Testimonial by Katherine Waller:

“I moved from Houston to New York this summer to get an internship, be closer to family, and work on my thesis. Because of the complications of making such a drastic move for only three or four months, I wasn’t able to firmly decide on my summer plans until late April. By that time most of the resources for internships, especially here in New York, are off limits; all of the spaces offered had been filled earlier in the year. Part of my plan in making the move, however, was to take advantage of all of the connections my family could offer me. After sifting through endless listings of filled internships, I decided to apply use my family’s connections not only to find parking for my car but for a job as well.

My grandmother, who had already agreed to let me use her apartment as a home base while in the city, provided the connection with the I Can Still Do That Foundation and my mother helped put me in touch. I contacted them to see what I could do with their help. Dan, the Executive Director of the Foundation, recommended a few options for me and said that he’d reach out to people he knew on my behalf. In the interim, per his suggestion, I explored the I Can Still Do That website and Women Mentor Women to see what I could find there. Eventually, after a few weeks of emailing and calling from Houston, I had options.

Talking to the I Can Still Do That Foundation helped me network with people I never would have been able to meet otherwise. Finding an internship became a matter of getting in touch with and meeting people, instead of the tedious and unsuccessful searching I’d done through online databases. the I Can Still Do That Foundation connected me with, among others, Michael Pollock (of pollock½spark), who put me in touch with several people. Finally I found just what I had been looking for: a research internship with Gordon Platt (Gotham Media Ventures) that is interesting and new but also allows me the flexibility I need to be able to develop my thesis over the summer. With my internship, I’m becoming a bit of an expert on things that I never would have learned about on my own and gaining invaluable connections. I’m also still working with Michael; after I met and spoke with him in person, he mentioned that he’d be interested in my opinion on some matters if I found time.

When I started to ask around about internships, I felt like I was playing six degrees of Kevin Bacon. I wasn’t sure that a connection I made through my grandmother (through whom, by the way, I can connect myself to Kevin Bacon in just five steps) would really result in a job or internship. It seemed far-fetched. I realized as I kept searching, however, that if I put myself out there and displayed both my interest and determination to find something, other people were willing to pass along my resume, meet with me, advise me, and generally direct me toward what I needed. It wouldn’t have been possible to get as far as I have—working with two different companies and meeting with people who’ve given me advice on everything from my resume to my thesis—if I hadn’t made that first connection with the I Can Still Do That Foundation.

-Katherine Waller

“Student at Rice University”