Numaya Shahriar is a junior in Weinberg College, majoring in psychology with a minor in business institutions and a certificate in integrated marketing communications. Numaya was a 2017 Summer Internship Grant Program (SIGP) recipient.
Describe your summer internship.
I was one of two advisory interns on the advisory services team at Mission Measurement (MM), a company that advises corporations, governments, and nonprofit agencies on their social impact and furthers the research on measuring impact. I worked as an intern for one of the analysts and provided support to their projects. My primary responsibilities involved conducting primary research on the client’s field, sorting and analyzing survey data, brainstorming solutions to key issues and contributing to the development of client deliverables.
How did you learn about the opportunity? What resources were especially helpful in your internship search?
I came across MM when looking for Northwestern alumni working in the social sector. I reached out to an NU alum who was a manager there through a friend who had previously interned at the company. After a great conversation over coffee, I followed up to express interest in interning at MM and he forwarded my resume to the operations manager.
LinkedIn was crucial in finding contacts to reach out to, and NCA in developing my resume and cover letter. Looking at the Chicago Field Studies website for previous organizations and firms where students worked was extremely helpful.
What did you enjoy most about the experience?
The people at the company – employees and my fellow interns – were integral in making my internship memorable and enjoyable. I particularly appreciated the collaborative nature of consulting work and learned how teams work in corporate environments. Everyone was extremely willing to answer questions at all times, and the effort made to design clear tasks and instructions helped me feel ready to tackle any work I was assigned. Also, I loved getting to know the other interns – through lunches in the Loop, after-work activities and random snack breaks in the office.
What is the biggest takeaway from your internship?
I was able to provide support on a range of projects and get exposure to various client problems, and this was a huge area of learning for me. From an understanding of how schools can measure their impact to how foundations can be more effective in their charitable donations, I obtained a lot of insight into the social sector. As a result, I am more sure of my decision to pursue a career in education, particularly due to my work on a project for a school, helping them develop their impact measurement and reporting methods.
What advice do you have for students pursuing internships that will help them be most successful?
I think the most important thing is to ask a lot of questions and keep checking in with supervisors to make sure you are on the right track. Having confidence in your abilities is important to succeeding and making an impression on others in the workplace.