Graphic that includes The Improve Group logo the article's title and a headline that states "Building a robust and diverse talent pool of evaluators in the field"

Although summer has reached the halfway mark, we can’t let it go by without reflecting on the experiences of our recent interns—Audrey McIntyre and Michael Prideaux.

Our interns over the 2016-17 academic year, Audrey and Michael, worked on team projects for the Angel Foundation, the Highland Friendship Club, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, and our work with Minnesota’s Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs (ATOD) grantees.

Both Audrey and Michael said that interaction with clients and involvement in project work were highlights of their internships.

Audrey said, “I loved that I was able to do work on real client projects, and I was able to learn a lot about topics other than evaluation just from working on those different projects.” And, she added, “I didn't feel looked down on because I was just an intern. It was easy to ask questions.”

Michael said while other internships might involve a lot of “busy work,” his work at IG was fulfilling and really made an impact.

“We did a lot of brainstorming, problem-solving, and producing things, which made a difference and contributed to the team," Michael said. "That was by far the thing I loved most about the internship.”

Both became true “IG-ers” during their time here, designing surveys, conducting interviews, analyzing data, and helping clients understand findings. In their final week, Audrey and Michael designed and facilitated a staff conversation on how identity can interact with evaluation work. 

The Improve Group CEO Leah Goldstein Moses said the organization benefited from their perspectives as community members.

Intern Quote block“Michael and Audrey contributed to our team in just the ways we hoped – they were eager to learn and try new things, and had fresh ideas from their recent school and life experiences. We were lucky to have them work with us this year!”

The Improve Group has served as a training ground and partner for interns for most of our 17-year history, and we are committed to ongoing learning, professional development, and internal growth opportunities for them and our staff. Our goal is to support them as they navigate the field of evaluation and answer some career questions: Do they want to be an evaluator? What areas excite or challenge them? What relationships are they building now that could lead to opportunities for a future in this field or others?

Interested in applying for an internship at The Improve Group? Through community partnerships and outreach, we are expanding our program to include interns from a variety of backgrounds, degree programs, and interest areas. We offer academic-year and summer internships, and post opportunities on our Careers page.

Michael and Audrey both deepened their interest in evaluation through their internships, which serves our mission of growing the evaluation field.

“Not having any real experience in it, evaluation just sounded interesting,” Audrey said. “But I wasn't expecting to love it as much as I did.”

At The Improve Group, we are devoted to encouraging interest in evaluation and training young evaluators. This is also a personal mission of CEO Leah Goldstein Moses, who hopes to have more opportunities to do this work if elected as a Board Member-at-Large for the American Evaluation Association.