Amalia Quesada Nylen ’17

Majors: English and Hispanic studies
Internship: Social Innovation Forum, Boston
Funding source: Wheaton Fellowship Program

Supporting change: The Social Innovation Forum is a nonprofit organization that provides a combination of capacity building and network building for nonprofits in order to create positive social change in greater Boston. Among other aspects, they educate and support leaders of nonprofits so they can deliver the most effective solutions to social issues.

Taking charge: Each year, the forum chooses a handful of results-driven nonprofits as winners for their Social Innovator Accelerator Program. The search and selection process lasts six months and includes two rounds of written applications and in-person interviews. I spent the summer helping with the application process, researching organizations, doing outreach to the organizations, reading all of the applications submitted and attending meetings to present my suggestions for who should move forward.”

Gaining skills: “Working at the Social Innovation Forum has been my first real taste of social entrepreneurship. I have acquired a lot of knowledge in business management and sustainability in the nonprofit field.”

Learning the importance of laughter: “One of the biggest realizations I’ve had about myself as a professional this summer has been that I work best in an environment in which a sense of humor is present and encouraged. In the social justice/human rights field, it can be especially easy to feel hopeless in your work trying to better the world in at least some small way. However, I think it is so beneficial to not take yourself so seriously, which also doesn’t mean you don’t work seriously. Instead, a sense of humor is part of leadership in the workplace, being able to connect with, listen to and motivate other people, so that in turn it is easier to come together and quickly problem-solve.”

Relying on Wheaton experiences: “The two most significant roles I hold on campus are as a member of the Wheaton Swimming and Diving team, as well as my position as a resident advisor. My experience as a residential advisor has almost always been applicable in job settings I’ve been in, given the responsibility it demands. And being a student athlete also requires a great deal of self-discipline and time management, which I have always brought into the workplace.”

More summer internships

Wheaton students gain essential career skills at sites throughout the country and around the world with support from internship funding. These opportunities are part of the college’s commitment to experiential learning formalized through the Wheaton Edge. Return to main page.