Spring 2013 ICCR Communications Intern
"This semester I had the pleasure of interning with the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility as a database and communications intern. Starting the internship in January, my primary task was to assist the technical director with the creation and maintenance of a contact database as well as conduct data input for the shareholder resolution database. However, my personal goal was to become acquainted with the day-to-day operations of a successful nonprofit organization and experience shareholder advocacy work. I believe my time with ICCR was successful on all counts, as I was able to meaningfully contribute to the organization’s work in addition to gaining valuable career experience which will help to shape my aspirations.
The Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility is a shareholder advocacy firm which works with nonprofit organizations, mostly faith-based, to promote social, political, and environmental action. ICCR works with these organizations, which have corporate shareholdings, to create dialogues and resolutions to influence corporate policy. They work on a variety of issues including political campaign contributions, hydrofracking, workers’ wages, and sustainability in addition to countless others. Their work is vital to maintaining corporate responsibility and allowing shareholders to become directly involved in corporate policy. Even before joining ICCR this semester I recognized the immense value of their work and its integral role in advocacy.
As the database and communication intern at ICCR, I gained valuable experience working with data compilation and communications work which will undoubtedly serve me later in my career. However, the experience I value the most was being able to observe and become familiar with the daily operations of a nonprofit. I experienced the spontaneous nature of nonprofit work, the stress that can come with any of the firm’s actions, and the organizational structure in both the office and the firm abroad. My supervisor was also kind enough to take a real interest in exposing me to the various issues ICCR confronts, setting up meetings between myself and program directors to learn about their work. Talking with the program directors, I was able to gauge the work that ICCR does as well as learn about each individual’s path to a job in the nonprofit sector and shareholder advocacy. I was free to ask any and every question that came to my head, and through the meetings was able to fully grasp the wide variety of work that ICCR tackles and the numerous routes ICCR members have taken in their personal careers. This was probably the most enlightening experience of the internship, as it exposed me to career possibilities and an array of social issues that I had not considered before.
During my time at ICCR I was also able to sit in on one of multiple shareholder meetings ICCR holds throughout the year. At these meetings, ICCR member organizations hold dialogues and roundtable discussions to plan and coordinate future shareholder action. The meeting I was able to attend had a focus on social, political, and environmental issues surrounding food and its marketing. Shareholders ranged from investment services and New York City pension funds to convents and church organizations. There was something especially thought-provoking, but very encouraging, in watching a corporate lawyer discuss infant formula advertisements with a nun, or a marketing representative talk about nutritional labeling with a handful of monks. Seeing the shareholder meeting allowed me to grasp the extent of organizations ICCR works with as well as gain a better understanding in the organizations’ planning when taking collective shareholder action.
Furthermore, my experience at ICCR allowed me to become well acquainted with the professionals in ICCR’s office. All of the employees were unbelievably kind, accommodating and amiable and I was able to make fast friends with many of them. I am sure that moving forward in my career I will return to a handful of them for advice and assistance I as begin to figure out what exact path I want to pursue. My time at ICCR has also allowed me to refine my goals and aspirations for the future and has helped me to better understand where I hope to go professionally. After such an enjoyable experience with ICCR, I can definitely see myself entering the nonprofit world. However, after working with an organizational that deals heavily with the corporate world, I can also see myself entering this area of the workforce, possibly in corporate responsibility or the marketing sides of business. I will definitely need to explore these options further and will undoubtedly draw upon the resources I now have at ICCR to better formulate my professional goals for the years to come. I hope to stay in close contact with ICCR and will definitely present myself as a future resource to them in turn, given they need any service that I might be able to provide.
I can definitively say that my time with ICCR was an extremely enjoyable and enlightening experience. I was able to meaningfully contribute to ICCR’s work and provided a very valuable service to all of the members while at the same time learning about shareholder advocacy and the nonprofit world. I was given the opportunity to hone certain professional skills that will undoubtedly serve me well later on in my career and at the same time was able to refine my aspirations for both my collegiate and professional careers. I would like to thank Susana, Julie, David, Ava, Mary, Victoria, Gail, Laura, Nadira, Gary and Kyle for this wonderful opportunity, as well as the Career Services Center and the CCIA program for connecting me with such a spectacular organization."