Developing a Career in Development

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After only a week in my position as the Development Intern at the American Enterprise Institute I have been exposed to the business of non-profits and how think tanks like AEI operate. I am learning a lot on the job about the various systems and strategies that AEI uses to build and maintain relationships with individual and corporate donors, and have also had the opportunity to apply what I have learned in the past three years at BC.

  • Attention to detail: in my Business Writing course, Professor Randi Triant taught me that most companies and organizations have extremely specific stylistic guides that they expect their employees to follow. Professor Triant gave us the opportunity to practice producing work with strict style rules and explained the importance of consistent work across an organization. I got into the habit of triple checking my formatting and capitalization, a habit which has carried over to my work at AEI. My attention to detail has been helpful as I write bios for prospective donors to be distributed throughout the organization and having had the opportunity to practice following a style guide was helpful in my transition to working at AEI.
  • Making connections: from day one of orientation at BC I have been encouraged to get to know fellow students, professors, and staff. At BC it is not unusual at all for a student to introduce themselves to a professor after the first class, even if it is a 200 person lecture. The Career Center has reiterated the importance of making connections, or “networking”, during the job search and as well as in the work place. So far, blindly introducing myself to people at AEI has lead me to build relationships with my team, to get to know other interns, and to have conversations with people around the office who keep me well-informed about happenings at AEI or in the news, which is important to understand at a policy-focused think tank.

I am looking forward to the rest of my summer at AEI and to the opportunities that being in such an exciting environment will bring

Written by Lauren Niles, BC Class of 2017

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