OFN offers several internships across the organization for graduate and undergraduate students. The summer-long experience offers a unique opportunity to learn about the CDFI industry and to sink your teeth into meaningful projects that help transform low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged communities.
While learning about our industry, get hands-on experience in financing, strategic consulting, strategic communications, development, knowledge sharing, and corporate finance. As an intern in one of these areas, you’ll participate in departmental initiatives and complete a summer-long team project that tackles an industry-wide issue.
OFN’s work is intense (and rewarding!) so we make sure to balance it with fun. Throughout the summer, interns have many chances to get together with each other and OFN staff for in-the-office and offsite activities.
Below are some of the questions we're asked most frequently.
What do you look for in interns?
Each department has different qualifications for its interns. See the descriptions of our 2016 Internships to learn more. Above all, what we most seek in all potential OFN interns is an interest in our mission and commitment to our core values.
Are internships paid?
We offer a range of stipends, depending on the internship.
Do you provide housing or assist with housing searches?
Do you accept freshman?
Yes! Our interns are freshman, sophmore, juniors, and seniors. Certain internships are also available for graduate students.
How long are OFN internships?
Our internships run from June through mid-August.
What's the weekly schedule?
Each department has different expectations and scheduling needs.
Do you accept foreign students?
International students may apply. However, OFN is not in a position to sponsor Visas, and students must be authorized to work in the U.S.
What do the different departments offering internships—Strategic Communications, Consulting, Financial Services, and Knowledge Sharing—do?
- Web resources
- News and information shared with Members and national media
- Real-time updates on policy and other issues via email, the web, and social media
- Advising CDFIs on managing key, cutting-edge issues
- Working with investors to provide financing to CDFIs
- Strategic innovation for the field
- Supporting government strategies to expand CDFI coverage geographically and demographically
- Develops and provides communication materials, graphics, and web resources
- Liquidity for CDFIs
- Asset management services for banks and faith-based investors
- Multimillion dollar NEXT Awards for cutting-edge innovation
- Industry performance and trend research
- The industry’s premier annual training and networking conference
- Technical and informational documents
- In-person and telephonic educational meetings
- Small Business Finance Forum, regional meetings, and educational webinars
Hear what the 2014 OFN Summer Interns had to say about their experience:
I selected OFN because I was inspired by the mission of aligning capital with justice, and wanted to learn more about the opportunity finance movement in general. As a summer intern in the Development Department, I worked on writing and editing a variety of grant proposals, conducting research on potential sponsors for the Conference, and working directly with them to secure their sponsorship. Whether it be writing, editing, or researching, I was always focused on how to best communicate with our funders and investors. Of course, a highlight of each day was lunch with the other interns and getting to explore Philadelphia! What I enjoyed the most of my summer internship, though, was the opportunity to get to know the staff and other interns at OFN. Everyone was extremely friendly and always willing to share their knowledge. In the future, I plan on continuing to develop my understanding of the opportunity finance movement and to share this knowledge with my peers, and to certainly keep the industry in mind when I start applying for jobs this year!
Strategic Initiatives/Financial Services
I selected OFN because I have always been involved in a lot of community service and volunteering initiatives, and as a business student, I was also interested in learning technical skills for the future. As a summer intern in the Strategic Initiatives/Financial Services departments, I work with people from all levels of the company—from executives to junior associates—on new, innovative initiatives that are currently or are in the process of being implemented, such as the Wells Fargo NEXT Awards, the Bond Guarantee Program, and the NYU Stern Opportunity Finance Program. I also learned more finance-oriented skills by working with the Financial Services department to analyze financial statements and underwrite loans. I particularly enjoyed working on the intern collaborative project and participating in all the Summer of Phun events because I was able to get to know the other interns and the other people in the office too.
I chose OFN because of two main reasons: They provided resources for professional development, and they are involved in helping low-income and low-wealth communities. Having the chance to develop a career and being a part of helping hundreds of thousands of people through community development are compelling reasons to join OFN. As a summer intern in Knowledge Sharing, I helped with the Annual Member Survey and performed research. Typical tasks included looking online for financial statements and emailing staff of over 200 CDFIs for audits. I helped evaluate financial information in both Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access. I particularly enjoyed not just the work that I did but the great times I had with the OFN staff and other interns. There were also fun summer events, like going to an amusement park and enjoying lunch with the other interns. All of these activities made this summer memorable, and I aim to work more on projects that with positive social impacts after returning to school in the fall.
