ACCA Internships Provide Opportunities to Grow
Finishing up my sophomore year of college during the COVID-19 pandemic was an extremely stressful time for me. I was looking for an internship that was not only appealing, but one where I would also feel challenged and appreciated for my work. I found the ACCA internship on my college internship platform, Handshake, and decided to apply. During my interview with Alyx Simon, ACCA’s Marketing & Advocacy Coordinator and ACCA‑PAC Manager, we bonded over our shared interest in theater. Realizing this shared interest, further inspired me to intern with the ACCA. I felt like Alyx genuinely cared about my life and interests as a person outside of the workspace. This feeling continued to grow the more I learned about the associations work, and I became even more interested in interning here.
After the interview, I got an email from Alyx offering me the position of an ACCA intern. I was so excited to be a summer intern and I started in June 2021. My new colleagues really listened to what I was interested in working on and since I was interested in their advocacy work, I was assigned projects that centered around their advocacy. For example, I made a series of social media graphics and videos to describe the advocacy work that ACCA does. The advocacy work varies from healthcare to environmental issues to low-income housing, energy, and more. As a Justice and Law major, I am very interested in social justice and politics, and I appreciated having the freedom to work on things that are of interest to me and learning about how associations respond to different issues within the government.
Another project I worked on throughout the summer was assisting with the creation of a new document that would be used when bringing on new ACCA corporate partners. I eventually want to attend law school, so having the opportunity to edit and work on a contract alongside Deb Weiner, ACCA’s Manager of Communications and Strategic Partnerships was something that I found greatly valuable and educational, given where I want my career path to go. I provided feedback that I thought would be helpful, and attended meetings with Deb and an outside consultant, Lewis Flax. I was free to ask questions and learned about the process of creating a contract for an association. Lewis answered all of my questions about contract logistics, and in these meetings, I was given a hands-on legal experience I could not have gotten in the classroom. This was an opportunity that not many internships provide, and it was so beneficial and informative to be able to see the behind the scenes on a contract.
The ACCA internship program genuinely values your passions and insights. Personally, I was interested in the way that the association deals with the government and what kinds of politicians they support. I was given the resources to research this and Alyx answered all of my questions. I learned much more about Political Action Committees from this research than I ever had before which I really enjoyed.
Another aspect of my ACCA internship that I appreciated was the ability to make my own schedule. They request that you work between 10 and 20 hours per week, but you are able to pick when those hours are. Personally, I worked 10 am to 4 pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. I found this schedule to work well for me because I was also taking a summer class to gain credit for the internship, and I would designate Mondays and Fridays to other work. ACCA filled out all the paperwork I needed to get credit for the class very quickly and enthusiastically so I could participate and get a good grade.
We also had one weekly meeting with all the other interns to update each other on projects we were working on. The internship experience encouraged collaboration with the other interns. In these meetings, we discussed if any help was needed on projects, and someone was always available to aid with anything we needed. Everyone on the team was super nice and helpful. I was also able to meet in person and get coffee and work with another ACCA intern who goes to the same school as me.
Overall, I would absolutely recommend this internship to college students. Even if you are unsure about the work fitting your career path, ACCA works hard to provide you with work that interests you and that you can learn from. I loved interning for ACCA this summer and learned so many valuable lessons and skills that I will not forget.
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