Our #SummerOfPurpose blog series follows this year’s Cleveland Foundation Summer Interns as they spend 11 weeks working with Cleveland-area nonprofit and public sector organizations. In today’s blog we hear from Samantha Greenfield, who spent her summer at Cleveland Public Theatre, where she provided support in finance, accounting and development to help the organization prepare for its annual external audit.
College: Baldwin Wallace University
Hometown: Lakewood, Ohio
Internship Host Site: Cleveland Public Theatre
What has been the most valuable aspect of your internship experience?
The collaboration of leaders, artists, and people coming together to help the world and the Cleveland community. It was not only the interns in the summer internship program and the people leading the program but people I work with at Cleveland Public Theatre. This collaboration and networking is what has been most valuable to me in my attempt to become a leader and help to inspire others as others have inspired me this summer.
When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing around Cleveland?
I love hiking and biking at all the beautiful parks we have surrounding Northeast Ohio — I live right by Lakewood Park and Rocky River Reservation! I also enjoy going out with friends to all the wonderful restaurants, bars, and cafes Cleveland has to offer. Lastly, I really love participating in local events whether it be beach trash cleanup, a Common Ground event, an art show, or a local concert happening at Mahall’s.
What are your career goals after college?
Ultimately, I want to run my own business: a sustainable/eco-friendly and organic salon that only includes products from local businesses. With that being said, I am trying to find ways of learning about the Cleveland community from a business standpoint in regard to neighborhood revitalization, marketing, and looking from the lens of innovation and growth. Hopefully I can find organizations that can help me do that post-graduation and/or be a part of an organization that I can help grow while trying to grow myself. Overall, I’m striving for freedom for my voice and everyone else’s voice to be heard.
How has this internship helped you grow professionally?
I want to continuously learn more about what Cleveland has to offer and how local businesses operate. By helping the finance and development department at Cleveland Public Theatre, I have learned how a medium-sized nonprofit operates — how many aspects there are and how each department works together. I also have been able to work more autonomously and figure out innovative ways of getting tasks completed. Getting insight into many departments while they plan an enormous event helped me learn how to be an entrepreneur and manager. Additionally, seeing the other host sites was very enlightening since it gave me insight into the different nonprofits and public services Cleveland has within reach.
What’s your favorite public space in Cleveland?
Cuyahoga National Valley Park; it helps me to relax and reflect, which is hard to do even in a smaller city — it’s amazing we have such an amazing national park within such close proximity!
Where would you take a friend who is visiting Cleveland for the first time?
Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cultural Gardens/Wade Oval, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Edgewater Park, The Root Cafe, XYZ, La Dolce Vita, Algebra Teahouse, Lakeview Cemetery, The Fairmount, L.B.M., Westside Market, The Flats, Whiskey Island, and Borderline Cafe.
What advice would you give someone considering applying for the Cleveland Foundation Summer Internship Program?
Be yourself no matter what; if you don’t get into a program or get a job, it wasn’t the right fit. Show your passions and your strengths but be aware of your weaknesses at the same time; self-awareness will almost always guide you in the right direction.