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Internship with Haffert Group
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Kim Jurczyk

Paterno Fellow
Majors: English, Communications Arts and Sciences
Hometown: Williamsburg, VA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about this opportunity when I met the founder of the Haffert Group, Kristin Haffert, at a PLEN 360 conference. PLEN is the Public Leadership Education Network, which helps girls and recent graduates lead and work in public policy. While at the PLEN 360 conference, I networked with women in DC who work in public policy and women's issues which are two subjects I am very passionate about. Kristin and I connected right away and she explained how she consults companies on how best to integrate gender equality and women's leadership into their business plans. I expressed genuine interest in her company's mission and so she offered me an internship position for the summer. I immediately took advantage of the networking opportunity PLEN provided for me and am so grateful I attended the conference. PLEN helps women meet professionals who are genuinely dedicated to helping students make a difference and forge connections that will aid them in the future.

"With the help of this experience, I plan on working for a communications department for a non-profit that focuses specifically on social inequality."

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My work focuses on helping organize and facilitate focus groups meant to help the company understand how gender affects the workplace. I've also helped run the company's financial details, organize events for the company's clients and supporters, and create a social media strategy plan. I am learning how to run a small business as well as how the issue of gender can affect the political climate and workplace both on a national level and a global level. This experience is invaluable to me because consulting companies on how to better address gender equality is something I can see myself doing when I graduate in the upcoming year. This summer has helped me see what I can do to better achieve one of my dreams: addressing social inequalities and educating others on these inequalities.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Ultimately, this experience has allowed me to apply the concepts I have learned in the classroom to a work environment. I am using my writing skills to benefit the company's online presence and am using my communication skills to forward the company's mission during focus groups. During the upcoming year, I know I am going to choose classes that I know will benefit my future career goals and help me make more of an impact in my work.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

With the help of this experience, I plan on working for a communications department for a non-profit that focuses specifically on social inequality. I am especially passionate about women's issues and gender equality so ultimately I want to work toward these two goals. Working for a company that works toward gender equality and women's leadership has helped me realize how difficult it is to fully understand the complexities of social inequality. But the reward of working toward equality will inspire me to pursue this kind of work in the future. I plan on using my communication, writing, and leadership abilities to understand social issues and do whatever I can to address these issues.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend this experience to students. In the end, you can see your work and efforts making a tangible and substantial difference. My work will go toward something important and something for which I feel like is worth fighting.

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