Summer Intern Chronicles: Caroline Neville from Boston College

Hyannis Port resident interning at The Cape Cod Foundation...
Summer intern Caroline Neville with some of her mentors at The Cape Cod Foundation - Carrie Bearse, Kristin O’Malley, Maura White, Joanna Christopher and Jamie Ghetti. (Not pictured Nancy Coyle and Dara Gannon) (Courtesy of CCF)

Editor's Note - This is the third in a series of "Summer Intern Chronicles" that Cape Cod Today will publish throughout the season.  Many local college students undertake internship experiences during summer break.  These internships can truly form a young person as a professional in their chosen career path.  For many, the internship is their first work experience in the career they hope to pursue.  These internship stories are intended to give the students an opportunity to share their experiences, showcase the work of their sponsoring organization and put in a plug for their college.  The stories are written in the students' own words and published verbatim as submitted.  

If your Cape & Islands or Plymouth organization hosts summer interns and you'd like them to participate, please email [email protected] and we will send you the project guidelines.

My name is Caroline Neville and I’m from Hyannis Port, MA. I am going to be a sophomore at Boston College.

I am interning at The Cape Cod Foundation. I am the Program and Development Associate, but my tasks vary widely. On the program side, I assist with managing the Foundation’s grant and scholarship programs. The Foundation distributes almost $3.5 million annually in grants and scholarships, so there are a lot of details! I also help set-up site visits with our grantees so we can learn more about their programs. In addition, I assist with the civic leadership work of the Foundation and have been helping to gather research and data on some possible programs we are interested in supporting. On the development side, I assist our President and CEO with setting up donor meetings, doing research, and other aspects of fundraising.

I have learned how to interact with professionals and how to conduct myself during business meetings. I often have meetings or site visits where I need to prepare ahead of time to be able to add valuable input during these interactions. I also have learned that I must walk into work each day with an open mind to the tasks I’ll be handling that particular day. I am not going to always be doing the same thing and can be thrown into the financial or program areas of The Cape Cod Foundation. I need to be willing to help in any way even if it’s outside my comfort zone.

I’ve realized the significance of dressing appropriately to work every day and being prepared to take notes at any moment. I always have a notebook and pen at hand for any kind of meeting. By presenting yourself in a professional way, people take you more seriously and can see that you take your job seriously.

ne of the biggest take-aways that I’ll bring back to the classroom is confidence. I can go back to school knowing that I’m not afraid to learn on the job. Once I learn how to do certain tasks, I may make mistakes, but I learn from them and eventually will know how to do the tasks properly. Also, I realize that it’s okay to ask questions at your internship. There is no dumb question and by asking the question, clarification is provided so you can do your job effectively.

We asked:  Is there someone at your sponsoring employer that provided special mentoring or has had a strong influence on your development in the position?   Yes, there are two people. The first is the CEO and president of The Cape Cod Foundation, Kristin O’Malley. She has always believed in me and pushes me to challenge myself in the work place. I wouldn’t be here without her. We actually met because she was an alumni interviewer for a college I was applying to and she really liked me from our meeting. We kept in touch and that’s how I ended up here. Kristin encourages me and is very easy to talk with when I’m facing any difficulties. I’m very lucky to have her not only as my boss, but as a friend.

The other person is program director, Dara Gannon. I worked directly with her last summer when I was volunteering at The Cape Cod Foundation. She showed me the responsibilities of her job and helped me to feel comfortable in the working environment. I got to get to know her on a personal level and it was nice becoming close with someone that was closer in age to myself. I would not have come back to intern full time if it wasn’t for her kindness towards me. Dara is truly remarkable and I feel very grateful to have learned so much from her.

During the internship, I lived at home with my mom and sister. It was nice coming home to family each day after work. They are the most important part of my life.   

I would stay here if I could find a similar job on the Cape. Since I have lived on the Cape my entire life, it holds a special place in my heart. From my internship, I have become more and more interested in non-profit work. It’s amazing to see philanthropy changing people’s lives especially within a community that I know so well. Although I will most likely go to graduate school after Boston College, I would be surprised if nothing led me back to the Cape.  

 believe that volunteering is one of the most essential things you can do in your life. I encourage people to somehow integrate it into their lives because not only is giving back very rewarding, but it’s a unique experience you’ll never be able to replicate. Also, in my case, by volunteering last summer, this led me to a job for this summer. Volunteering is more valued than you think and if you do a good job, it just might lead to a job at that volunteer location. You never know who you’ll meet or what doors will open by giving back to your community.

lthough summer is a time for students to be able to relax and take a break from school, it’s important to continue working to help develop career skills. I wasn’t expecting to do an internship the summer after my freshman year at college, but it has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had in my life. No matter what age, it’s important to get an internship as early as possible because it will help you learn what you’re truly passionate about and allow you to pursue a career in that specific field of study. An internship is also a great thing to put on your resume because it shows future employers that you have put in the effort to gain work experience in the real world.  ​


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