Internship Diaries

Working at an Education Nonprofit in Chicago

Some people apply to just about everything, but when your field of choice is pretty narrow, how does that change your internship search? Yoo Jung Hah shares her experience working for an education nonprofit, and how she sees it fitting into her dream of going to grad school!

Name: Yoo Jung Hah

Job Title: External Affairs Intern, Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL)

Location: Chicago, IL

College: The University of Chicago

Year: Rising Fourth

Major: History; Joint BA/MA in Social Sciences

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What are you doing this summer?

I work at AUSL, an education nonprofit. AUSL does school management, teacher residency, and advisory services to improve school culture and education. AUSL manages low-performing CPS schools and basically does a turnover. It starts with improving school facilities, if necessary, and supports teachers and principals. AUSL also trains teachers and provides coaching for both teachers and school leaders. You can think of it almost like an education consulting.

I am helping the External Affairs Team and help with the development and management of content for knowledge library and advisory services. I review AUSL’s work and gather secondary research on education/education policy/theories and AUSL’s work then create a comprehensive knowledge library on its work, effectiveness, and future plans. I also help with other projects as well. Currently, I am helping with a grant research.

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What do you want to be when you grow up?

I’m not entirely sure about recent future plans, but I am considering either JD or PhD in history. Ultimately, I want to pursue academia.

How did you get your internship?

UChicago has a Metcalf Internship Program that funds student internships through donations, so I applied to this position through that program.

What do you wish you had known during your internship search?

I wish I had searched more! I limited my internship search to education nonprofits, but I wish I could’ve experienced different fields as well (although I am really happy with my work now).

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What does a day in the life look like?

9:00 get to work, usually get coffee from the office, dress code is business casual + super chill office (literally kinda cold) then, I research reading articles and policies, and, as I read, I also write up summaries and evaluate how our organization fits into education trends and how the education sector values our work. I am learning a lot about education, education theories, and policies. As someone who’s from a country where education is highly emphasized, it is very interesting to compare different systems.

My boss occasionally checks in with me. She would stop by my desk, and I would ask questions to her. We do have a weekly meeting, which is usually Monday or Friday. I usually pack my lunch, and my lunch time varies. My schedule can vary with the school schedule so I could get out around 5 PM, or as early as 3:30! I go home and study for the GRE and LSAT before going to bed.

The principal brought an ice cream truck to the school as a surprise.

How has this job changed what you see yourself doing in the future?

It is a lot of researching, reading, and writing, but I really like that aspect of work. I am hoping to go to academia in the future, and currently also working on my Masters thesis research as well. So I guess reading and writing are now just part of my life?

Hello! My name is Rosana Rabines! I'm a student, stationery enthusiast, and runner constantly reorganizing my life to make the most of my college experience in Chicago.

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