Alexandra is an MPP/MBA candidate at Mills College, focusing on finance and socially responsible business. She grew up in Minnesota and earned an undergraduate degree in Political Economy from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Since graduating in 2010, she has had very diverse work experiences in Ireland, Argentina, Egypt, and the US, all of which helped her forge a deep belief in placing people at the center of any business and every economic structure.
Alexandra has a passion for building strong communities through empowering individuals, and hopes to use a business and public policy education to help others reach their dreams of economic empowerment. She looks forward to leveraging local knowledge and expertise with a cross-sector education from Mills to design creative solutions for community development in the Bay Area.
This internship offered more hands-on exposure to real-time lending than I could have imagined. I felt completely welcomed and got to assimilate quickly into the daily work of the team at Beneficial State Bank. This, paired with the Beneficial Banking Curriculum, gave me more insight and a faster learning experience than anywhere else could have.
I think this program is perfectly designed for students, and even for entry-level professionals who want to learn more about banking and need to have a supportive learning environment. The staff of the bank and the foundation were completely supportive and gave so much of their own time and guidance.
Project Scope and Process
This internship is best for people who are able to self-design and self-direct. There is all of the support that you need from the staff of both the bank and foundation, but it is up to you to design the scope and deliverables of your project. This works well for people with a clear vision, and those who like flexibility and freedom in their work.
I felt that I was able to consistently go to my point people at the bank to rework my scope and deliverables and get the feedback I needed as I tried to find my own clear vision for the project. While it was a struggle, ultimately they were very happy with my project, and I felt a great sense of accomplishment from the process.
Beneficial State Bank Structure and Values
It is amazing that a growing, changing institution with so much internal activity finds the time to support a group of developing students. It was clear that each and every employee at the bank and foundation would take time out of their busy days to assist the interns in any way that we needed. No question was too big or too small, and the entire staff was accessible and kind. It is rare that a President or CEO knows their interns by name, and takes the time to give valuable individual feedback.
Ultimately, I felt that the bank and foundation’s goal of instilling the values of beneficial banking, and my own goal of professional development towards a career in community development finance, were met in a positive, mutually beneficial way. BSB and BSF did a great job of exposing us to the many facets of beneficial banking and community engagement, and it reinforced my own commitment to these values.