Santa Clara University


 NPI Fellows

The NPI Fellows are students who participate in an internship with our NPI community partners. There are a total of five internships that are offered each quarter. These are the testimonies of students who have interned.

  •  Shannon Boselli ‘16 (Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits)

    2015 NPI Fellow
    Major: Sociology
    Minors: Entrepreneurship, Spanish, and International Studies
    Hometown: Boston, MA
    Interests: Traveling, Hiking, Reading, Volunteering, Social Entrepreneurship, Nonprofits
    Organization: HandsOnTech

    Give a brief summary of your responsibilities/tasks in the internship. 
    Each day I focused on a variety of events and communications. From creating event marketing materials to recruiting speakers to the actual day-of preparations, every day had a new and exciting task. We also worked to create insightful content on our social media pages, bringing in new followers and increased engagement from our followers. We worked to recruit skill based volunteers from Bay Area corporations, to aid nonprofits on technology issues they had. Lastly, I tackled any assignment that was given to me. Our team works together on the task at hand- so if anyone needs help we all pitch in.

    How do you think you made positive contributions to the department/organization? 
    In my organization, I brought a fresh and energetic vibe to our small but mighty team. I came in each day ready to help my coworkers with any task that was thrown at us. That means being flexible to work when it’s busy, and understanding how to fill your time when it’s not. In specific, I helped my team create inspirational events and new connections with volunteers in the Bay Area. 

    How did this experience enhance or connect to what you are learning in your business or other courses? 
    This experience gave me a real world application to all of the skills we’ve practiced in our business classes. It opened my eyes to the lack of business skills present in nonprofits, and gave me a new understanding of what I want to do after I graduate. From the work I’ve done in marketing classes in specific, I’ve learned how to use my creative skills to inspire and enlighten other nonprofits to learn how to use technology more efficiently.

    What was the most beneficial aspect of this experience for you? 
    The most beneficial part of this internship is helping me find a career path after graduation. It’s often difficult to understand how you can apply classwork to your job search, so having a job in my junior year was extremely helpful in allowing me to narrow my job search for next year and post graduation. I do not think I would be as ready to enter the work force if I did not have this internship, so the experience was invaluable for me.

  •  Maddie Burke ‘16 (Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits)

    2015 NPI Fellow
    Major: Accounting
    Minor: Art History
    Hometown: San Rafael, CA
    Interests: Hiking, running, traveling, listening to music
    Organization/department you are working in: HandsOn Tech at SVCN

    Give a brief summary of your responsibilities/tasks in the internship. 
    I worked as an Event and Volunteer Coordinator at HandsOn Tech, and my main responsibilities involved planning technology workshops for nonprofits and recruiting skills-based volunteers. On the event side, I attended meetings to help plan events and prepared event materials, such as agendas and surveys. I recruited volunteers to work the events and also for specific technology projects with individual nonprofits. Additionally, I assisted with HandsOn Tech’s social media and marketing by posting on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to share information with nonprofits and promote events. Throughout the internship I performed various other tasks in the office, such as answering the phone and managing the email account.

    How do you think you made positive contributions to the department/organization?
    Because SVCN/HandsOn Tech is a relatively small organization, interns are given a lot of responsibility. I think the tasks I performed, especially for event planning and social media marketing, contributed to HandsOn Tech’s success and helped the organization to grow. I also used my knowledge and perspective as a business student to contribute to SVCN/HandsOn Tech, specifically by editing proposals and by helping with the audit preparation.

    How did this experience enhance or connect to what you are learning in your business or other courses?
    This experience provided me with an opportunity to apply what I am learning in my LSB courses to help a local nonprofit. The knowledge that I’ve gained from my marketing classes was helpful for my social media marketing tasks, and for SVCN’s audit preparation, I used what I’ve learned in my accounting classes.

