I am currently going into my third and final year as an undergraduate student at McGill University, studying Honors Political Science with a minor in Religious Studies. With a long-term interest in the intersection between international affairs, social justice and law, I aspire to become an international human rights lawyer, defending humanitarian causes.
My personal interests in international affairs and involvement in humanitarian work made me eager to support Synergos and their objectives in alleviating poverty and encouraging bridging leadership. Moreover, as I currently work in the Secretariat of Logistics in the NGO I founded, I wanted to gain further insight into non-profit operations and I look forward to utilizing the skills and knowledge acquired throughout my internship at Synergos to contribute to the overall growth and improvement of my NGO.
Synergos is a non-profit organization that aims to solve global issues such as poverty by utilizing their philanthropic approach called bridging leadership which focuses on trust and collective action. Synergos aims to get to the root of complex issues in order to create innovative solutions and drive collective action for sustainable change on critical issues.
As a Development Intern for Synergos, my responsibilities consisted of fundraising support such as prospect and funding opportunity research and organizing donor and prospect records in our databases. I also worked on support for events, marketing and social media which included identifying and tracking potential speaking engagements and conferences, creating a cost analysis for Synergos fundraising events such as the annual Bridging Leadership Gala and auction, and collecting data and analyzing outreach efforts for other non-profit organizations across marketing materials and social media. Moreover, in terms of administrative support, I took notes during weekly Development & Communications meetings, while also conducting research and coordinating Synergos’ accreditation partner process with the UN. Additionally, I also attended webinars and training for donor prospecting, fundraising, stewardship, marketing while researching potential grant-making opportunities. These activities greatly contributed to my professional development.
Some of the highlights from my internship included working with another intern from McGill who worked as the Communications Intern for Synergos. Although I was the Development Intern, I had the opportunity to work alongside the Communications Intern to bolster Synergos’ image and its publicity across the world by progressing its social media presence and activity. I was incredibly grateful to have worked on this project as it was a project completed independently by the Communications Intern and myself, in which we were encouraged to push ourselves and think creatively. For instance, I was able to contribute to Synergos’ social media from a development aspect in reaching out to more donors and prospects. Additionally, not only did I learn a tremendous amount from being a development intern but I was also able to learn a lot from the communications field, and was able to appreciate the diversity in the tasks that I had been given.
Some of the challenges that I have encountered were due to the difficulty of time management and my responsibilities not only as an intern at Synergos, but fulfilling my role as secretary of my NGO, as Under Secretary General for Model UN, and my personal studies for the Law School Admissions Test. However, I was able to overcome this challenge with the help of my supervisor who was very understanding and offered to help me work around any challenges. Moreover, I was able to overcome this challenge by adopting a more structured schedule that gave me time to enjoy leisure activities but to also fulfill all my tasks for each of my roles and responsibilities.
My internship at Synergos has had an incredible, informative, and progressive impact towards my university experience. My internship has allowed me to utilize the knowledge that I have learnt throughout my two years of undergraduate studies in Political Science at McGill and apply it to research and most importantly, to complex real world issues. The combination of the valuable skills I have gained as a development intern as well as my education at McGill University has allowed me to grow as an aspiring lawyer working to defend humanitarian causes and has defined future directions and objectives that I will work towards accomplishing in my NGO.
I am incredibly grateful to be a recipient of the RBC Internship Award, as it allowed me to engage in a memorable and educational experience that has not only allowed me to fulfill my passions and interests but has also enabled me to contribute to tackling global poverty and persisting inequalities around the world.