Nicole Letendre ’23
Chief Features Editor
Ben Mara ’22 is a senior Political Science major with a concentration in Peace and Conflict Studies, who has been interning at the organization the Gray Panthers. Ben began his internship in August of 2021 as part of the Academic Internship Program (AIP) and has continued to work throughout the academic year for this important cause. The Gray Panthers is an organization that advocates for older persons, challenges ageism, and builds connections between people of all ages. Ben shares an inside look into his work at the Gray Panthers, the internship process, and a few pieces of advice for those looking for an internship.
What internship have you been working for, and what is the goal of the organization?
“Gray Panthers NYC is a non-profit organization dedicated to combating ageism, or age-related discrimination, advocating for the rights of older persons, and promoting social justice through intergenerational cooperation.”
What tasks and responsibilities do you manage for the Gray Panthers?
“I do media and political outreach, research, assist with our monthly webinar series, and complete any other administrative tasks assigned to me by the president of the organization.”
What project are you particularly excited about and proud to have contributed to within your internship experience?
“Right now, I am working on documents that will be presented at the United Nations’ High Level Political Forum on the Sustainable Development Goals later this year.”
Has it been a challenge juggling schoolwork with your internship?
“Sometimes… Holy Cross tends to throw everything at you at once (tests, papers, etc., all in the same week), but other than that, as long as I can plan ahead at least a little bit, I can stay ahead of it pretty well.”
How did you find your internship initially, and what skills has your internship experience taught you?
“I found this internship pretty easily on Handshake. And I feel like I learned a lot. I got some experience talking to the press, drafting new kinds of papers and questions that I had not ever done before, and I gained some relevant research skills on top of it all.”
What advice would you give to College of the Holy Cross students trying to find an internship?
“Honestly, look on Handshake, especially for AIP. And with COVID still a consideration, I was able to do this internship fully remotely, making it that much more convenient and still a great opportunity. Apply to work for Gray Panthers if you have any interest in nonprofits, as I know they would be happy to have another HC student.”
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