Kayla's experience is through The Development Summer Internship Program (D-SIP). This is a 12-week paid internship which includes a 3-credit course. Learn more about D-SIP!

Let's hear from Kayla about her experience...

Over the last 20 years, funding for public education has experienced steady decline, but U-M strives to meet all in-state students demonstrated financial need, and our current campaign "Victors for Michigan" prioritizes student support. Not everyone is born into a situation where a college education is feasible, and I understand this reality through my studies, research, and experience as a sociology student. U-M has a deep-seated, committed, and enthusiastic community of fundraisers that work closely with our school’s donors, alumni, and volunteers to ensure that a Michigan education is possible for the best and brightest students of all backgrounds. This development community, which I am thrilled to be a part of this summer, facilitates prosocial behavior and fosters a culture of philanthropy among our university and its supporters.

As a D-SIP intern in the School of Nursing’s Development and Alumni Relations team, I am working to teach the nursing community about the importance of philanthropy. My D-SIP cohort spends Monday through Thursday in our respective offices and units and comes together on Fridays for an educational class component, “EDUC 471: Development & Advancement in Higher Education.”  We have the opportunity to brainstorm what the future of fundraising may look like with changing media outlets and societal needs. One question pertaining to sociology that we are pondering in the development community is how to make philanthropy a more diverse practice. We are learning about identity and how important it will be for members of underserved communities to be vocal, active leaders in philanthropy; they can articulate the needs of their own communities better than an outside perspective.

D-SIP gives me a unique opportunity to combine my personal growth with professional work that betters our university and community. Through my sociological lens, I analyze the social influences of giving: who gives, why do they give, and what is the impact of that giving on society? Like most questions in sociology, the answers are nuanced and complicated, but important to unravel. This summer has made me re-imagine the role of philanthropy in my life. Because of my D-SIP experience, wherever I go and whatever I do in my life, I will remain empowered and inspired to make positive social change and inspire others to join me.