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Life of an Intern Part Nine: Diana Custodio

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Up next on #LifeOfAnIntern, is Diana Custodio, who is a stellar student part of the Students Rising Above Rising Stars program.  Students Rising Above (SRA) is a nonprofit that sends low-income, first-generation college students to four-year colleges and universities. Their work has impacted the lives of hundreds of students and 90% of SRA students graduate from college. Based in the Bay Area, SRA equips students with financial support, mentorship, career support, and internships.

Diana Custodio shares her passion to work with nonprofits doing great work. In fact, she tells us that she decided to do her internship with SRA because of the organization’s incredible influence on her education and career trajectory. It is inspiring to see how Diana is already giving back to an organization that has made a difference in her life. Our team at Symba is excited to see the great work that Diana will continue to do as a Student Ambassador with SRA and her future career working with nonprofits. Please read on to learn more about Diana’s internship experience, passion for nonprofits and why she believes in the power of internships. 

Hi Diana, we’re excited to hear about your experience at SRA! How did you land your internship?

I am actually a part of the Students Rising Above Rising Stars program, so of course I wanted to take the opportunity to learn and give back to the organization that got me to where I am today. I am also interested pursuing a career with nonprofit organizations.

Describe a unique experience your internship has provided you.

I’ve been able to participate in something called Career Insight Days, in which we visit various companies and learn about the different career pathways offered in various sectors. I’ve gotten to expand my professional network, gain career exposure and valuable career advice!

What was the top thing you learned during your internship?

Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. If there is a project you’re interested in working on, ask to be a part of it. If you see a problem and have a solution, don’t be afraid to share! You’re thoughts and opinions are valued by your peers, and can actually be very helpful to everyone!

Describe a typical day at SRA.

If I am not attending a Career Insight Day, I am in the office. I arrive at around 9:00am, checking emails and my calendar for the week. Being a part of the development team means attending lots of meeting regarding the planning of future events! I also juggle around with various side projects ranging from administrative tasks to social media.

How did your intern manager make your internship experience better?

My intern manager has created an environment that encourages curiosity. She welcomes any questions I have and pushes me to find the answers.

Why do you think internships are important?

Internships provide an opportunity to see what you want or don’t want in a career. I have gain so much more insight on what  I want to do in the future through my internships. And the best part is the people I’ve met; I’ve gained so mentorship and guidance towards my career pathway.

What advice would you give to future interns?

Take the time to get to know your co-workers, there is so much you can learn from them and it’s great to make these connections! Don’t be afraid to ask people out for lunch or a cup of coffee.

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