Happy volunteer week: more intern insight

In honor of volunteer week, we’re talking to some of our current interns about their journey to Kiva. Our amazing volunteers come from a wide variety of backgrounds and have exciting visions of what they hope to accomplish during their time at Kiva.
Interested in Kiva’s intern program? Find more information and apply here!

Shreye Saxena - Strategic Initiatives Intern
Why Kiva? 
I learned about Kiva when I was an undergrad, and I had a project with a non-profit start-up in Raleigh, NC that started integration with Kiva. After working in consulting for about two years, I was looking for an opportunity that would help me move to the social impact sector and this came up. I love Kiva, I love the opportunity and it seemed like the right fit. 
At the midpoint of this internship, how have you grown professionally? 
I think in terms of having professional independence, being able to plot my own course or project, managing that and seeing it deliver results. Having complete ownership of that from end to end is something I wouldn’t have been able to do if I stayed in my previous job or at any other mainstream internship. So, that independence and the project management skills are going to be really valuable. 
What have you found most valuable thus far?
Kiva is really unique in that the interns are very much valued and are a core part of the team. The joke of, “Oh, haha, I’ll make the intern do it,” is something that would never come to mind because without the interns, Kiva wouldn’t really function. We’re given a very real responsibility and opportunity. Personally, that’s something very important to me because it makes me feel like a valued member and that my time is important. 
Would you recommend this internship to a friend or colleague? 
Yes! Do it! Like immediately, here’s the link, apply. I think that there’s something professional for anyone who’s looking for an opportunity within a Kiva internship. So, if you have an interest being involved in the social impact sector and if you’re interested in doing poverty alleviation or have any skillset that you think would be beneficial to people at Kiva, then you should absolutely apply, it’ll be an amazing experience. 

Cinthia Segovia-Sosa - Review and Translation Program Intern
Why Kiva? 
I’ve been involved with nonprofits on the receiving end and, throughout my education, I’ve wanted the chance to volunteer more. Now that I have the financial stability to do so, I took this opportunity to solidify my core values.
At the midpoint of this internship, how have you grown professionally? 
The culture here at Kiva has allowed me to gain more confidence in myself and my networking ability. Being able to converse with my colleagues so easily really helps. I can take that confidence I feel in the office and use it elsewhere at networking events. Since I’ve been here, I‘ve been networking a lot better. I’ve gained the strength to pursue building my own company with other people. I’ve been building my own business plan and pitching to investors, and without the confidence I was given at Kiva, I think that the decision to pursue my own business would’ve been delayed. 
What have you found most valuable thus far?
I’ve learned what it’s like being at a non-profit and how resourceful you have to be in the situation because, unfortunately, we don’t have the luxuries that many for-profits have. So, I’ve learned to see what’s most important in that moment and how to focus on whatever project I’m working on and do the best I can do. 

About the author

Kayla Grueneich

Kayla received her B.A. in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of Puget Sound. She has volunteered with a wide variety of animals from cats at her local shelter, sea turtles in Costa Rica, and elephants at the Oakland Zoo. Kayla hopes to pursue a career that supports animal welfare issues through community empowerment and education. She is excited to join Kiva to learn about international development from a non-profit viewpoint.