Meet Ani Iyengar, Social Enterprise Greenhouse Summer Intern

How One Wheeler School Student Spent His Summer
By: Cayla Mackey
August 6, 2015

Meet Ani Iyengar, our Summer 2015 Talent Retention Intern. Ani assisted Cayla Mackey, University Initiative Director, with Social Enterprise Greenhouse’s initiative to retain more college students in Rhode Island, specifically to work on and in social enterprise.

Ani is a rising junior at The Wheeler School. Social Enterprise Greenhouse benefited from having Ani onboard by enabling him to draft and complete a comprehensive report on Brain Drain and Brain Gain. Ani complied data and synthesized a research paper to make this information useful to community leaders and policy makers.

Here is what Ani had to say about his internship experience:

Q: How has your perspective on social enterprise changed as a result of your internship?

I learned a lot about social enterprise throughout my internship. A few days after I started, I thought a social enterprise referred mostly social justice organizations and nonprofits. As time went by, however, I realized that social enterprises use the same business strategies that large corporations use, and also that they can make profits and still prioritize their social goals first.

Q: What did you accomplish during your internship?

I wrote a report on Brain Drain and Brain Gain in Rhode Island and compared the two by providing both a statistical and descriptive analysis. I also helped Cayla make templates for job, project, and internship requests; social ventures can use these forms to request talent from local students, which is a huge need for growing social ventures. I went to a high level meeting with Cayla and the CEO of Social Enterprise Greenhouse, Kelly Ramirez where we talked with other leaders about social enterprise and talent retention in Rhode Island; there, I met new people that I could share my work with. I also helped set up for Ship Street Bazaar and went to 1 Million Cups twice to watch presentations made by young social entrepreneurs.

Q: What did you learn during your internship?

I came into this internship with little to no knowledge about social enterprise, and through my report learned a lot about it. I also developed a better sense of the impact Social Enterprise Greenhouse has on the Rhode Island community as I spent more time here. I also improved my writing skills a lot with my report on Brain Drain and Brain Gain.

Q: Why was the work you provided important to your host organization?

The report I wrote could have an impact on talent retention in Rhode Island, and could be used for leaders of the community to get a better sense of attracting college graduates in the area.

Q: How has your perspective on the host organization changed as a result of your internship?

I had no expectations coming in to the internship because of my lack of knowledge about the organization, but I have seen how great of an impact that providing young entrepreneurs with the resources and knowledge they need to thrive has on the community as a whole. I liked how Social Enterprise Greenhouse was a very casual environment, but at the same time I was able to get a lot done and learn a lot.

Q: What have you changed your mind about since working in this internship?

I went from barely knowing anything about social enterprise, to thinking it was just for social good, to realizing how social enterprises are actually run. 

Previously published articles by Ani:

Growing Rhode Island’s Economy, by Ani Iyengar
What Social Enterprise Means to Me, by Ani Iyengar

Social Enterprise Greenhouse has loved having Ani as an intern and wishes him the best of luck in his future endeavors. He has been an invaluable asset to the team. Email Ani if you want to learn more about his experience and what’s next for him at Learn more about internships, our internship support program, and how you can intern with Social Enterprise Greenhouse or a social enterprise by reading more about our University Initiative and checking out our Opportunity Board.

Cayla Mackey
University Initiative Director

As the Social Enterprise Greenhouse University Initiative Director, Cayla helps college and university students get involved in social enterprise. The University Initiative is a program funded by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation Innovation Grant to retain students and recent graduates in Rhode Island through enabling them to work on and in social enterprises. Learn more about Cayla here.