2019 Parents Fund Internship Grant Reflections: Katie Cox

Katie Cox

Internship Location: impl. project

Journal Entry #1:

Hello!  My name is Katie Cox, and I am a rising second year.  This summer, I am honored to be working as a research and operations assistant for impl. project, a nonprofit NGO based in Washington, D.C. that uses micro-data in order to facilitate community-led solutions for international development and stability.  This nonprofit is unique from many other international aid programs because it uses intensive data analysis in order to effectively vet the sources of the problems that underserved communities are facing, leading to solutions that truly address the issues at hand, rather than simply treating the symptoms of them.  By surveying locals, the goal is to allow communities to identify their own needs, rather than having outsiders impose their own, usually misinformed, “solutions.”  My job as a summer intern includes projects such as helping to write a final report on an Azerbaijan datamapping project, researching the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Haiti, creating analytical slide decks based on quantitative data, and posting on the organization’s social media platforms. 

Before beginning my first week of work, I was really nervous and intimidated.  After completing my first week in the office, I feel very comfortable and love all of my coworkers.  Many of my them work remotely, meaning that if we need to collaborate, we communicate largely via conference call on Slack.  This means that my work environment is probably slightly different than other internships, but I like it a lot because there isn’t any busy work and I already have a lot to show as far as things that I’ve worked on and completed.   I’ve been able to attend business development meetings with my bosses, which has been really interesting.  During these meetings, potential clients discuss working with our organization for projects in foreign countries that they think would benefit from our unique data-collecting methodologies.  I’ve learned a lot about how programs like USAID work, and how different NGOs like impl. project receive money in order to carry out their work.  I’ve already created a slide deck using exported data from QuickTap Survey, and looking at all the survey responses that were collected while the team was in Azerbaijan from May to June has been really cool.  I’m looking forward to the rest of my time here at impl. project because I’m able to be very involved in all of the team’s ongoing projects, and I might even be able to fly out with the team to Chicago later in the summer as we begin a data-mapping project with the Anti-Defamation League. 

Several goals I have for myself for this summer include gaining data-analysis skills, getting a better perspective on what I like and don’t like within this field, networking with people within this organization and amongst other organizations that we interact with, increasing the organization’s social media presence and post interactions, and getting feedback on my resume and LinkedIn profile from my bosses.  Everyone is so helpful and truly trying to give me an educational experience as an intern here, and I couldn’t have asked for a better first internship!  It helps that I am very passionate about the unique impl. project approach, as I believe that they are doing the type of work that the world really could use more of.