    What was the most beneficial aspect of this experience for you?
    The relationships I formed and the skills I gained were the most beneficial aspects of this experience. My supervisors, Brian and Patricia, were extremely helpful and supportive, and they acted as mentors for all of the interns. As an accounting major, it was great to be able to work at a nonprofit, and this experience has strengthened my desire to work in the nonprofit sector within accounting.

  •  Karisma Garcia-Valencia '15 (Office of San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo)

    2015 NPI Fellow
    Majors: Marketing & Political Science
    Hometown: Turlock, CA
    Interests: Travelling, Outdoor Activities, Impact Investing, Philanthropy
    Organization: Office of San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo

    Give a brief summary of your responsibilities/tasks in the internship. 
    In the Office of Mayor Sam Liccardo, my primary responsibilities revolved around initiatives directed towards at-risk youth and included preparing briefing materials for policy advisors, tracking progress on legislation, and conducting research. Additionally, I assisted with event planning as well as responding to constituent inquiries.

    How do you think you made positive contributions to the department/organization?
    I have a lot of pride knowing I was Liccardo’s first intern as mayor and I feel privileged that I was able to be a part of his transition into a new role. I was able to make positive contributions to the team by having the willingness and drive to take on any task as well as by being flexible and resilient through continuous change. By preparing materials for the next round of interns, I was able to leave behind a guide for others to ease their transition into City Hall.     

    How did this experience enhance or connect to what you are learning in your business or other courses?
    Prior to this experience, my only knowledge of politics came from my courses at SCU and this fellowship allowed me to see the public policy making process firsthand. As a marketing and political science major, my position was the perfect blend of both disciplines because I was able to utilize the skills I have acquired in various courses. The political environment is dynamic and always moving, which I find exhilarating, and this experience has shown me that there are numerous sectors that I can apply my business degree. 

    What was the most beneficial aspect of this experience for you?
    The most beneficial aspect of this experience was being able to be a part of such meaningful work that impacts a community greater than my own. This position has given me much fulfillment and moving forward, I know civic engagement will play a big role in my life.  


  •  Anthony Hascheff ‘15 (Washington Elementary School / Thriving Neighbors Initiative)

    2015 NPI Fellow
    Major: Finance
    Minor: Economics
    Hometown: Reno, NV
    Interests: American literature, hiking, music, and spending time with good people
    Organization/department you are working in: Washington Elementary School / Thriving Neighbors Initiative

    Give a brief summary of your responsibilities/tasks in the internship. 
    I spent the first quarter of my internship acclimating myself to Washington and getting to know the people that live there. After understanding the cultural nuances of the community, what parties were active in working to improve some of its issues, and figuring out where I might be able to assist the community, I set out to write a report. This past quarter I have conducted over 20 interviews with different people who work in the community to better understand what issues the community faces, and what resources are available. I then wrote a report discussing the issues the community faces, who is working to solve them, and recommendations for the Ignatian Center and the Leavey School of Business to help better serve the community.

    How do you think you made positive contributions to the department/organization?
    I think my report will have a positive impact on Washington because it directs the Ignatian Center and the Leavey School of Business on how the two institutions can better serve the neighborhood. Another extremely beneficial aspect of the report is that it centralizes information. There are a great deal of institutions and people assisting Washington but not everyone knows what the other is doing. The report should help these key players and stakeholders to work together and to not step on each other’s toes. Finally, the report should help the next intern understand the neighborhood a little bit better. I’m hoping the report will shorten the next intern’s time spent acclimating to the neighborhood and searching out problems. 

    I also think I contributed to SCU’s image. I worked with many different people during my internship from law enforcement, to the mayor’s office, to the district attorney. I think everyone I worked with could sense my passion for the work I was doing and SCU’s noble intentions. Other people working Washington now know that SCU can be used as a resource and that we can help problem solve. 

    How did this experience enhance or connect to what you are learning in your business or other courses?
    First and foremost, my capstone course prepared me excellently for writing my report. My group’s final capstone report was 80 pages long and working on it taught me how to manage writing a paper of that size. I also used the structure of our capstone report to write my report on Washington. 

