Company/Organization: Opus 118 Harlem School of Music
Topic of Internship
Opus 118 Harlem School of Music is a non-profit organization aiming to provide young kids and teenagers the opportunity to enhance their musical abilities. In 1991, 150 kids in East Harlem Public Elementary School were about to lose their violin programs because of school budget cuts. However, in order to continue to provide these talented students with the opportunity they deserved, their violin teacher, Roberta Guaspari, founded Opus 118 with the help of volunteers and other teachers. They founded this private, non-profit organization to ensure that those 150 kids would be able to take full advantage of their musical talents. Today, this organization has been providing many students from low-income areas the opportunity to express their musical abilities through scholarships, need-based grants, and donations. With many hard-working students and many generous donors, this organization has been making changes in the lives of many children. The program has expanded into five different public schools and instructs children with instruments ranging from the piano to string instruments and it even has a chorus program. What we do is make sure that all the funds are efficient and that the organization has enough donors to provide for the children and keep the program up and running.
Summary of Internship
As an intern at the organization I did many office-related jobs. Such jobs included, working with Microsoft word and Excel, making professional business calls, keeping the office nice and tidy, and maintaining studentís attendance. The idea of going to Harlem intimidated me, at first, but I figured these kinds of things where you have to go somewhere unfamiliar is something we have to learn from somewhere along the lines of becoming an adult. So, I made my way through the buses and subways and ended up at the doors of Opus. When I first walked in I was welcomed by warm faces and before I knew it, I was given a task that tested my abilities to have a professional conversation over the phone. I made calls to possible donors, asking if we could send them our information that explained our cause. I learned to file proceeds using a program called Filemaker Pro, became more comfortable using Excel, and learned to be more organized with computer files and even files in the cabinet. This internship has helped me learn what really goes on in a non-profit organization, how funds are raised, and how organization is the key to such a big project.
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