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 Matthew Compan, who is working with the City of Euclid’s Planning and Development Department where he is assisting with the implementation of various projects, including building a database of businesses, researching economic development tools for small businesses and the establishment of a Special Improvement District (SID) downtown.
College: The Ohio State University
Hometown: North Royalton, Ohio
Internship Host Site: City of Euclid – Department of Planning and Development
Why did you initially decide to participate in the Cleveland Foundation Summer Internship Program?
The combination of the foundation-provided networking and relevant career experience was a significant draw for me. The cohort aspect also provided a social dimension that provoked my interest.
What has been the most valuable aspect of your internship experience?
Working with local nonprofit leaders at the foundation in addition to local government leaders at the City of Euclid has given me a multidimensional public service experience that has been extremely valuable. Both institutions work for the common good and complement each other to great effect, yet are extremely different.
When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing around Cleveland?
I love running or biking in the Metroparks, in addition to meeting up with friends in the Flats or Ohio City.
What are your career goals after college?
Getting involved in diplomacy, nonprofit, or law-related practices has always been of interest to me. I am currently studying for the LSAT as well as applying to international fellowships. Above all, working in the public interest would be my highest priority.
How has this internship helped you grow professionally?
Professionally, I believe that my internship site has helped me hone the technical and interpersonal skills required to succeed in public service positions. In addition, the professional connections I have made in Euclid and at the foundation have opened up many future opportunities to me.
How has this internship helped you grow personally?
Personally, this internship has been a boon for my self-confidence. Realizing that I could positively contribute in a professional setting and turn some of my ideas into actionable projects has definitely prepared me for today’s high energy labor market.
What’s your favorite public space in Cleveland?
The Cleveland Museum of Art is a great place for me to indulge my appreciation for art history (and remains an ideal date spot).
Where would you take a friend who is visiting Cleveland for the first time?
Cultural amenities around Public Square, a trip to the lakefront, and dinner in the Flats.
What advice would you give to someone considering applying for the Cleveland Foundation Summer Internship program?
Stand out and be yourself! While an impressive resume and relevant experience are important qualifiers, it’s just as important to be comfortable in your own skin.