentality it takes to work in a foreign culture. This is partly because of the amazing people who taught me so much while I was there. The two co-founders Gabe and James have taught me a wide variety of skills within project management; e.g. that all processes that can be measured must be measured and that there needs to be well-defined purpose with all actions that we take. Through a steep learning curve, I have done everything from doing cold calls, project management, participation in networking events to conducting outreach to potential partner organizations. Combined, all of these experiences have helped me to understand what kind of employee that I want to be and what kind of position that I want to aim for in my future career. Being able to work closely with Gabe, James and other employees/volunteers at human-I-T each day helped me embark on a journey towards my future career.
Before I travelled to the U.S., I was not sure what type of position I wanted to apply for in the future. In Denmark, we are not usually taught one specific field (i.e. project management, chemistry or physics). Instead, we receive a more general education. Therefore, when people ask me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, it has often been hard to answer. Until my stay at human-I-T, I am now happy to say that I can answer that question. I am applying and making it to the final round at some very large companies in Denmark for project manager positions. My future employer can easily see the valuable experience I have gained in project management during my stay, which gives me an advantage compared to other graduates applying for similar positions.
I would not have traded my stay in human-I-T for anything. It has given me so much practical experience that I intend to use throughout my career.
Guli, Web Development Intern
human-I-T has helped me in so many ways. It was the best experience I have had to date, personally and professionally. It was an incredible learning experience. My potential job opportunities are now much more broad in terms of what I can apply for. I can truly say now “I am able to design a website in WordPress” after leading human-i-t.org’s complete website overhaul. My internship at human-I-T aroused my interest in pursuing a master’s degree in human computer interaction (HCI). I now want to go further in the web development field because of human-I-T.
David, Project Management Intern
Working for human-I-T created a lot of opportunities in my life. The internship helped to develop my personal and professional skills in many ways. In particular, my experience at human-I-T helped me become a Consulting Splunk Architect at Consist Software Solutions when I arrived back to Germany. All the companies I applied to and had job interviews with were very impressed. It’s not normal in Germany to be 25 years of age and have already worked as a project manager for such a large project such as OurCycle LA (programs page here).
Furthermore, I gained confidence in dealing with the daily challenges at my current job while at human-I-T. I am now a Big Data Analyst and use my experience of hitting deadlines at OurCycle LA as best practices. At times when I do not see progress on projects because of all the data, I know from my experience at human-I-T that it is right around the corner. Sometimes you have to put your head down and power through it, because every single step counts and brings you closer to your goal.
Finally, working with and as a volunteer showed me how great it can be to sacrifice your time for a good cause and what kind of impact you can have on someone else’s life. I often think about all the 10,000 pallets of computers I worked on at human-I-T, and it makes me happy to know that I helped make a positive social and environmental impact. The most important lesson of all that I learned was: no matter how hard your day is, never let it influence your work and always keep smiling.
I deeply want to thank all the great people I met at human-I-T whom I am able to call my friends. It is a pleasure to have worked at such a great organization, and I highly recommend working there.