http://www.causeusa.org

Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment (CAUSE)

Intern

June - August 2021 • Los Angeles, CA

What I liked

I liked the wide variety of projects and assignments that were offered.

What I wish was different

Advice

Be sure that you take initiative and really contemplate what you are interested in studying further.
Be the first to mark this as helpful

Leadership Academy Intern

June - August 2017 • Pasadena, CA

What I liked

The Leadership Academy is not a mere summer internship program. It is unique because of its focus on Asian and Pacific American issues, its leadership, and its guiding principle: knowledge, access, and network. CAUSE’s unique focus on Asian and Pacific American (APA) issues is critical because the APA community is one of America’s fastest-growing racial groups. Representation and leadership should keep pace with changing demographics. The CAUSE Leadership Academy distinguishes itself as a personable experience, and that’s because of the efforts of CAUSE Board and staff members. It’s easy for an internship program to pass their interns on to their internship placements, without thought about other programming, but CAUSE was dedicated to crafting a worthwhile and formative summer internship. For example, to build comradery within the Leadership Academy, CAUSE sponsored a retreat to Temecula, CA during orientation week. CAUSE staff accompanied us, and it is because of their teambuilding efforts that my interns and I became more than just interns—we emerged from the retreat as a true cohort. The retreat set the tone for the rest of the internship program; learning about community issues and navigating the political world is much easier when you’re surrounded by friends. I am thankful to the leadership at CAUSE for seeing Leadership Academy interns as more than just interns. CAUSE takes into account the whole person, and Board and staff members have made themselves accessible so that interns are constantly supported throughout the program. Interns thrive within the program, because CAUSE Board and staff members have crafted a program that is wholeheartedly supportive. Since returning to Wellesley, I have noticeably grown from the Leadership Academy experience. My summer experience with CAUSE has left me with the knowledge and confidence to not only thrive in the political arena, but also at Wellesley or in any industry. I find myself using the communication skills I sharpened at CAUSE networking receptions during classroom discussions and office hour appointments, and am more willing to reach out to adults and people of interest.

What I wish was different

My weekly civic leadership workshops and series of District meetings on current issues were very informative, but also very sobering. As the program progressed, I could feel myself becoming discouraged at the sheer magnitude of issues in the area. This feeling was mitigated during the last week of the internship because of our last civic leadership workshop on going forward beyond the internship and steps for being a steward for the community. Therefore, while I may have exited the program a bit more pessimistic about the nature of politics, I am no longer naive about the process and am prepared to meet the onslaught of issues.

Advice

You'll get the most out of the internship if you take advantage of every single opportunity that comes up to interact with your colleagues or supervisors. This effort could be as small as grabbing lunch with a coworker every single day (you should never sit alone because these lunch time opportunities are perfect chances to have candid discussions about the work environment and industry) or as big as working on weekends/after 5pm for field events or networking events. At these events, don't be afraid to assert yourself--shake hands, grab business cards, and add them on LinkedIn afterwards. Meanwhile, don't be afraid to use the CAUSE name (it's reputable around the APA community in the LA area) to establish your position in any event or setting. Most importantly, establish real and personal connections with your direct supervisor/coworkers/CAUSE staff. They're approachable people and great connections.
Be the first to mark this as helpful

CAUSE Leadership Academy Intern

June - August 2018 • Los Angeles, CA

What I liked

Being a part of the CAUSE Leadership Academy was like being accepted to two internships at the same time. Tuesday through Thursday I was placed with Congresswoman Grace F. Napolitano's District Office where I was able to help with casework that encompassed areas such as immigration, travel visas, and veteran related issues. Through the leadership academy, my Mondays and Fridays were filled with meetings of some promient members of the Asian Pacific American community in the Los Angeles area.

What I wish was different

I wish that I would have been exposed to more Asian Pacific American history so that I could have put a lot of the conversations that we were having into better context.

Advice

For those who pursue this internship in the future, I highly suggest that you take the opportunities that are provided outside of the regular leadership academy and placement schedule. These opportunities will allow you as an intern to experience the broader Asian Pacific American experience and will allow you to bond more with your fellow cohort members.
1 person found this helpful