Girls Who Invest program intern pursuing interests in finance, tackling social inequity - The Kresge Foundation
The Kresge Foundation recently kicked off the sixth year of its summer internship program after a break in 2020 due to COVID-19. Every summer Kresge welcomes a cohort of interns and fellows to work at the foundation for approximately 10 weeks. Internships are designed for undergraduate students, while fellowships are intended for graduate students. During their time at the foundation, interns and fellows are embedded within departments and work closely with foundation staff to experience what it is like to work in philanthropy as a grantmaker or as an operational team member. For summer 2021, Kresge has welcomed four interns to the foundation.
In this QA, Angelina Astillero discusses how she came to Kresge through the national Girls Who Invest program, which placed her in the foundation’s Investment Office. She also shares what she hopes to learn from the internship, and what is in store for her as a rising junior studying international political economy at Scripps College, a women’s college in the Claremont Colleges consortium in California.
Kresge: Why were you interested in participating in Girls Who Invest, which placed you at The Kresge Foundation?
Angelina Astillero: I came to Kresge through the Girls Who Invest summer program. Girls Who Invest is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing women’s representation in the asset management industry. Its goal is to have 30% of the world’s investable capital managed by women by 2030. It’s a great program that has a four-week educational component taught by Wharton professors to introduce you to basic finance and accounting skills, and then we’re paired with a partner organization, like Kresge, for a six-to-seven-week internship. I had no control over where I’d end up, but because of my personal interests in tackling issues of inequity and advancing opportunities in underserved communities, I’m fortunate to be placed at Kresge. I’m also excited to learn more about endowments and foundations.
I wanted to participate in the program because I don’t come from a traditional finance or accounting background. No one in my family knows about the industry, and my college does not offer a traditional business major. So, I wanted the opportunity to learn about the field of finance and the range of career opportunities available.
Kresge: What in particular do you wish to learn from your Kresge experience this summer?
Angelina Astillero: There’s so much I want to learn. I’m only here for a short period of time, but my ultimate goal is to really learn what I like – and what I don’t like – about the finance industry and the endowment/foundation space. I also want to strengthen some of my technical skills in Excel and other programs. I’m excited to learn about other people in the Kresge Investment Office and their experience working for a private foundation. Although we are working in a virtual environment, the team has been really welcoming. It’s been a great experience so far.
Kresge: What’s next after your Kresge internship?
Angelina Astillero: After being away from my college for over a year due to the pandemic, I’ll finally be returning to in-person learning at Scripps after this internship. I’m looking forward to a return to normalcy. I’m also hoping to do a junior year abroad program in South Africa and Argentina in the spring. It’s a program that studies cities through the prism of social justice – which is an exciting continuation of what I’ve learned through Kresge’s focus on opportunity in America’s cities.
Kresge: It’s been a difficult year and a half with the pandemic. What’s brought you hope during this time?
Angelina Astillero: I’ve just been trying to focus on the little things every day – whether it be beautiful weather outside or finishing a good book. I’ve also tried to celebrate what’s been achieved during this pandemic. My younger brother graduated from high school this past June. It didn’t look like a typical graduation, but it really reminded me of how exciting it is to reach a milestone and what’s ahead for him. I’m excited for him – and what’s ahead for all of us.