Student Profiles

Kyle Friend

BSILR '18

Credit Internship Program

Jobs with Justice

In Fall 2016, I had the incredible opportunity to work as a Research intern at Jobs with Justice. During my time with the union, I really appreciated the substantial level of autonomy of my work. My supervisor allowed me to plan the entirety of a two day conference for nearly 100 union nurses at Rutgers.  I organized alongside Rutgers faculty as JwJ's sole organizer for the event. We had a dozen panels on safe staffing, the opioid crisis, and multi-union legislative coalitions; about three dozen panellists; and RNs/researchers/union employees from across the U.S. (including one from Ithaca who was fired for organizing at Cayuga Medical Center).  It was extremely stressful -- but so, so, so worth it!  No one hovered over me, no one checked in on my progress every five minutes, and no one questioned my ability to get the work done. I can proudly say it was a tremendous success.

I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to leverage the planning and organizing skills I have honed in at the ILR School and apply them to something meaningful.   Jobs with Justice provided me with a great professional experience. I completed research, organized events, went to direct actions. I absolutely would recommend that ILR students apply for an internship with this organization.

My experience at Jobs for Justice strengthen my interest in working at the intersection of labor, politics, and communications for a few years, ideally on Capitol Hill, and then pursue a Master’s degree in Public Policy or Political Communication. Anyone who is on the fence of whether or not they should do a credit internship, I would highly recommend it. For me, living and working in D.C. in the midst of the 2016 election was an unforgettable experience, especially coming from upstate New York, where the pace of life is a lot slower.