    Working in Washington showed me how business can be utilized to help improve a neighborhood. 

    Finally, my internship allowed me to learn about other courses of study (like politics and law enforcement), which showed me where business intersects with other professions.

    What was the most beneficial aspect of this experience for you?
    Without a doubt, the people I worked with in Washington were the best part of my time with NPI. I became very close with one family in particular who regularly invited me over for dinner. The Washington community showed me an unbelievable kindness, which made my work so much more rewarding. 

  •  Emily Lacey-Gordon '16 (Center for Employment Training)

    2015 NPI Fellow
    Major: Marketing
    Minors: Retail Studies, Dance
    Hometown: Santa Barbara, Ca
    Interests: I am a creative-thinker and I love dancing and teaching kickboxing at the on campus gym at Santa Clara University. In my free time I enjoy cooking and traveling and taking long walks on the beach. 
    Organization: Marketing and Public Relations Intern, CET

    Give a brief summary of your responsibilities/tasks in the internship.  
    • Gathered and interpreted weekly web leads and presented data to COO and center directors
    • Assisted the public relations manager with promotional flyer creation and editing
    • Helped CET with all logistical planning, and operational tasks surrounding the grand opening of a new center
       in Colton, CA.
    • Created a welcome video for the Colton Center including collecting video clips from students and staff from all
       CET centers
    • Organized, centralized, and reinvented social media accounts in Facebook for all 15 centers
    • Opened new social media accounts and helped train CET members how to use social media to their advantage
    • Utilized Excel and CRM to assess CET market and helped create a new strategic plan for CET in the future
    • Gathered information and data to help in the creation of a new website for CET set to launch September 2015

    How do you think you made positive contributions to the department/organization?
    I helped CET revamp in regards to social media. I also helped with logistical planning for Colton. I gave my opinion in strategic meetings for the grand opening in Cotlon. I also created a video project to present at the grand opening and travelled down to Cotlon, CA to help execute the grand oening event. One of my greatest contributions to CET was my positive, can-do attitude because each day it seemed like some new project came up so I was always willing to take on whatever came my way. It was important to be open minded at my internship because there was a lot of creative ways to help, but I had to be a self-starter in order to go beyond my daily tasks. For example, my supervisors did not ask or anticipate me making a video for Colton, but they loved my idea and allowed me to pursue it for the grand opening. Overall, I believe that I brought a fresh, young perspective to CET and brought my analytical and creative skills to help improve CET’s marketing department.

    How did this experience enhance or connect to what you are learning in your business or other courses?
    I saw many connections between what I have been learning in the classroom and what I have been doing at my internship. I definitely used Excel skills from my OMIS classes on a daily basis. I also found connections in my Managament 160 class because I was able to see a corporate headquarters culture first hand at CET. I was in my Introduction to Marketing class during my first quarter at CET and every day I was able to connect some part of my class to my internship which definitely helped my success in that class. It was very exciting to find these connections throughout my time at CET because it enhanced my ability to learn in the classroom and contribute in my nonprofit internship experience. One of the best parts of my experience in NPI was the way that I was able to integrate CET into many of my class projects. I fulfilled my Arrupe requirement at CET for my ELSJ class, I gave an informational speech about CET for my public speaking class, and I wrote a research paper about CET culture for my management class. In addition, I reflected on my diversity class that I had taken the previous year, Introduction to Latino/Latina studies, because of the rich history that CET has in regards to the United Farm Workers and Cesar Chavez. Overall, my internship through the Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative has allowed me to realize my passion for impactful, nonprofit business and enhanced the meaning behind my studies in the Leavey School of Business.

