This week Symba publicly announced our beta launch and welcomed everyone with Fall interns to participate. Today, we are excited to spotlight one of our beta testers, Dozie Oheri, founder of Choose to DO, Inc., for our #MyInternRocks series.
Symba is a mission-driven startup and is truly proud to be working with Dozie, who is a passionate social entrepreneur making a vital difference in the lives of underprivileged youth in her community in Houston, TX.
When we asked if any of the women in the YC Female Founders Facebook Group would be willing to beta test Symba, Dozie expressed her interest. As a founder herself, Dozie was enthusiastic to help another startup. Through her recently launched internship program, Dozie’s interns will have the opportunity to contribute to Choose to DO, Inc.’s impact on improving the lives of children. Our platform will help support her and her intern’s valuable work. Read on to learn more about Dozie Oheri and her internship program.
Hi Dozie, thanks for participating in our beta! Tell us about your nonprofit and your background.
Choose to DO, Inc. is a youth organization that was founded March 8, 2016, with the purpose of mentoring underprivileged youth in the Greater Houston area. Our mission is to focus on the physical and mental benefits of positive thinking, while exposing our youth to new life experiences.
I am a native Houstonian and an individual with a passion for service and a love for child development. I created Choose to DO, Inc. because I wanted to see more healthy relationships between underprivileged youth and community organizations. I pride myself on the ability to inspire and be inspired by people and life experiences. I have made it my mission to teach children the necessary tools to make living a positive lifestyle a reality.
How was your experience creating an internship program?
In the summer of this year, I sought out an opportunity with Texas Southern University to assist me with finding interns through their credited internship course. So far I have interviewed and hired student interns.
How many interns are you currently managing?
I’m currently managing two interns.
What do you love most about your current internship program?
I love that I get to see what works and what doesn’t as I build the foundation of my internship program.
How do you ensure your interns’ professional development and success?
I create a timeline of tasks, ensure that the students have work to do, set weekly check-ins and meetings, have interns work on projects that strengthen their skills, and strive to set an example of professionalism myself.
What resources are important for a successful internship program?
The resources that are important for a successful internship program include: an all-inclusive software that allows interns to view and complete tasks, send and receive messages, maintain privacy with controlled access, and input and view schedules.
What advice do you have for other intern managers?
You should set expectations in the beginning and consistently refer to those expectations. You should also be flexible in dealing with your interns and make sure they have enough work to do.
What advice do you have for interns?
Observe how the company you work for runs. Ask questions. Voice your interest and ideas, and give feedback. Ask to help in other areas outside of your position. Pay attention to the people you meet along the way; you never know what opportunities could arise from meeting the right person.
Last, but not least, why do you think internships are important?
Interns provide relief for professional staff to focus on other tasks and provide different perspectives. Internship programs help maintain your organization’s relationship with universities and allow you to broaden your networking base. They also promote community interaction.
Throughout our beta, we hope to showcase additional beta users who are running meaningful internship programs and creating great opportunities for students to gain real-world work experiences. Subscribe to our blog to get our latest #MyInternRocks updates as well as best practices for intern managers and interns. To participate in #MyInternRocks, sign up here: https://goo.gl/forms/ewKAx9bo6ju3vBP42.
Interested in participating in our beta? Optimize your internship program and create the most valuable experiences for you and your interns with Symba. Sign up here: https://symba.io/participate-in-beta/.
By Ahva Sadeghi