(Darcy Kennedy, far right).
Hello! My name is Darcy Kennedy, and I’m a third year dual degree candidate for the MBA in Nonprofit Management and Masters in Public Policy degrees here at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management (concentrating in Children, Youth, and Families). I currently serve as an MBA representative to the Heller Student Association, as well as participate in multiple working groups and more activities than is advisable.
This past summer, I interned with two organizations located in Boston: the development office at the New Economy Coalition, and New Politics. New Economy Coalition is an organization that facilitates networking between like-minded organizations aimed at “uprooting legacies of harm” through a re-imagining of our current oppressive economic systems. New Politics is an organization dedicated to creating a pipeline of national service and military alum to political office, with the understanding that those who have previously dedicated themselves to public service are those who should be in political office.
Both of these internships were chosen so I could do work radically outside of my previous experiences. I discovered New Economy Coalition through the conference they were hosting in my hometown this summer: CommonBound 2016, held at Buffalo State College (my undergrad alma mater!) in Buffalo, NY. I was interested and excited to explore what fundraising and development looks like at an organization that eschews traditional economic systems. New Politics was committed to a demographic of people near and dear to my heart (national service veterans), and I was interested in exploring the behind-the-scenes of political campaigns.
I learned a lot this summer, about my own personal work styles and preferences and the non-profit sector generally. Both of these organizations are small and intimate, even though there’s a lot of remote work. I was able to further develop skills in fundraising and development, helped execute a conference of nearly 1,000 attendees with a team of 15 people, and learned more about political campaign work. My tasks over the summer allowed me to practice skills I learned in social policy analysis, applied regression analysis, and fundraising and development. I was also able to further practice soft skills I’ve learned through running events and working groups across Heller.
These internships have definitely impacted my plans for the rest of my time at Heller and beyond. I’m going to be continuing my work with New Politics through this semester, looking at their plan for scaling. My work with the New Economy Coalition opened up my further understanding of nonprofits in Buffalo doing work to influence structural change. Additionally, it showed me what I want in a work environment: a cadre of kind, reflective people who are personally committed to the work that their organization is involved in.