Going on coffee runs, taking notes in meetings, and plugging numbers into excel sheets. Those are the typical duties of an intern. I’ll just be sitting back, observing, and learning from a distance this summer, right? Wrong! My experience at Spitfire Strategies has been 100% hands on. From day one, I was told that I am a “Spitfire.” I’m one of the team members and have been treated as such.

Spitfire Strategies is a communications firm that works with nonprofit organizations that are dedicated to advancing racial, economic and social justice; protecting the environment; and expanding opportunity for all. As a government and American studies major with a minor in Africana studies, I am deeply committed to challenging the systems that oppress Black and brown people in America. So, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to intern with a company that shares the same set of ideals as I do.

I have worked on over six accounts already at Spitfire. I help by participating in weekly internal meetings, writing pitches, running social media platforms, and drafting blog posts. One of my favorite accounts to work on is the Art for Justice Fund, a fund that invests in artists and advocates working to end mass incarceration. By further understanding that criminal justice reform is a crucial step in making progress toward the oppressive systems in America, I have been able to research new resources regarding reform.

I learn from our communications team, daily, on how to properly assist nonprofit organizations and equip them with the tools necessary to continue being strong advocates. As someone who hopes to pursue a career in journalism, learning and working with the advocacy side of media has demonstrated the immense role it plays.

Before becoming a Karel Fellow, I had no idea what public interest communications was. It was during our bootcamp that I learned of this new field and have been so impressed ever since. Public interest communications is similar to PR, however, it goes beyond public relations and includes advocacy.

Working with Spitfire, as a Karel Fellow, has already been so impactful. I am developing new skills to succeed, expanding my network, and making meaningful connections with professionals in the field. I understand that as a Karel Fellow I am not only “here for the summer” but I am now part of a community that I will be connected to far beyond these eight weeks!