Hi! My name is Kiera Torpie and I’m a freshman at Tulane studying International Development and Sociology. This summer, starting July 4th, I’ll be doing my internship at the Network for Victim Recovery of D.C.
I found this internship at the PLEN conference this past February for Women Unlocking Nonprofits. Following the conference, I reached out to one of the sexual assault panelists on Linkedin and was offered an intern position for the summer.
The Network for Victim Recovery is a nonprofit that empowers victims of crimes within our nation’s capital by addressing their specific needs, often including legal, mental health, security, and housing support. The staff provides victims with legal services, advocacy, and case management. My project is to create a social media guide for victims so they can take control over their virtual presences and eliminate any vulnerability that might arise due to a lack of virtual privacy.
I’m particularly interested in women’s advocacy. The Network for Victim Recovery has given me a perfect opportunity to advocate for women, as, according to their annual impact report, of 624 clients last year, 530 were female.
Because this is my first internship in a different city, I’m extremely excited to learn what it’s like to act as a professional! Here are my 5 specific learning goals:
- Research: I would like to learn more about the kind of research that occurs outside of the Howard Tilton data bases. I hope to be exposed to research that involves interviewing and on-site observations.
- Self-Starting: My position is a new and unique one to the organization, meaning that I will be defining it as I go. I’ve found that this experience is quite common within the nonprofit sector, and I think it will be valuable for me to learn how to take ownership of the end goal that has been assigned to me by achieving it in whatever way I see fit.
- “Servant” Leadership: Working on my own project within a nonprofit involves recognition that my productivity is for the welfare of others and not for my own personal benefit. I hope to get a better understanding of what this might feel like. Frankly, I’m extremely excited to devote myself selflessly to a cause I’m so passionate about.
- Professional Apparel: While this skill might seem simple, it is one that I’m concerned about developing. I’m prone to dress casually and feel comfortable doing so. I think having an internship at an established nonprofit will be the perfect opportunity for me to recognize what it means to dress professionally and why it’s so significant.
- Collaboration: While my project is largely independent, it’s extremely important that I develop the skill of collaboration so I can share ideas with and include my internship advisor as I go through my research process. I think this skill of exchanging ideas and brainstorming is extremely important in the nonprofit sector, as these organizations often must rely on their internal creativity to sustain themselves.