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Testimonials

Apprentice reflections on making a difference at iMADdu.

Video testimonials from apprentices that completed the Student Apprenticeship Program.

Click here to watch Laura Yu speak about her time at iMADdu.

Click here to watch Tony Hu talk about his first entrepreneurship experience in the US.

Click here to watch Gracie Boliek speak about her time at iMADdu.

Click here to watch Yash Jain speak about his time at iMADdu.

Click here to watch Cheryl Cordingley speak about social media at iMADdu.

Click here to watch Felicia Der speak about event planning at iMADdu.

Click here to watch Phimolwan Rungsaengmanoon speak on making a difference at iMADdu.

Written testimonials from apprentices that completed the Student Apprenticeship Program.

“Working with iMADdu has been an amazing experience.  I never thought – as a freshman in college with limited work experience – that I would be given the opportunity do real things at a serious business. I figured an internship meant trying to absorb what you could between filing papers and licking stamps. That’s certainly not the case at iMADdu.  On my very first day, I was immediately given the opportunity to dive into event planning for the July 1st HTHTN event and to assist a professional photographer with an important photo shoot.

Over the course of my time here, I’ve had the opportunity to write business plans, draft mission statements, develop a fundraising platform, blog, work on media outreach, and write grant applications.  It is an incredibly empowering feeling to be entrusted with real projects – the success or failure of which will seriously impact the organization.

I have discovered that business can mean social enterprise and making a difference in other lives; that business is the backbone of many of the nonprofit organization I most admire; that business can be fascinating, creative, and personal.  I have discovered not only that I am capable of starting a business, but also that starting a business may actually fit quite well into my decidedly non-corporate interests such as public policy, environmental sustainability, human rights, and global justice. Coming out of my apprenticeship at iMADdu, I honestly feel ready to take on the world.

I feel up to the challenges of my professional future and ready to take steps to achieve the professional goals that I have developed while here at iMADdu.”

Laura Yu, iMADdu Apprentice Summer 2010

“During my internship with iMADdu, I have learned the inner workings of a nonprofit organization and the steps it takes to become a successful woman in the world of business. I feel more inspired as a person to go out an make a difference every day whether it be by starting my own company and exercising green policies or just have a MAD (make a difference) day everyday. I have made lasting friends and potential business partners and made connections with great people!”

Danielle Kraner, iMADdu Apprentice Summer 2010

“I had the incredible opportunity to be a development apprentice at iMADdu and this experience has reinforced my desire to be an entrepreneur. Working with people sharing the same ideals and being able to see what really happens behind the scenes is priceless. My motivation has never been this eminent and I am ready to engage in the challenges that await me.”

Christopher Lee, iMADdu Apprentice Fall 2010

“I had the greatest time working with iMADdu. This was my first apprenticeship and I enjoyed it. It was my first time meeting different people and being able to talk with them and ask questions. This adventurous time will remain with me for a lifetime. The skills and information I acquired while I was here will definitely benefit me in the future. I’m a ball player up to bat and I can’t wait to see what the world throws at me. Maybe I’ll hit a home run, get to first base, or maybe even strike out. I’m confident that as long as I do my best I never actually failed but was tagged out, but I won’t forget that all players eventually make their way back around to hit again.”

Alinah Mphofe, iMADdu Apprentice Fall 2010

“Being an apprentice was an outstanding personal and professional experience. iMADdu has offered me the opportunity to put my knowledge and skills into practice. In addition, it helped me acquire a depth of knowledge that would catapult me into cycles of interesting new possibilities in the entrepreneurial universe.  To me, the commitment of iMADdu to positively impact communities and society at large is an inspiring story. It helped me build confidence and commitment to excel in doing things the right way and making a difference in people’s life.”

Mohammed Rouijel, iMADdu Apprentice Fall 2010

“Having been an apprentice at iMADdu, I have had many new experiences and exciting aspects. I have learned different work styles and a whole new organizational culture. Through iMADdu, I have increased my knowledge in several fields and broadened my perspective regarding different approaches for business, especially in the areas of technology and social networking. For me, the most important advantage to being an apprentice with iMADdu is not just the knowledge and skills I have attained to help in business, but it is what I have learned from the people here. They are creative, exciting and want to make a difference and have an impact on other people and the environment around them. The founder works extremely hard to live up to her dream. I believe her dedication will continue to inspire me and every other intern at iMADdu to greater heights and to make a positive difference.”

