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Catching Up with El Pomar Interns

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El Pomar is accepting applications for its summer 2011 internship class until February 25. Click here for more information. Mariah Golden, a former intern and the 2011 internship director, asked several recent interns to share reflections on their experience.

“To say El Pomar gave me a crash course in professionalism is an understatement. Every week the interns met with various El Pomar employees to learn the ins and outs of being a professional. Meetings ranged from personality testing and managing up to learning how to invest from El Pomar’s very own chief investment officer (and competing with each other in a mock stock market competition). I learned many little things that can’t be picked up on in a classroom setting--like how to answer a desk phone with confidence and professionalism, and how to juggle two different bosses for separate projects.

“Above all, though, what I liked most about interning with El Pomar Foundation was that I was included as an employee and given many opportunities that interns at most organizations don’t have. The other interns and I were invited to various El Pomar events and staff meetings, in which we were able to mingle and meet with some of Colorado’s most influential professionals. Because El Pomar invested so much time and energy into my specific intern experience, I ended up working harder than I ever had in a job before, and I learned more than I could have imagined in the process.”

“I loved working at El Pomar Foundation because of the excitement and passion that surrounded El Pomar programs--something that I have found to be unparalleled elsewhere. It was incredible to be a part of such a hard-working and professional atmosphere. I was lucky to be able to live at home on the North side, with my parents. I loved running the 5k from Jack Quinn’s every Tuesday with the other interns and fellows, which allowed me to explore parts of the city that I missed while growing up. The internship was a catalyst in developing my raw skills into tangibly professional skills that have stayed with me. My time at El Pomar was instrumental in learning about the nonprofit sector, in which I still work today (in Charlotte, North Carolina). The El Pomar internship offers so much responsibility and ownership of projects, while promoting personal and professional growth--it is an experience that should not be passed up.”

“My own interests, passions, skills and aspirations became much clearer to me after spending a summer at El Pomar. I had the privilege of meeting a great deal of influential nonprofit executives, business leaders and community organizers, who shaped my interests and exposed me to a number of exciting fields. My internship refined my writing skills, prepared me for public speaking, improved my research abilities, and provided me with numerous professional development learning opportunities.

“During my internship, I lived in the house that I lived in during my senior year at Colorado College (another El Pomar intern sublet a room, and we carpooled to work every day). Today, I am living in Denver working at The Bell Policy Center, a nonprofit organization seeking to expand opportunity for the people of Colorado through research and advocacy. My position is a ‘public interest fellow’ and I am more than halfway through my fellowship year. I have researched a wide variety of topics including education and immigration, and I have no doubts that interning at El Pomar made me a more attractive candidate for the job I currently have. By exposing me to a variety of experiences, organizations and individuals, I feel that the internship gave me a huge advantage over my peers.”

“I learned an immense amount from the internship, including several skills that were job-specific. As the Investment Office intern, I was exposed to portfolio management techniques, financial statements, and investment software. That training is currently paying off in my senior year at CSU, where I am majoring in Business Administration with concentrations in Corporate Finance and Marketing.

“El Pomar is a well-established, highly recognized organization. The Foundation has a lot of experience and unique opportunities to offer you. The name ‘El Pomar’ evokes respect, and associating yourself with such a highly regarded organization can only help you. But best of all, the staff at the Foundation is wonderful. They recognize the fact that you're a novice intern just learning the ropes, but El Pomar interns are still charged with important tasks that make a difference at the Foundation. You will learn more than you bargained for, have opportunities unavailable to you elsewhere, and be exposed to the heart and soul of a successful, caring Foundation.”