Emily Rodriguez ’24

KIPP Philadelphia Public Schools, Philadelphia, PA

This summer, I had the opportunity to work as a Regional Operations intern for the KIPP Philadelphia school district. Coming from a family of educators, I have always been interested in pursuing a career in the field, but I wanted to explore the different avenues that are possible in education.

A typical day of work.

KIPP is an organization that creates free college preparatory schools in low income areas, with the mission of aiding the students in acquiring a college education. Since the organization targets marginalized communities, KIPP places an emphasis on diversity and addressing many of the inequities faced by its communities that its schools serve. KIPP Philadelphia Public Schools is a district compromised of six charter schools with three elementary schools, two middle schools, and a high school, offering a K-12 education to children in the area.

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to work alongside the Regional Compliance Manager and the Regional Operations Team. Most of my responsibilities revolved around utilizing government websites to input required information for the upcoming school year. Some of my projects included creating state ID’s for new students and finalizing annual reports mandated by the state. Such projects gave me insight into the operations of public schools and the requirements from the government placed on public schools. Despite the sometimes frustrating and, at times, confusing systems I was working with, I really enjoyed the experience of working with the government systems and gaining more of an understanding of what is expected of the Regional Operations Team.

I also aided with some regional-level projects, and I gained more experience with data input. I learned more about some of the programs used to streamline operations for the district, such as PowerSchool. My supervisor was very receptive to finding projects for me that I was interested in completing, and he gave me many opportunities to strengthen my abilities in programs such as Excel. He taught me a lot of shortcuts and formulas, which helped immensely with projects where I had to create IDs and email addresses for new staff and new students.

Not only did I gain invaluable experience from these projects I worked on, I also had the opportunity to learn from employees on the KIPP team. Speaking to my manager, I was given helpful advice regarding entering the education field and what likely steps I would need to take if I were interested in working on regional duties. Everyone I spoke to from KIPP Philadelphia showed clear enthusiasm and passion for their jobs, which made me more excited about pursuing a career in the field. As I continue my studies at Williams, I know that my experience this summer has definitely encouraged me to continue looking into education-related classes and work opportunities.

I am incredibly grateful for Jeffrey Hines ’77 and his support of this internship. I would also like to thank the ’68 Center for Career Exploration for their help and guidance. The Alumni Sponsored Internship Program made this summer experience possible, which I greatly appreciate.