Olivia Balabanis '22

Communications Intern with GoodWork Seacoast
Olivia Balabanis '22 and GoodWork CEO Molly Hodgson work collaboratively.

Tell us the story of how you got this internship. 

Laura Hill, a program coordinator for the Rines Angel Fund, passed along the opportunity to apply for an internship at a start-up company through the ECenter, so I applied! Through multiple rounds of interviews, I met Molly and Maria, my current bosses at GoodWork, and the three of us instantly knew that working together would be a great experience. 

Why did this internship/company appeal to you?   

I have always wanted to work in a nonprofit because it's important to me that my work impacts the community in a positive way, and every time I've volunteered for nonprofits in the past it has been an incredibly rewarding experience. However, I wasn't sure where to start, especially because there aren't all that many opportunities to get paid while working for nonprofits. The Internship Opportunity Fund paired with the ECenter's generous alumni donors made it possible for me to finally work at one! As a nonprofit incubator, GoodWork in particular appealed to me because they help other nonprofits in the Seacoast area. So I get to meet and work with passionate leaders every day.  And luckily, this internship is fully in person and I get to come work at the beautiful and inspiring Carey Cottage!

Do you feel prepared for this internship? Did you take any classes that have particularly helped? 

I feel prepared for this internship–not because I know everything about how to run a successful nonprofit, but because through my time at Paul College I've learned adaptability and networking. Two important skills to have at a new nonprofit!

What have you learned/hope to learn?  

I've learned that it is okay to ask questions. Previously, I've felt as though if I had to ask a question, it meant I wasn't smart enough to know the answer to something. However, thanks to my bosses always being so confident in me, I've come to realize that asking questions leads to an expansion of knowledge and more robust and fulfilling conversations.  

What doors do you hope this internship will open for you? 

I've already met an incredible amount of dedicated leaders in the Seacoast through GoodWork's network. I hope to continue making connections with those in the area who share my passion for helping the community in a positive and lasting way.  

Why do you think it’s important for students to pursue summer internships? 

Summer internships are a great way to meet people, leading to opportunities you might otherwise not have!  

How did IOF factor into your ability to take this internship? How do you feel about the program? 

IOF allowed me to be able to work for a nonprofit for the first time in my life, which is a job I had always wanted to explore but never had the financial security to do so. Thanks to IOF, I am able to explore a career path I'm interested in while still being able to pay for rent and summer classes!