Summer of Purpose Alumni Reflections: Shneur Kushner

In this #SummerOfPurpose blog, we catch up with Cleveland Foundation Summer Internship Program alum Shneur Kushner, who shares his reflections on his 2020 internship at Union Miles Development Corporation. Shneur now works as a special projects officer at Slavic Village Development where he helps encourage future leaders as an intern supervisor. 

What interested you about the internship program? 

I had worked in the public sector for an internship and for the private sector in general, I was really interested in getting to see what work-life was like in a nonprofit, and this internship does just that. 

What was the most valuable part of your internship experience?

A lot of my summer was virtual, since it was at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, but I really loved working with my cohort and my supervisor, Amanda Cramer, at Union Miles. Amanda has been a fantastic mentor for me and has helped me grow into my current role at Slavic Village Development.

What was the most challenging part of your internship experience?

Definitely the virtual aspect. It was hard to make lasting connections with the cohort. I think we did a good job overall and even got creative and made a video for our last session as a reference to Zoom culture, but it was still difficult to start off the summer like that.

How did your internship help guide you through your supervisor role?

Amanda taught me a lot about not just how to plan, but also how to talk with residents and implement planning efforts. I take some of the lessons Amanda taught me to work every day and I am a better employee and person for it.

How did your role as an intern inform your career?

It’s funny, one of the main projects I worked on with Union Miles was a partnership with Slavic Village Development, Cleveland Metroparks, and Cuyahoga Greenways on the expansion of a multi-use path through Union Miles connected to Slavic Village. Because of this work, I was able to get a job at Slavic Village Development as the Special Projects Officer.

What advice would you give someone looking to intern? 

The connections you make here are not just with your peers in your cohort, or internally within your organization, they are external with the Cleveland Foundation and with all the partners you meet and work with outside of your host site. Get out there and network, you never know who might be watching.

Learn more about spending a #SummerOfPurpose as a Cleveland Foundation intern.