I joined OFN because I was drawn to the success stories of borrowers and wanted to learn more about the positive changes OFN and CDFIs were bringing to individual lives and communities. As the Strategic Communications intern, I assist with PR and Marketing efforts, communications development, research for marketing plans and projects, and outreach and development with our Member CDFIs. A typical day usually includes a morning meeting to discuss my assignments, a lunch break with my fellow interns, working on our collaborative summer intern project, and sitting in a few calls with CDFIs or borrowers in the afternoon. My favorite part of the summer internship was visiting Steelworks Crossfit, a local borrower, and also working on the collaborative intern project.
I selected OFN because it was a place where I could follow my interest in finance as well as my passion for community and social impact work. As a summer intern in the Financial Services department, I assisted with several portfolio management tasks – I analyzed borrower’s financial statements to write annual reviews and I helped with loan underwritings for future potential loans. I also had a chance to learn what other departments do by attending the weekly “Brown Bag Lunch” meetings, where staff members from different departments in OFN gave a presentation about their work. I really enjoyed working at OFN; I had a chance to do meaningful work and I was given a lot of responsibility from the start. It was very rewarding to work with people that believe in the mission of the organization and know that the work that they do will make an impact in the lives of many people. When I go back to school I will continue to participate in social impact activities at my university.
I selected OFN because they provided an opportunity for me to have a positive impact on struggling communities while getting experience in my field. As a summer intern in the Strategic Consulting department, I help with preparation for trainings and workshops, including one sponsored by Goldman Sachs on small business lending. This includes creating PowerPoints and brainstorming exercises for workshop participants. I also researched technology resources that benefit small businesses and compiled data. What I enjoyed most about my internship at OFN was working with such a diverse group of people who were all open to helping me learn and grow as an intern. My fellow interns and my supervisors consistently challenged me to do better. When I arrive back at school in the fall, I look forward to exploring different ways I can give back to the community through my class selection and club involvement. I will continue to make a positive impact on the lives of others.
Available Summer 2017 Internships
All internships have been filled. Please check back in early next year for summer 2018 internships at OFN!
Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) is the leading membership organization for community banks, credit unions and loan funds that invest in low-income, low-wealth, and other disinvested communities across America. OFN Members provide affordable, responsible credit that finances community businesses, sparks job growth in the areas that need it most, and delivers both sound financial returns and real changes for people and communities.
To learn more about OFN, visit: www.ofn.org
Women, People of Color, and LGBTQ candidates are encouraged to apply.
A day in the life of an OFN Intern is always different and exciting. Depending on your department, you will be given a variety of tasks and responsibilities. This is not your typical “making coffee” internship (although we do have a Keurig for the office) but rather a hands-on experience from Day 1! Here are some of the things you might experience when working at OFN:
9am: Arrive at the office in Philadelphia’s historic Old City—you’ll walk by famous sights like the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall every morning!
10am: Department team meeting—catch up with the other members of your department to learn about their ongoing projects and see where you can help out. You’ll probably also share the progress you’ve made on your own projects.
11am: Work on some of your individual department projects—these could be a variety of tasks depending on your department. See the Testimonials for a better sense of what interning in each department is like.
12pm: Lunch time! The city of Philadelphia is at your fingertips—check out any number of great local spots or bring a lunch and enjoy it in nearby Washington Square Park, Franklin Square, or outside Independence Hall. Or, you may have a brown bag lunch where once a week, a different department presents on what they do to the intern group. It’s always informative and interesting!
The OFN Interns learn about Strategic Communications during a brown bag lunch
1pm: Continue working on individual department projects and tasks.
2pm: Work on your collaborative intern project—the OFN Interns all work together on a project for the duration of the summer. It’s a great way to work as a team and put your different skills to use in order to make a contribution to OFN! (check out this year’s intern project here!)
The Interns enjoy a picnic on Philadelphia’s Race Street Pier
4pm: Sit in on a call—whether to a borrower, Member CDFI, or funder, OFN is always forging relationships to help keep us keep providing the best service possible. Have an interest in seeing what a different department is all about? Ask to sit in on a call or meeting with that department—everyone at OFN is happy to share their knowledge and expertise.
5pm: Head out for the day, excited to see what the next day will bring!