charity: water stories

Meet Our Interns!

This Spring, we welcomed 7 talented interns to our team. From supporting water programs to our people operations, these interns made an incredible impact on charity: water that will be felt long after they’re gone. Get to know our amazing Spring interns!

Abby Smith

Abby Smith

Production Intern

Hometown: Nashville, Michigan
School: Ferris State University
Studying: Business Administration

What is your favorite part of interning at charity: water?

I absolutely love the charity: water culture! There’s a unique and special purpose in everything because the mission is so clear and the people are so driven. I love how excellence is pursued starting with the littlest things; every detail matters. Did I mention how great the people are? Also, the fair-trade coffee and the yummy NYC bagels just top everything off.

What does a typical day at charity: water look like for you?

I come in and I’m greeted by the lovely receptionist, Sydney. I grab a cup of coffee in my favorite little ceramic mug and head to my desk. I open my laptop to check emails, read charity: water updates, and verify my schedule. My daily to-dos change frequently and range from working with our virtual reality headsets to joining meetings and organizing spreadsheets. I try to get coffee with someone once a week and always enjoy my one-on-ones with my manager.

What are you most proud of from your internship at charity: water?

On my first day, I bought a suitcase to send copies of our founder’s book, Thirst, overseas. The task was slightly daunting due to my indecisiveness, but I was keeping in mind several factors: matching brand aesthetics, ROI, and wanting to make a good first impression. With that said, I’m proud of this moment because it symbolizes my thoughtfulness and attention to detail, which are two qualities that have significantly grown since working with my manager and the charity: water team.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a future charity: water intern?

Go for it! Time is short, so make the most of every opportunity! Get outside your comfort zone and know that the team loves to help you learn.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

In 2016, my town broke the Guinness World Record for the World’s Longest Ice Cream Sundae and I was able to be a part of it! It was 3,627 feet long and wrapped around our whole downtown.

Daneesh Shahar

Daneesh Shahar

Revenue Operations Intern

Hometown: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
School: New York University
Studying: Business

What is your favorite part of interning at charity: water?

My team! I feel incredibly fortunate to be given both guidance and autonomy at work. They’re all there to help me but they’ve also given me the space to experiment, explore, and fail on my own. Besides that, they’re a group of some of the most sincere, hopeful, and motivated people I’ve ever met, which makes coming to work all the more enjoyable.

What does a typical day at charity: water look like for you?

I have a set of recurring tasks every day which include, among other things, donor research and building excel sheets. My day is also typically occupied by meetings, Salesforce working sessions, coffee chats, and other ad-hoc tasks. Aside from my core responsibilities, I also work on larger solo or group projects throughout the week.

What are you most proud of from your internship at charity: water?

It’s not a singular moment or project, but I’m most proud of how well I’ve meshed with my team and the people around me.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a future charity: water intern?

Be curious and try to meet with as many people from different teams as possible!

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

I once moved to 4 different schools within 2 years (because my family relocated a lot)!

Michelle Carney

Michelle Carney

People and Culture Intern

Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
School: Columbia University
Studying: M.S. in Nonprofit Management

What is your favorite part of interning at charity: water?

The culture! The charity: water team feels like family and you can tell everyone absolutely loves what they do. It’s a great place to grow because you’re encouraged to be creative and provide your input, but it’s also okay to fail while you’re trying something new. Your team will be there to support you and guide you no matter what!

What does a typical day at charity: water look like for you?

When I arrive at the office I grab my laptop and send out birthday or anniversary celebration emails and respond to emails about internships or job opportunities. Then, I start working on any major projects such as organizing learning opportunities for interns or building the intern resource website. My day also always involves chatting with the People & Culture team or other interns over coffee or free snacks.

What are you most proud of from your internship at charity: water?

I had the opportunity to take the lead on redesigning the intern resource guide. My manager gave me the freedom to create whatever I thought would be best, and I’m now in the process of building a Google site for interns and managers. It’s exciting to have a legacy project that I designed and created myself!

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a future charity: water intern?

Don’t be afraid to push yourself out of your comfort zone and get to know the whole team! Attend brown bags, stay for a movie night, or set up weekly coffee chats.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

I jumped off the world’s highest bungee bridge just outside of Cape Town, South Africa.

Greta Hanten

Greta Hanten

People and Culture Intern

Hometown: Minneapolis, Minnesota
School: The King’s College
Studying: Politics, Philosophy, & Economics

What is your favorite part of interning at charity: water?

The company culture is so warm and welcoming! Getting to know the people on my team has been amazing and my role is constantly changing and evolving. My team was even there to see me try my first mango, thanks to Sean Lee!

