Justin Wilson participated in the Internship Program at Adventure Works of DeKalb County during the spring of 2018. He was a Marketing Major with minors in Social Entrepreneurship & Nonprofit and NGO Studies.
Q: What was the biggest benefit and/or the best part of your internship experience?
Justin: I loved being able to take what I had learned in the classroom and apply it in the world in a practical setting. It was amazing being able to make connections with local leaders in the nonprofit sector as well. During my internship, I worked alongside Lynette Spencer and was able to learn from her from a variety of things such as grant proposals, fundraising, and board governance— all of which has helped me in future positions.
Q: In your opinion, why should students pursue internship opportunities?
Justin: It’s one thing to learn about concepts and the ways nonprofits operate in the classroom and it’s another to see them in action. My internship with Adventure Works really focused on accompaniment— I was there to learn from them, but they were equally interested in what they could learn from me. From my internship, I was able to gain confidence in the professional setting and build my resume with experience in a variety of areas.
Q: What are you up to now?
Justin: I currently serve as the Engagement & Resources Manager for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Youth Gathering, a triennial event for 30,000 high school youth and their adult leaders in the ELCA. Within my role, I lead our communications and marketing efforts as well as work alongside our teams in programming and the operation of this city-wide event. In my spare time, I also assist Adventure Works with their marketing and social media efforts. (See, an internship can lead to future opportunities!)
Q: Please share any additional comments you have about your internship experience.
Justin: I will forever be grateful for the generous support of the Roberts Family Foundation and how they were able to partner with the DeKalb community in providing internship programs for local nonprofits and students. Not only was my education richer, but I was also able to take what I’ve learned and apply it in my current position. Thank you!
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.