My name is Kavya Venkateswaran, and I am a senior at Northview High School in Johns Creek. Through my school’s Gifted Internship Program, I’ve been interning at GivingPoint since this past February. The experience and real-world exposure I’ve gained have truly been a valuable asset as I prepare for my career in the business world.   

GivingPoint was my first professional experience in the real world. Initially, I was unsure of what to expect. I knew I wanted my future profession to lie at the crossroads of business, innovation, and philanthropy, but my knowledge about these industries was limited. I was curious to learn more about the nonprofit world, and my internship at GivingPoint not only allowed me to better understand how nonprofits run but also affirmed my interest in pursuing a degree in this field.  

I remember the first time I traveled to GivingPoint’s coworking space to attend a team meeting. The collaborative environment was unlike anything I had seen before, and it provided valuable insight into the professional world. Attending these team meetings has helped me find my voice: I’ve learned to effectively express my opinion and convey my ideas. I see the impact this professional environment has had on my communication skills. I’m able to get across my points more clearly and I’ve become more confident in my abilities.  

During these meetings, one thing that stood out to me was the extensive planning and attention to detail needed to plan large events. I was part of the planning process for GivingPoint’s SPARKS event this past April, and I realized that the effort needed to carry out such an event is more than I ever imagined. Previously, I didn’t consider the effort needed to find a venue, cater food, create signs, posters, pamphlets, and more, publicize the event to draw in more attendees, and everything in between. I now have a better understanding of the project management aspect of a business, and in the future, I will use this experience to ensure I don’t overlook such things in my own planning process.  

I’m also intrigued by how nonprofits reorganize themselves as they expand and grow. At GivingPoint, I’ve observed how a nonprofit can redistribute its resources and restructure itself to accommodate changes and spread its mission to a larger audience. As GivingPoint’s programs have become more in demand, I’ve observed how it has accommodated this as a nonprofit; being in the midst of GivingPoint’s expansion has sparked my interest in learning about how organizations can best utilize their resources in the future.  

Finally, my internship at GivingPoint has affirmed the notion that what matters is who you know, not what you know. Time and time again, I’ve noticed that a big part of GivingPoint’s work involves reaching out to connections and finding presenters for workshops. This has taught me the value of building a network and the real-world benefits of it. Learning this lesson in high school is great because I can start building my network today.   

Interning at GivingPoint has been the perfect way to step into the business and nonprofit world. The professional and networking skills, as well as the real-world experience I’ve gained are assets I will carry with me throughout my career. Thank you, GivingPoint!