Opening Doors offers immersive internship programs that enable volunteers to develop professional experience in the nonprofit sector and in the social service, business, assets development, communications, or grant writing fields. Interns are selected through a competitive process. The volunteer positions are highly sought after, in part because interns are entrusted with large and important projects, and thus gain great experiences and skills. They are also popular because interns enjoy their time at the agency.
Opening Doors’ intern staff members have backgrounds almost as diverse as our clientele. They are young professionals and community college students, graduate and law students; they speak languages from all corners of the globe. The internship program puts these individuals of varying backgrounds together to work as a team. After being trained, interns work interdependently with their supervisors on projects that directly benefit clients or programs. The internship program affords the opportunity for individuals to sharpen their office skills and see the inner-workings of a dynamic nonprofit agency. Whether they are learning how to manage a client’s case files, or helping to develop a new program on financial literacy, the internship program at Opening Doors gives motivated individuals the chance to join an agency that is focused on promoting self-sufficiency and improving the lives of those in the Greater Sacramento Area.
Internships are a six month, 15-hour-a-week commitment. Opening Doors greatly respects program participants’ educational commitments and will make reasonable accommodations accordingly. Internship interviews are typically held every three months; however, internship applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Contact Natalie Reyes, Volunteer Coordinator at 916-492-2591or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the next round of interviews.
University and Young Professional Internships
Benefits of the Opening Doors Intern Experience
Specialized Internships: Social Work
Specialized Internship: Legal Intern
University & Young Professional Internships
In this internship program participants have the opportunity to work in one of Opening Doors’ three programs—Prosperity Project, Survivors of Human Trafficking or Refugee Resettlement, or to focus on agency communications or grant writing. Interns are a critical part of the agency staff, and assume a number of high-level responsibilities. Each program offers a unique set of responsibilities and experiences.
Download the complete Opening Doors Internship Information Packet
Business Intern: Interns will focus on programs aimed at asset building and/or microenterprise and microfinance. Candidates are expected to learn the basics of community outreach and spend time learning about microfinance and small business development and/or assets development.
Case Management Intern: Interns work with Refugees or Survivors of Human Trafficking and gain casework skills as well as advocacy experience. Additionally, interns are exposed to the social welfare system and are taught how to manage client cases.
Communications Intern: Interns in this position will gain first-hand experience working on crafting agency messages and delivering them through the web site, social media, radio and print advertising, fliers and other avenues. They will develop or improve DreamWeaver skills.
Volunteer Management Intern: Interns focus on recruiting and managing volunteers. They build relationships with the volunteers, and they foster their community outreach, organization, and supervision skills.
Benefits of the Opening Doors Intern Experience
Interns foster their cultural competency skills and gain experience working with diverse segments of the population. They learn basic office skills and become well-versed in office management. Interns gain insight into the day-to-day operation of a nonprofit and they get hands-on project management experience.
Specialized Internships: Social Work Internship:
Opening Doors’ Social Work Internship fulfills the Field Education core requirement of the BASW program offered through a partnership with Sacramento State. This is an opportunity in developing a professional self, learning social work skills that can only be developed by actually doing the work. You will be closely supervised by an agency-based supervisor with an MSW (called a Field Instructor) in the Victims of Human Trafficking Program. Your field experience will be a chance to integrate what you are learning in your classes with what you are discovering in the field. Assignments can involve outreach, home visits, grant writing, case management, developing/editing program manuals and community work. At the conclusion of the internship, participants will receive course credit and transcript notation.
Specialized Internships: Legal Intern
Interns have the opportunity to serve and provide assistance in family based immigration, nonimmigrant visas such as T, U, and VAWA, Naturalization/Citizenship, Adjustment of Statues, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals related immigration relief options. This entails working as a liaison with law enforcement from various branches of the federal and local government. Work includes interviewing clients of various backgrounds, especially female victims of crimes, preparation of immigration applications and papers, and legal research. Ability to speak, read, write in Spanish is not required but strongly preferred. Must be currently enrolled in law school. Internship is a semester commitment working at minimum 15 hours a week.
Opening Doors Intern, April-October 2010
My internship with Opening Doors completely surpassed all of my expectations. My fellow interns and the staff were welcoming, dedicated, and fun. I found them all to be great to work with and very helpful people. I also loved being involved in our clients’ lives and making a genuine impact on and connection with many of them.
Professionally, the internship helped me gain some real work experience that enabled me to find a great, full-time job shortly after graduation.
Opening Doors Intern/ Intern Coordinator, July 2008- May 2009
Volunteer Coordinator/ Administrative Assistant, June 2009- August 2010
Director of Volunteer Programs/ Office Manager, Sept. 2010 -May 2010
I would like to thank Opening Doors for all the opportunities to grow both personally and professionally that I received through my internship and employment with this dynamic nonprofit.
When I began with Opening Doors, I was a wide-eyed senior at UC Davis. All I knew was that I wanted to help people, but was absolutely clueless about what a career in social service entailed. During my extended 11-month internship I had the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of refugees and survivors of human trafficking by assisting the case managers in program support and case management. After becoming the intern coordinator, I able to expand the internship program to accommodate 10 to 14 interns at any given time. I was also given the incredible opportunity to create and implement a Mentorship, ESL Tutoring, and Vocational ESL Program (REAP) to aid our clients. I was blown away about the amount of responsibility I was trusted to take on as a volunteer, and even more surprised to learn the extent of my own capabilities. Luckily Opening Doors received a new grant that made it possible for me to be hired on a full time position after my graduation from UC Davis. I then had the opportunity to foster and expand the volunteer programs, many of which I had worked to create. Opening Doors has fostered me personally and professionally so that I have the skill set to fulfill my many goals. It has shown me that hard work and persistence are rewarded with increased responsibility, trust, and employment opportunities. I, along with seven of my colleagues, have become employed at the agency because of our valuable professional training as interns.
I have also experienced the many educational and career doors that are opened through work with Opening Doors. I credit my acceptance to a doctorate program in clinical psychology to my experience working at the agency.
As I begin my program in September 2011, I will miss the office that has become my home and my family. I will be forever grateful for all I have received from Opening Doors, Inc.