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My Internship Experience with the Entrepreneurship Minor

This summer I have been working as the Project Associate for the Social Entrepreneur in Residence.  This lengthy internship title is not your average paper-shuffling, fax-sending, coffee-grabbing summer internship.  Before I start talking about the things I have learned and the project I am currently working on, I should mention how this internship came to be.  The Social Entrepreneur in Residence position has been in the ‘developing’ phase at UNC for many years now.  Through the hard work of a UNC student group—SEEDS (Social Entrepreneur and Enterprise Development for Students) – they have been fundamental in helping appoint Micah Gilmer as the first Social Entrepreneur in Residence.  The Social Entrepreneur in Residence position (as first described by SEEDS) is to look for “the intellectual stimulation of academia and the ability to connect people and resources.”  Furthermore, the Social Entrepreneur in Residence should be a, “champion of social enterprise at UNC, have great desire to interact with young social entrepreneurs, and show independence and initiative in forming a broad coalition of campus resources.”  As one can probably imagine, Micah’s first task was to get some help with this endeavor.  

The Project Associate internship position was therefore created and several UNC undergraduate students applied for this competitive internship.  During the final interview, Micah selected two interns, Emily Hylton and me.  We are currently working on two main projects: a social enterprise exhibition planned for the fall semester, and a social entrepreneurship curriculum for students that are interested in social and environmental issues.  Emily is in charge of the fall exhibition, and I am in charge of developing a resource guide for the curriculum, where students can find relevant information about social entrepreneurship in books, documentaries, magazines, blogs and other resources.  So far I have read great books such as; David Bornstein’s, “How to Change the World,” and Malcolm Gladwell’s, “Outliers”.  I have also learned about innovative social organizations founded by UNC alum, such as Global Giving (co-founded by Dennis Whittle), The Humanity Campaign (founded by Ryan Allis) and many more.  Aside from the work at UNC, I am also working for Micah at Frontline Solutions, a social consulting firm in downtown Durham; Micah is one of the founding partners of Frontline Solutions.  I consider myself very lucky to be working under Micah’s wing since he is a really great person (and he has taken me out to lunch on more than one occasion).  

If you want to learn more about the projects we are working on, or the books I have been reading, follow me on my blog: http://uncsocialentrepreneurship.wordpress.com/.