Meet Jessica Kaufman, Our Summer Intern

How One College Student Spent Her Summer
By: Cayla Mackey
August 17, 2015

This past summer, Social Enterprise Greenhouse was fortunate to have Jessica Kaufman of Saint Anslem College as an intern. Jessica interned with Cayla Mackey, University Initiative Director, to write 16 features on student and recent graduate social entrepreneurs.

Jessica is a rising sophomore in the honors program at Saint Anselm College studying Economics and is a member of the Saint Anselm Women’s soccer team. She graduated from Portsmouth High School in 2014 in the top ten percent of her class. After starting a community service club in high school and participating in a service trip to Haiti she became interested in how business and society could both benefit each other. For her senior project she created a mock financial plan for the non-profit The Fund for Community Progress in which she learned more about socially responsible investing and how non-profits operate.

Here is what she had to say about her internship experience:

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

As a result of my internship, I am now much more interested in social enterprise. I think it is an emerging field but is gaining traction among millennials and will one day be the one way of doing business. No longer is profit the only bottom line, but people and the environment are equally important. The passion and drive I saw in the social entrepreneurs I interviewed is remarkable and will truly inspire others to solve a problem they are most passionate about.

Q: What did you accomplish during your internship?

During my internship this summer I interviewed sixteen student ventures and wrote sixteen features on their ventures for the Social Enterprise Greenhouse Blog. I helped plan and organize the Sport For Change Event Series, a first of its kind event in Rhode Island connecting local sports organizations who use sport to make a social impact. I wrote summaries of student ventures that are featured on the University Initiative page on Social Enterprise Greenhouse website. I also did research for the micro finance organization Capital Good Fund and shadowed the CEO and Founder for a day.

Q: What did you learn during your internship?

During my internship I learned about what social entrepreneurship is and what it means to be a social venture. Through numerous interviews with startups, growing, and established ventures I learned about the inner workings of turning an idea into a company. I learned about the characteristics an entrepreneur must have to succeed and got hands on experience by attending events, doing on-site interviews, and having open discussions with entrepreneurs and staff members at Social Enterprise Greenhouse.

Q: Why was the work you provided important to Social Enterprise Greenhouse?

The work I did this past summer was important to help track the impact Social Enterprise Greenhouse is making and make that information accessible to the general public. All of the ventures I interviews had a direct relationship with Social Enterprise Greenhouse and had benefited from their services in some way. By checking in with later stage ventures, I was able to learn about where they are today and how Social Enterprise Greenhouse can still help their organization. Through the Sports For Change event, I was able to bring more ventures into the Hub to see and learn about the space while creating an even series that will continue on after my time here is done.

Q: How has your perspective on Social Enterprise Greenhouse changed as a result of your internship?

As a result of my internship, I now have a much better understanding of how Social Enterprise Greenhouse operates and what they are doing for Providence. Through their Accelerator, Forum, co-working space, mentor ship, University Initiative, and other support services they are able to develop and help the social entrepreneurship community in Providence and Rhode Island. They are the place to go to for help and guidance if you are interested or want to start a social venture.

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

Since working in this internship, I now know that whatever career I end up having it has to be flexible, creative, and be with a great team. Originally, I thought I could do some sort of office job in a structured setting but now I realize with more flexibility comes more growth and the ability to find great opportunities. My internship gave me enough structure but also enough freedom to learn and grow in creative ways. The people I worked with also made it a great experience and from interviewing social entrepreneurs I learned you can’t do it alone, support and reinforcement from others is essential for success.

Email Caitlyn directly if you want to learn more about her experience and what’s next for her at jessicakauf27@gmail.com.

Social Enterprise Greenhouse has loved having Jessica as an intern and wishes her the best of luck in her future endeavors. She has been an invaluable asset to the team. 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.

Contact: cmackey@segreenhouse.org

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