Wednesday August 10, 2011
Workum Internships Expose Students to Jewish Nonprofits
For years, Molly Cramer figured that she’d enjoy working after college as a clinical psychologist in private practice. But after only a few weeks as a JVS intern, she’s now considering a career in the nonprofit world, too.
“This has kind of opened my eyes to new things,” she says. “I’ve really fallen in love with Jewish Vocational Service.”
Cramer is one of 10 interns working this summer at Jewish community agencies in Greater Cincinnati through the Workum Fund Summer Intern Program.
Since 1987, many former interns have used their experiences as Workum interns as springboards for nonprofit careers. The internships are funded by the Workum Foundation, whose roots date back to 1917 as a program of the National Council of Jewish Women, Cincinnati section.
Cramer, of Blue Ash, a 2010 graduate of Sycamore High School, will be entering her sophomore year this fall at the University of Richmond. She’s studying leadership and psychology.
During her eight-week internship, she’s worked in various JVS programs and sites, including the Work Center and the Cincinnati Career Network in Blue Ash.
In her first week, she revised a cover letter for a CCN client’s job search, and he landed a job as a teacher. Cramer’s sense of satisfaction was immeasurable. “There’s nothing like helping a client get a job,” she says.
She spent a morning with consumers in Adult Day Services, a program that serves the recreational and social needs of senior citizens with developmental disabilities. She quickly developed a strong rapport and they asked her to return that afternoon. “They’d only known me for a couple hours but they didn’t want me to leave.”
Kim Slaton, a CCN career consultant, says Cramer has the potential to be a great professional for a Jewish nonprofit. She’s enthusiastic, organized and articulate, and has a get-it-done approach.
The internship is causing Cramer to realize she’s capable of more than she imagined. “I’ve learned a lot about myself,” she says.
She’s also learning how challenging the work can be. But she says it’s worthwhile and rewarding. “At the end of the day,” she says, “it’s all about helping our clients.”