What led you to apply for the Data Development Internship?
"I was a data intern this past year for the BJC and I’m a CS major. Computer science is a really big field right now, so I wanted to use computer science skills and build them up in an organization that I really care about."
What are you working on this summer?
"I’m taking information and data from our engagement system "Heart" and importing it into the donor database system- LGL. I’m looking for trends in data to improve our fundraising efforts. I get to see the BJC outreach and think critically about how it can change based on the data we’re seeing."
Does this internship connect to your academic/professional goals?
"Like I mentioned, I'm a CS major, and it gives me some good hard skills to develop in that field. This [internship] isn’t a whole lot of data science but it definitely is making me think more about data trends in general. All of the COVID maps and graphs and data right now are so cool to me and eventually I want to be able to extract trends and understand it all. It would be even cooler to know how to find accurate and inaccurate trends in data."
What's it like having an internship during COVID?
"It’s been nice to have something productive and structured to do this summer. I’m lucky to have something to do, so many people had their internships and jobs cancelled. It’s not that I love doing everything virtually, but I’m finding a lot of upsides to it."
You've been attending Cohort Learning Sessions with staff, what's something you've learned from one of those sessions that resonates with you?
"I really liked the self-care sheet and I need to look at it more. Being an RA we spent a whole day training on self-care but being in COVID times, I’ve realized how important it really is. Talking about self care and just manifesting your goals and noticing the areas you’re lacking in is really good. It’s been good to have a list of things I can do to address self care. Some of the things on the checklist I had never even considered as self-care but it was interesting to think of them in that way."
What's something you've learned about yourself?
"I think through COVID I’m getting to understand life is short and I should do things I really want to do and advocate for myself. I didn’t have plans for the summer and I just applied for a bunch of things, and then I had a lot going on and I learned how to advocate my needs and take a step back and communicate with different people to be more successful. I'm so glad I've learned to advocate for myself."
Rena is a rising third year Computer Science & Environmental Science major, analyzing data to help improve the BJC's student engagement and donor outreach. Since coming to UVA, Rena has taken advantage of many Hillel programs including the Jewish Learning Fellowship and the Leadership Development Program. Last year she was the data intern and social events intern for the BJC and also served as a resident advisor for UVA HRL. Rena will be a member of the programming internship cohort this year, where her focus will be on special events.
The Brody Jewish Center, Hillel at the University of Virginia, is the focal point in a renaissance of Jewish life for the 1,000 Jewish students on Grounds.