Cassanda (Cass) Kamp recently served as the Marketing and Communications Intern with Egyptian Theatre this summer. Cass is a Psychology & Rehabilitation and Disability Services double major with a Certificate in Nonprofit and NGO Studies at NIU.
Q: What project(s) are you working on as an intern?
Cass: I worked on a few projects including putting together membership packages, creating content for an Egyptian Theatre blog, working at Theatre events, and two data analysis projects. The first data analysis project was to analyze the donor data for the Theatre donations on Give DeKalb County day. The other project is to analyze patron data.
Q: What is the biggest benefit and/or the best part of your internship experience?
Cass: There were two major benefits of my internship at the Egyptian Theatre. The first was learning through hands-on experience about a smaller nonprofit organization. I dived into the financial information, responsibilities of the executive director and board of directors, and how the small team works together to pursue the mission of the Theatre. The other benefit was practicing data analysis. Data analysis was the most intimidating project to gain experience in for a career. I gained experience working with Excel and learning how to interpret data on a basic level to guide future decisions.
Q: In your opinion, why should students pursue internship opportunities?
Cass: I believe every student should pursue at least one internship opportunity while pursuing their undergraduate degree because of the professional, academic, and personal development opportunities internships offer. Internships are a great way for a student to learn about a professional work environment. They learn about team culture, appropriate attire for the profession, networking and communication strategies, and overall find out if that type of environment is one they would enjoy. Internships also created a physical space for students to make connections with information they learned in the classroom to a real life situation. It is difficult to learn about and apply transferable skills in the classroom. Real life experiences make that happen and help build on those skills. Finally, all experiences outside the classroom in college are opportunities for personal growth. Extracurriculars, internships, research, and volunteer work help students find out who they are, what they enjoy, what goals they want to make, and what brings meaning to their lives.
Q: Please share any additional comments you have about your internship experience.
Cass: To the Roberts Family Foundation, I would like to extend my deepest appreciation for your generous support of my academic and professional development through my internship at the Egyptian Theatre in DeKalb. It is one thing to learn in a classroom; but to have the opportunity to gain real-life experience working at an active nonprofit organization has created a space for me to connect academic experience with personal experience. I am a hands-on learner, so the best way for me to understand information on a deeper level is by working on my own projects. Your donation has helped me meet my essential needs so I could focus on my internship at the Theatre instead of finding another job. I feel more confident that I will be competent enough to be an asset for any nonprofit organization following my graduation in December of 2021.
The Internship Program is a collaboration between the DeKalb County Nonprofit Partnership, the Center for Nonprofit Studies, and Career Services at Northern Illinois University, supported by the Douglas C. and Lynn M. Roberts Family Foundation.