Vanessa Zhang

I worked on the development team with Peer Health Exchange’s (PHE), Chicago office. I grew a lot professionally over the eight weeks of this internship. I was interested in this position because of my pre-med background and interest in social justice organizing. As an economics major, I also hoped to utilize my data analysis skills to discover new insights to non-profits. I didn’t know what to expect going into the internship because I had never worked in a non-profit, but I come away with the understanding that it’s a space where everybody gets involved in every aspect of the work. Those on the development team worked collaboratively with the programming team, and so on. It’s a very all-hands-on-deck mentality, which felt like it a lot at times but kept the work tasks very interesting. I was lucky to work with so many talented people at PHE’s Chicago office and developed strong, impactful professional relationships. This internship also taught me the importance of weekly check-ins, management meetings, team meetings to solidify team goals, opportunities for collaboration, and so on. The people and the office culture made the most significant difference in making what otherwise might have been a challenging remote internship, an experience that I will never forget! My biggest takeaway in this regard, is that the people in a company are so important and in my job search for post-grad work, I’ve made sure to do a lot of in-depth research on firms’ work culture and explicitly ask about work culture anecdotes during interviews.

Vanessa Zhang, Economics, BR ’21