What does a typical day at charity: water look like for you?

I always start my day meeting with Jordan, my amazing manager, to talk over any updates or new projects. The fun thing about recruitment is that it changes every day! Some days are packed with candidate communication and emails, others are more focused on metrics, and it always involves some kind of upkeep for our external platforms! Lots of snack breaks, too.

What are you most proud of from your internship at charity: water?

How we present ourselves as an organization and connect with candidates on our job boards. Also finally putting a password on my phone - thanks to Stefan’s IT training!!

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a future charity: water intern?

Don’t be afraid to ask a question if you don’t know something or if you make a mistake! Everyone wants to see you succeed and the people on your team will help you learn from those mistakes.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

I secretly hate handshakes because my hands are always clammy!

Beatrice Shlansky

Beatrice

Water Programs Intern

Hometown: Ferrisburgh, Vermont
School: Columbia University
Studying: History

What is your favorite part of interning at charity: water?

The culture! Everyone here has made me feel so welcomed. I have learned so much, and I value how supportive and helpful everyone is. It has felt comfortable from the start, and I’m grateful for how willing people are to talk to me about anything!

What does a typical day at charity: water look like for you?

I usually get to the office in the afternoon (or log on now that everything is remote) after my classes. I spend some time getting oriented and checking what’s on my to-do list. Lately, I’ve been working on a lot of grant completion reports and photo reviews and I spend most of my time working on these.

What are you most proud of from your internship at charity: water?

I’m most proud of how much I’ve learned and knowing how much of the work I am completing is making a difference. Being at charity: water means not just completing the projects, but also understanding the motivation and process behind it. It’s been really rewarding to learn about some of the regions charity: water’s work is performed in, and I’m proud of how much I’ve gained in just doing tasks as simple as basic photo reviews.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a future charity: water intern?

Be willing to reach out! I think I was scared to reach out to people initially because I was scared that I was bothering people. Yet you’ll most likely find everyone is much more friendly than you think and way more willing to sit down and talk to you about your interests. I’ve found these chats so rewarding and I recommend you try to talk to as many people as you can!

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

I am allergic to egg, dairy, peanuts and all other nuts, but I am an avid baker! I love to experiment in the kitchen and I am currently learning cake decorating!

Melissa Hurtado

Melissa

Monitoring & Evaluation Intern

Hometown: Havana, Cuba
School: Hunter College
Studying: Statistics and Applied Math

What is your favorite part of interning at charity: water?

Getting to learn about survey data and working with real databases!

What does a typical day at charity: water look like for you?

As soon as I get into the office, I set up my desk with fresh hot coffee and sparkling water. At the beginning of the week, I meet one-on-one with my Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) manager to set priorities for the week and resolve any questions that I might have. My big projects involve cleaning datasets and using RStudio to analyze the data and compute meaningful new variables. These usually take longer to complete so I work on them for weeks at a time, sending completed parts of it to the M&E team as I go. Around 2 p.m., I dig through the staff fridge for cheese and fruit and have lunch on a beanbag chair or on a table in the Flex Space. Once a week, I also take over reception and help with administrative duties, which is refreshingly fun! Around 6 p.m., I quickly check in with my supervisor and head home for the day.

What are you most proud of from your internship at charity: water?

I’m proud of learning how to make judgement calls to clean survey data! I was a bit intimidated by the process at first but my supervisor reminded me that survey data is imperfect and the more that I practice, the more intuitive these calls become.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a future charity: water intern?

Get as involved as possible to really make the most out of your experience!

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

I speak three languages and love to travel!

Josh Verrier

Josh V

Office of the CEO Intern

Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
School: The King’s College
Studying: Media, Culture, and the Arts

What is your favorite part of interning at charity: water?

Being a part of the team. Having the opportunity to work alongside amazing people has made my time at charity: water amazing. The culture is unlike anything else I’ve experienced.

What does a typical day at charity: water look like for you?

I start by checking my email to see if there are any tasks that are urgent or time sensitive. Most of my work consists of tracking meetings, researching travel plans and creating itineraries, and prepping / shipping Thirst books. Most days in the office I get to meet with other staff members and learn more about them and what they do. I am always excited to come into the office cause I know it’ll be a great day.

What are you most proud of from your internship at charity: water?

Being able to contribute to the success of the organization. charity: water is a really special place and being able to be play a small part in the mission and work makes me proud.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a future charity: water intern?

Meet with as many people as you can. There is so much to learn from others on the team and they are always willing to pour into you.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

I love all things aviation. If I could fly every week I would. My goal is to one day have airline status.