This wonderful reflection from Nivea is a great example of why we enjoyed having her with us for 12 short weeks. Her energy and enthusiasm brought a lovely spirit to the office and she did some important work----continuing the archiving project and helping us shape up our funder database. One reason we take the time to bring interns into our ICCR offices and our work---even during these very busy times---is that they help us remember our own enthusiam about the contributions we make to the mission of this amazing organization. Thank you Nivea---and best of luck with your future---come visit us any time!
Nivea Miller, former ICCR Communications Intern
"Recently, I was given the opportunity to be a part of an extraordinary organization full of amazing and hardworking individuals. For twelve weeks, I was a communications intern at the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, an organization that oversees a group of (mostly religious) investors who advocate for corporate social and environmental responsibility.
Prior to starting at ICCR, I had no idea what to expect. The concept of religious investing was entirely new to me and it was a bit difficult to reconcile two entities – religious organizations and corporations – that I had always considered to be worlds apart. My first task gave me an opportunity to better understand the idea of religious investing. The ICCR office had a collection of VHS tapes dating back to the early 1990s, and my job was to watch them and determine – in terms of image quality and content – which videos were fit to be digitized and converted to DVD. Some of the video tapes featured television coverage of the various issues that ICCR was involved with, including the apartheid system in South Africa and human rights violations in Burma. The videos that I found most informational, however, were the news interviews of ICCR members. By this point I did have a basic understanding of ICCR’s goals, but the news interviews gave me better insight into the work of ICCR’s dedicated members. Some of these interviews placed an emphasis on the novelty of religious investing, and sought to understand the role of corporate investing in religious life. The concept of using one’s faith to promote corporate social and environmental responsibility became a lot clearer to me.
A few weeks into my internship, I got an opportunity to see ICCR’s members in action. I was able to sit in on a few of ICCR’s February member meetings, which gave me greater insight into the inner-workings of the organization. The most interesting and informative meeting sought to teach ICCR members how to engage in successful dialogue with corporations. It consisted of an instructional PowerPoint presentation and a very entertaining skit which allowed me to see exactly how ICCR members approach discussions of social and environmental responsibility with corporate representatives. I was also able to sit in on issue-based meetings, specifically those regarding supply chain monitoring, domestic health, and global health. While I learned a lot about the various issues that ICCR aims to tackle, I was also able to see just how passionate, enthusiastic and determined the members are.
During my internship at ICCR, I was also tasked with scanning resolutions that had been presented at shareholder meetings during 1993 and 1994 in order for them to be uploaded into the organization’s database. Because this required some minor editing, I was exposed to the content and rhetoric of shareholder resolutions. I was able to see, for example, how ICCR members approached major tobacco corporations regarding their advertising campaigns which were often directed towards teenagers, minorities, and women. In addition to scanning resolutions, I was also in charge of creating and compiling a spreadsheet of the staff’s contacts. I found that the ICCR staff has an extensive network of individuals from various institutions, and a central contacts database will definitely help to streamline ICCR’s work and facilitate targeted communications to key groups.
I feel honored to have been able to work at ICCR for my first internship; it was a very positive and very enjoyable experience. The ICCR staff was friendly and inviting, and they did their best to make me feel welcome in the office. They made sure to tell me that they appreciated the work that I was doing, and were very responsive to my thoughts and opinions. While I was given the kind of administrative tasks that one would expect at an internship, my exposure to the world of corporate social responsibility went far beyond the work that I was doing at my desk. From sitting in on the February members’ meetings, to being included in a staff meeting, and even being treated to lunch on a few occasions, I truly felt that I was a part of the ICCR family. The ICCR staff is comprised of some of the most hardworking and passionate individuals that I’ve ever met and I feel lucky to have been able to learn from them."