David Montanez '22 | University of Portland

David Montanez '22

Major: Business FinanceDavid Montanez at Make-A-Wish Oregon

EPI internship: Make-A-Wish Oregon

What were your summer internship responsibilities?

I interned with the Development Team at Make-A-Wish Oregon. My main responsibilities were completing tasks that were assigned to me by the team. I specifically worked on finding and writing grants. I also analyzed and presented information about the Wish Ball. This is a major fundraising for Make-A-Wish Oregon. I was able to look at previous galas and look at which auction items performed well and others that did not. In general, I was a helping hand whenever I could be.

How did you find out about the Ethics and the Professions Internship program, and why did you apply?

I found out about the EPI internship through Gwynn Klobes, a business P4 advisor. I applied partly in need for a graduation requirement but also because it was an opportunity for growth in a field I wouldn’t have pictured myself in.

What did you learn?

At Make-A-Wish Oregon, I was able to gain confidence as a professional. This was the number-one aspect that I gained. I learned how to better present and prepare myself for most situations. I worked on my public speaking skills as well. Some analytical skills were gained because of my work on the Wish Ball packages. I also learned how to search for grant opportunities, which was a challenging process. Being able to help write a grant was a skill that I learned and could use more practice in. If I could take one thing out of this internship, it would be being able to communicate effectively and not be as nervous in a professional environment.

What was your favorite moment as an intern?

My favorite moment as an intern was my last few weeks. At this time, I had built rapport with my coworkers, and we were becoming more relaxed with each other. I helped out at Trailblaze, which was a fundraiser at Silver Falls where people hiked a marathon. Being able to be a part of that was so special. It was hectic, but there were wonderful moments interwoven within.

Why do you believe internships are important for undergraduate students?

Internships are important because they teach you a lot about what to expect in a job. Internships give you the ability to see what you like and how to act in a professional environment. You can pick up on the work culture pretty quickly, and this will give you good insight on what you would like in a workplace.

What tips do you have for students wanting an internship?

Come into the internship with an open mind and be ready to learn. In some cases, try to be a “yes” man and accept new challenges. This willingness and openness to take on new opportunities will be something that stands out to your coworkers and supervisor.

What other experiences have made your time at UP unique?

Living in the dorms all four years has been a blessing. Villa Maria Hall is where I found a home away from home. It sounds cliché; however, it is true. I learned a lot about how to trust myself as a leader in the dorms although I was never an RA. Another blessing about UP are some of the professors I’ve had, specifically Kali Able, John McDonald, Cara Hauck, and Stephanie Salamone. If any of you happen to come across this, thank you sincerely for being advocates for me and influential in my formation. I appreciate you all. Special thanks also to Lisa Reed who helped me through a challenging time and advocated for me without hesitation.

How did the internship influence how you will approach your plans after graduation?

I was able to get great networking experience through Make-A-Wish Oregon. Currently, I am looking into an internship at Northwestern Mutual, and I got that connection through my supervisor. I also learned what I would like in a work culture and how I should be treated in that setting.

How did the conversations about ethics during your internship influence how you will approach your plans after graduation?

For me, the way that the conversation about ethics influenced me was by teaching me what I wanted. It taught me how to advocate for myself and how others should advocate for me. Like I said, the number-one take-away was gaining confidence. This took many forms, one of which was public speaking skills, and the other was talking with coworkers and other professionals.