Nonprofits, Think Tanks, Social Enterprise

Nonprofits cut across every type of industry and function area—including education, communication, healthcare, and technology—and working in this sector can be a great way to combine a subject area interest with a desire to make a difference. “Think Tanks” are organizations which conduct research and study and recommend public policy alternatives. They can approach issues from a partisan or non-partisan perspective, and often serve a broader educational function as well, through conferences and publications. Social enterprises are businesses with two goals: to generate income by selling a product or service, and to create a social, environmental, or cultural impact. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives run within organizations include environmental sustainability programs, alternative energy ideas, and improving the quality of life of the workforce and families in society at large.

Finding Internships

Many think tanks have structured internship programs that run throughout the year. For social enterprise, consider interning or volunteering at a nonprofit organization, or at a startup or business to help you acquire the necessary business skills. For corporate social responsibility, consider the public relations department at for-profit companies, working at a government agency in policy, or spending a summer working for a niche CSR consulting company. If you are interested in grant-making, consider volunteering on a grant-making committee for a foundation. If fundraising is of interest, consider volunteering as a Crimson Caller at Harvard, where student callers spend their time raising money for the University.

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