Posted on October 6, 2016 by Joanna Carver

Thanks to a generous $50,000 donation by BB&T, 12 business students received invaluable experience working at local nonprofit organizations.

BB&T Logo on burgundy backgroundThrough the BB&T Nonprofit Internship Program, business students interned this summer at Boys and Girls Clubs of San Antonio, Goodwill of San Antonio, San Antonio Education Partnership, National Association of Latino Community Asset Builders, Catholic Charities, and Family Service Association.

Nelson Morales, a senior majoring in marketing, interned at the San Antonio Education Partnership. As part of his internship, he executed an innovative rebranding project. Through research efforts such as interviews and focus groups, Morales utilized his marketing background to develop an updated, original logo for them. When Morales presented his logo to their Board of Directors, he received an amazed yet approving reaction.

“When I presented the logo, my supervisor told the members of the board that I created it, and the room fell silent before they all began clapping for me. It was a cool experience,” Morales said.

The new logo was the outcome of thorough research that involved conducting interviews, recording observations and taking surveys of stakeholders from managers to students and alumni to gain insight into their perceptions of the organization.

San Antonio education logo “It was about reconciling everything into a logo that represented what we gathered from our research,” he said. For example, [on the logo] the San Antonio skyline represents community, education is at the forefront and flows outward and inward toward the city and the world,” Morales said.

In addition to creating a unique logo that will be used for various purposes, Morales learned how to improve his professional development skills and better employ time management.

“I hadn’t participated in a focus group before, but by the end of the internship, I directed one,” Morales said. “It went off without a hitch, and we received helpful feedback, which gave me a lot of confidence.”

Time management was useful to Morales as he balanced his internship with a summer course. “It was definitely a balancing act, and it added to the experience,” Morales said. “I arrived early to my internship, did my work for the day and drove to campus for class every weekday, but it was a worthwhile experience.”

Although his internship required discipline and a strong work ethic, Morales enjoyed the company of his coworkers and had a great time.

“The greatest thing about the internship was working in a group,” he said. “There were interns from UTSA and other schools. We collaborated often and I made some friends along the way. The advisors were especially inspiring because they love what they do.”

Dianne Gonzalez Photo Dianne Gonzalez, a senior majoring in marketing, similarly learned valuable lessons and skills while using her strengths to produce meaningful work as an intern for Goodwill Industries of San Antonio.

The bulk of Gonzalez’ internship projects included conducting a social media analysis on Goodwill San Antonio’s social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter.

Another project Gonzalez worked on involved creating and implementing eight Goodwill San Antonio store customer experience audits with another UTSA College of Business intern. She presented her findings to her supervisor, the Director of Digital Marketing, and to the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Development.

She also created marketing materials for special events and community partnerships and assisted in creating an invitation list and gallery presentation for the Goodwill San Antonio 71st anniversary celebration.

One of the most enlightening parts of Gonzalez’s internship was a validation of her intended profession. “This internship has reassured me that marketing is the career path for me. The Goodwill San Antonio mission truly speaks to my heart, and truly helps change lives through the power of work,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez’ favorite aspect of her internship, other than learning essential marketing skills, was witnessing firsthand the mission of Goodwill. “Looking back, hearing testimonials from students from the Good Careers Academy has been one of the most touching moments throughout my internship,” she said.

Remarkably, Gonzalez’ internship, which was set to end in July, was extended to the end of September based on her performance. She will shadow the President and CEO of Goodwill San Antonio, a rare opportunity for interns.

“I am amazed that I get to spend one-on-one time with the CEO, and I’m eager to learn more about his vision for the agency,” Gonzalez said.

Giselle Villalpando—

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— Joanna Carver