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On Interning at Island Press: Professional Development in Development

4744020577_a0eaab8440_z Crested Butte, CO, is protected by the type of land trust the Conservation Finance Network teaches people to establish. Photo by, used under Creative Commons licensing.

In this installment, Development Intern Erin Parker hits the ground running.

Many of my fellow recent college graduates can vouch for me when I say that the current job market is not kind to us young professionals. In a world based on experience, some might say it is even tougher to find an internship where you can make notable contributions to the organization in a short, three month time span. Thankfully, the development internship at Island Press has been an invaluable tool for improving my professional development skills and work experience, which will help me tremendously as I begin to advance in my career. Meredith and the rest of the development team allowed me to hit the ground running on day 1 of my internship. Whether I am conducting research on environmental grantmaking foundations or assisting Leigh with the Conservation Finance Network, I am always given the opportunity and encouraged to contribute to the development team beyond what is accomplished through my intern projects. The best part of this internship has to be the office atmosphere. Not only does Island Press value their interns, but the passion everyone on staff has for the environment and efforts to build a better future for the natural world is very admirable. The IP 101s were very informative and a great way to interact with people in other departments that you might not get to work with every day. The 101s also gave me a better understanding of the various roles in the publicity, editorial, and marketing departments that I wouldn’t have otherwise gotten the chance to learn about. I have thoroughly enjoyed being surrounded by so many kind and intelligent individuals who really enjoy the work that they do. This internship has taught me so much than just the fundamentals of running a non-profit organization. Island Press’ purpose is to create and promote solutions to the environmental challenges faced by the world, which has encouraged me to take on more responsibly. I couldn’t have asked to be a part of a better organization.