    What was the most beneficial aspect of this experience for you?
    I believe that our meetings with Jackie each month gave me time to reflect on my experiences in my internship. I believe it is extremely important to reflect on impactful experiences such as this because otherwise you do not get the full benefit of the experience. I loved the retreat that we took in the beginning of the internship because it allowed me to set goals and I think it may have been helpful to have a closing retreat as well to reflect even more on my experiences. 



  •  Bianca Velez ‘16 (Cristo Rey Jesuit High School)

    2015 NPI Fellow
    Major: Business Management 
    Minors: Entrepreneurship, Sociology
    Hometown: Sacramento, CA
    Interests: Non-profit business management, legal solutions to social issues, travel 
    Organization/department you are working in: Cristo Rey San Jose Jesuit High School, Corporate Work-Study Program

    As a Management and Program Logistics Intern with the Corporate Work Study Program, I perform a variety tasks to improve the operations of the program and to help the students increase their productivity in the workplace. In Winter Quarter, I created a Retraining Program to rehabilitate students who struggled in the workplace, and were unfortunately let go. This was challenging as each student I worked had unique circumstances and required a specialized program. The first two students that completed the Retraining Program were extremely successful, and were able to be reintegrated in the workplace. After some motivation, both made great progress and have been nominated for “Employee of the Month” at their respective new workplaces. I also was able to do “One-on-One Interviews” with the students, collecting feedback about their jobs and comparing it to feedback from their supervisors with them. This Spring Quarter, my project was to create a five week Summer Training Program for incoming freshmen to prepare them to join the corporate world, introducing the students to the tasks and behavior that will be expected of them in their entry-level corporate positions. My completed Training Program is spelled out comprehensively in a 200+ page binder that includes daily lesson plans, interactive exercises and PowerPoints to aid the instructors in teaching a variety of hard- and soft- skills. This is by far my greatest contribution to Cristo Rey. I am very proud of my work, and I am very excited to see how the program turns out this summer. The lessons include: 

    1. Attention to detail and accuracy 12. Motivation, attitude, and goals
    2. Business writing 13. Notetaking
    3. Communication skills 14. Office machines
    4. Customer serivce 15. Performance evaluations
    5. Document processing 16. Personality profiles
    6. Email etiquette 17. Phones
    7. Filing 18. Professionalism and ethics
    8. First impressions 19. Public speaking
    9. Google Apps: Gmail, Google documents,
    Spreadsheets, Google Drive
    20. Resumes
    10. Listening skills 21. Typing
    11. Microsoft Suite: Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Word 22. Workplace safety training

    For some of the students, Cristo Rey is the best thing that has ever happened to them. If it wasn’t for Cristo Rey, they would probably fall between the cracks somewhere else, and they would not shine. These students will be leaders, and now they have so many more options than they would otherwise. Education is the key to creating economic self-sufficiency, and this is what Cristo Rey wants to bring to San José. The Cristo Rey education model sets high expectations for students, challenging them to make daily improvement. Students understand that they can do better in everything they do, refining a strong work ethic and increasing self esteem.

    Cristo Rey students are from low income families that would not have the financial opportunity to attend a private, college preparatory high school. The Cristo Rey education model is revolutionizing the urban schooling system, and 100% of Cristo Rey graduates get accepted to college. I am very proud to have played a role in the development of this program. 

    Through my work at Cristo Rey, I utilized my education as well as enhanced my understanding of business disciplines learned in business courses. The brief education of microeconomics I learned in Econ 2, helped me develop an understanding of the complex economics of low income communities, and the business leadership techniques learned in the course sequence Busn 70-72 helped me act appropriately in my leadership role at Cristo Rey, as well as aid me in compiling lesson plans to adequately teach business leadership skills to students. Of course, my understanding of organizational management gained in Mgmt 160 as well as project management, Mgmt 179, came in handy. Working with a small, educational start up required a background in business ethics and management since maintaining coworker relations and strong ethical behavior was required to do my job well. To complete the Summer Training Program, I treated it as a project and utilized the skills I learned in my project management course to complete the project on schedule in accordance with the triple constraint.

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