SPARTANBURG, S.C. – When Kendall Weaver, a rising senior at Wofford College, was interviewing for her summer internship with the Aspen Institute, she spoke with Wofford alumni who had interned with the Aspen Institute in previous years. The hope of obtaining wisdom from some of the world’s top thinkers, coupled with the chance to experience the beauty of Colorado, is what Weaver says drew her to the opportunity.
“Hearing alumni who had participated in this internship talk about the life and career mentors gained through interactions at different events over the summer made an impression on me,” says Weaver, an international affairs major from Lexington, S.C.
Weaver was joined this summer at the Aspen Institute along with Charlie Pruitt, a senior history major from Greenville, S.C., and Jack Sullivan, a senior economics major from Atlanta, Ga.
“My hope is to know how to navigate the professional world, specifically how to plan and organize a large event from start to finish,” says Weaver, whose job at the institute is focused on getting the community involved in think-tank programs and events.
Sullivan spent his time working on the Aspen IDEAS Festival. He was a ticketing intern who contributed to a sales-breaking year. Sullivan also spent time working with Aspen Conference Services and events such as the Aspen Security Forum, Resnick Aspen Action Forum and the Bauhaus Festival.
“The experience has been a rich one, both professional and personally,” Sullivan says. “There is no doubt that the Aspen Institute manages to provide a glimpse into fields of work around the world in a truly diverse way.”
The Aspen Institute, founded in 1949 by Walter Paepcke, is an educational and policy studies organization. Their mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. Based in Washington D.C., the institute also has campuses in Aspen, Colorado and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The organization maintains offices in New York City and has an international network of partners.
Each year, thanks to Wofford graduate and Atlanta business executive Michael S. Brown, three Wofford students have the opportunity to participate in internships at the Aspen Institute. The competitive internship program is unpaid, but Brown funds all expenses for the Wofford interns, including travel, housing and meals. The internship program is managed through The Space in the Mungo Center.