S9 Interns

Intern Insights: Tell us about your internship!

STRATA9 is committed to providing meaningful internship opportunities to motivated scholars seeking to learn about social impact consulting. All of our internships are paid and provide students with a hands-on learning experience that values diversity, curiosity, and trusted tools for early professional growth. The next round of internship applications closes April 1, 2022. We encourage students to apply for the opportunity that fits their interests and professional goals. 

Want to learn more? 

Recently, two of our interns, Sahiba, Policy & Research Intern, and Ava, Social Media Intern, met to discuss and reflect on their internship experience at STRATA9. Both interns are approaching critical milestones in their academic and professional careers, as Sahiba will be graduating from American University this May and Ava will be graduating from high school and attending North Carolina State University in the fall. Both Sahiba and Ava have excelled in their contributions to STRATA9 and left lasting marks on our committed work with changemakers. We hope you enjoy their conversation. 

Sahiba: Hi Ava, why don’t we start by telling me a bit of yourself.

Ava: Hi Sahiba! My name is Ava Sellers, and I am an intern for STRATA9’s social media department. I am a senior in high school in Northern Virginia and getting ready to graduate from high school!

Sahiba: Congratulations! I remember my senior year of high school, and it’s both exciting and scary. What are you most looking forward to after graduation?

Ava: I have always dreamed of experiencing a new place. I love Northern Virginia; however, I have only experienced Northern Virginia. Living on my own and in a new environment will be an exciting opportunity to meet new people, live somewhere else, and immerse myself in a new culture.

Sahiba: Let’s talk about your work at STRATA9. What does your job entail? 

Ava: I work within the Communications Department. I get mentorship and support from Minzi Thomas and Judith Kirkikis.  I design and create social media engagement content in support of client initiatives. In doing this work, I’ve learned how to leverage and increase engagement on different social media platforms, especially TikTok, which is pretty new for many of our clients. I have improved my ability to work on various graphic design programs. 

Sahiba: What other skills have you gained during your internship?

Ava: I have improved my communication skills. STRATA9 emphasizes communication across the entire team, which allows me to learn from both leadership and my department colleagues. Working across groups has also helped me with my professional skills and taught me about a thriving office culture.  

Sahiba: It is a great internship to develop professional skills. Have your supervisors mentored you throughout your experience?

Ava: Judith has helped me understand how to conduct outreach with content creators and different research trends to get more attention for our client campaigns. We’re close in age, so she’s also been a great support to me in learning to work with more experienced professionals.  

Sahiba: Judith is super helpful and kind! I enjoy working with her as well. Tell me what else you appreciate about STRATA9. How do you think it will help you in the long term?

Ava: I enjoy working with nonprofits, and I hope to have a career in this sector in the future. STRATA9’s internship program has helped me learn how nonprofits work and provides assignments focused on people in need. I hope to continue growing my skills and knowledge within this sector.  This has been a great experience that I will take with me as I start college in the fall at North Carolina State University. There are not a lot of paid internship opportunities for high school students in professional environments, so I am grateful for my experience on the S9 team. I want to encourage students to consider applying this summer! 

Sahiba: Congratulations on your college acceptances, Ava! I am so excited to hear that you will be at NC State next fall. 

Ava: Okay, now it’s your turn. I want to learn a little more about you. 

Sahiba: I am a senior at American University in Washington, DC, studying Economics and International Relations. I have a lot of interest and emerging experience in economic research. I joined STRATA9 last year as part of their college internship program. 

Ava: You’re a senior too! What are your short and long-term goals after graduation?

Sahiba: I hope to continue my work in consulting and research, specifically with economics, and later on pursue a Ph.D. in economics.

Ava: A Ph.D. is impressive. So tell me, what kind of work do you do with STRATA9? 

Sahiba: I work in the policy department under Kristin Wilson, Director of Policy & Research. I research data and policies for client projects and work on research for publications. I work on issues supporting economic mobility, free college, veterans policy, career transitions, nonprofit management, and key performance indicators. 

Ava: And how does this work help with your career goals?

Sahiba: I am gaining valuable professional experience researching, analyzing, and synthesizing data that supports mission-driven organizations. I am also learning the importance of accurate and quality data. By working with multiple clients and projects, I’m also learning about management consulting. 

Ava: I can see how this internship is helpful for your future career. How about skills? What are the top skills that you have gained from this internship?

Sahiba: I think I’ve gained more advanced research skills by having the opportunity to critically think about data, see the flaws in them, and navigate where to find the pieces of information that can explain gaps.  I have learned about the importance of storytelling through reports and policy briefs. I have become more detail-oriented since I am working with large sets of data, and I am more careful when collecting and organizing data to ensure accuracy. I see how each action impacts the work of our team, our clients, and the country. 

Ava: It is undoubtedly different from writing a research paper for school. So you’re graduating soon, what are you looking forward to after graduation?

Sahiba: Mostly, I am looking forward to having complete independence. It is scary, but I am beginning that transition. Also, just starting a full-time job is exciting. STRATA9 has been helpful with that transition since I am working in a professional environment right before I transition out of school to a full-time job.  I feel ready. 


In 2021, STRATA9 launched a formal internship program that is open to college and high school students.  This paid internship opportunity is intended to provide real-world experience to scholars seeking to learn about social impact consulting.  We believe that transitions from school to first-time, full-time work can be bolstered through meaningful internship programs.

Following their Spring 2022 graduations, Ava and Sahiba will be leaving STRATA9 to pursue the next steps of their educational and career pathways. On behalf of the STRATA9 team, we thank them both for their commitment and contributions and wish them great success in the future. 

We are actively seeking interns to support our Policy and Communications departments! We encourage you to share these vacancies with your networks. You can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedInSubmit your resume and cover letter to colettechelf@strata9.com.  The application deadline is April 1st. Learn more about these positions here: 

- Policy Intern (Postsecondary)

- Communications & Social Media Intern (High School)

At STRATA9, above all, we prioritize our client’s vision and mission. Your success is important to us!  Please visit our website or contact us here to learn more about our services.