This summer I was a part of the Development Summer Internship Program (D-SIP). As a participant of this program, I worked at the University’s Office of Development with the Student Philanthropy Team. The student philanthropy team aims to instill a culture of philanthropy on campus among the students. Essentially, we try to show students the importance of philanthropy and how U of M is what it is today thanks to the help and support of many generous donors. Throughout the summer, I worked on building a website that centralized existing and new resources related to student philanthropy such as class gift programs and student engagement programs. I did this work Monday through Thursdays. On Friday, I took a course about the theory and practice of philanthropy. We learned about the history of philanthropy, examined case studies, explored best practices, and talked about the future of philanthropy.
In the afternoon, the program director led the professional development component of the program. This consisted of activities such as conducting mock interviews, refining our cover letters and resumes, and thinking through our ideal work environment and when we are our best selves. In addition, we worked on producing artifacts that would later be housed on our e-portfolios. For the first artifact, I talked about the importance of my political science degree and what I have learned through courses in the political science department. The next one explored what I did at my internship, the skills I attained, and how I grew as a professional. My last artifact walked the reader through a consulting challenge that a group of D-SIPpers and I tackled. A peer and a professional in the U-M development community offered me immensely helpful feedback and supported me throughout the writing process. They both gave me clear guidance and unvarnished suggestions. The workshop format allowed them to talk with me about my writing decisions and gave me the opportunity to ask questions, clear up confusion, and refine my pieces. I liked how I had two editors: one of them a peer and the other a professional development officer. The peer understood what I was trying to say and was able to push me to write more succinctly. Meanwhile, the professional development officer has the experience to tailor my writing so that it makes sense to those in fundraising.
Overall, writing these artifacts, reflecting on my experience at Michigan, and workshopping my pieces with two amazing individuals, taken together, gave me an amazing learning experience. Feel free to check out my e-portolio here: https://umich.digication.com/markchou/Welcome. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email me!