Looking for an entry level job or internship in program development? This is an overview of how to approach the search and a list of companies that might have relevant entry level and internship opportunities.
Bike and Build is a non-profit that leads cross-country bike trips in support of affordable housing. I’m sure you won’t be surprised that an under-taking of this magnitude involves a lot of planning. Some tasks on the list include leaders for the trips, participants for the trips, fundraising, biking and food supplies, route-planning, press for the program, etc. Chances are a number of program assistants helped make this program everything that it is. Program assistants and jacks (and jills) of all trades: they do anything and everything to help push their program forward.
Non-profit program assistants tend to serve as the right-hand persons of their supervisors. As a result many of their duties are administrative but they may also have some supervisory duties. Non-profit program assistants solicit grants for the organization by preparing grant application letters and meeting with grantors to discuss the purpose of their organization as well as how they intend to use the grant money. In addition they sometimes interview job candidates, train new workers, and supervise staff members in the director’s absence. They may also visit media outlets to promote upcoming events that the organization is sponsoring such as food drives, charity dinners, or a school supply giveaway.
While there is no typical day for a program assistant, some tasks might include:
The average salary for a Program Assistant in a non-profit is $35,000 per year, although it ranges between $31,000-$43,000. One way to begin at a non-profit is in direct service. From there people often transition into coordinating aspects of programs (a program assistant), such as managing volunteers, and then eventually managing entire programs. You could consider getting involved in the development ($55,000) or marketing ($25,000-$45,000/yearly) aspects of the company as well.
Here are some great locations for program assistants:
To be a program assistant you will usually need at least a high school diploma and/or a bachelor’s degree with a focus in either business, communications or marketing. Other skills to develop for this function include the ability to multi-task, handle difficult clients, pay attention to details, great working collaboratively, and take initiative.
If being a program assistant still sounds like your cup of tea, here are a few things you should do to get started.
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