Phimolwan Rungsaengmanoon, iMADdu Apprentice Fall 2010

“Had you asked me 6 months ago what I saw myself doing in the long term, You would have received one of a few reactions: a blank deer-in-the-headlights stare, a hearty laugh, or a badly conjured answer to the effect of “I have no idea.”  That’s where I was when I joined the iMADdu team. With the help of the people at iMADdu, I was able to put my skills to work in ways I had never imagined.  I operate under the notion of “If it needs to get done, do it.”  This has served me well in my stage management and event planning experiences.  But at iMADdu, not only did I work on event planning, but I also fell into marketing and social media through my reviews of existing procedures.  At iMADdu I was allowed, and encouraged, to explore new areas, to ask questions, and to learn from any mistakes.  This gave me the flexibility to pursue previously unexplored passions, such as social media, which I will continue this coming year. Though I may have arrived at this place of confidence and clarity by another path, I believe that iMADdu sped the process and gave me another view of my future.  Wherever I end up down the road, I know that iMADdu will have aided my journey immensely, and I will always remember to make a difference.”

Cheryl Cordingley, iMADdu Apprentice Spring 2011
 

“Before starting my apprenticeship at iMADdu I really wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I wondered if I would really be getting hands on experience that would help me develop my interests and skills. Upon arrival at iMADdu my worries were quickly put to rest. I was immediately given opportunities that would never have been granted to me at any other internship. I was responsible for overlooking iMADdu’s 1023 form and researching various components that were required in order for a nonprofit to become 501c3 certified.  I also was put in charge of locating potential offices in and around the Fairfax area that were suitable for iMADdu. While these responsibilities were very beneficial, I believe the most rewarding experience I was given at iMADdu was the chance to see and feel what a starting a business was like. This unique opportunity has truly given me insight into what becoming an entrepreneur is all about. At the outset of my apprenticeship I did have minor thoughts of one day starting my own business but I never really gave it much thought. Now that I have experienced the exciting and fast passed environment of a small business my interest in becoming and entrepreneur has sky rocketed.”

Robert Percacciolo, iMADdu Apprentice Spring 2011

“Working as an apprentice for iMADdu was a special experience. Especially being the only apprentice from Korea made me feel more responsible for the work that I was doing. Being a part of iMADdu means that you will not only be working for but also working with talented people, in other words, you will have the autonomy to implement your own ideas to help entrepreneurs. Therefore, my experience as an apprentice also gave me the opportunity to acquire certain qualities of a leader. In addition, working for iMADdu made me realize that nothing is impossible, if you are set to make a difference there is no doubt that a difference will be made. Learning these qualities from iMADdu, I now have confidence that no matter where I go I will be able to make a positive difference.”

Min Jeong Kim, iMADdu Apprentice Summer 2011

“My apprenticeship with iMADdu has given me a unique experience that I would have never gotten in class. I have learned that making a difference each day will be the best and most rewarding goal I can set for myself in whatever situation I may come across in the future. The hands on experience as well as all the networking opportunities I received at iMADdu would never have been accomplished in a classroom. In addition, I have gained a certain confidence that I am able to learn and to accomplish goals I set for myself. I also learned that mistakes are inevitable, but they can be great tools to learn from. Before my apprenticeship at iMADdu, I was nervous to graduate and get into the “real world.” Through learning about different aspects in the business world, I am now excited and eager to begin the next chapter in my life.”

Gracie Boliek, iMADdu Apprentice Summer 2011

“I have completed my time at iMADdu and the experience has been great. As long as you have the passion to learn and grow, you do not need any business skills to start. I was actually a biomedical engineer from the George Washington University before I got this position, I had little to no business experience. But thanks to my time at iMADdu I was able to get the business experience that I’ve always wanted without changing my major. I even established an efficient business plan by myself. My time here at iMADdu has been quite fun and enlightening. My name is Yash Jain and I was a business development apprentice. I make a difference, do you?”

Yash Jain, iMADdu Apprentice Summer 2011

“Being an apprentice in iMADdu is my very first working experience here in the US. I have interned at several Chinese institutions back in my undergraduate study and I have to say the apprenticeship here benefited and inspired me the most. With the help of Mona and other team members, I have the opportunity to conduct consulting and prospecting tasks for iMADdu and its partners and to develop and exercise detailed outreach plan to more than 50 local companies to increase popularity of the organization. My position here as a finance apprentice not only gave me a better understanding of nonprofit account management and grant writing procedures, it also allowed me to involve in 3 projects with real startups in the region focusing on corporate financing and capital budgeting for our business partners. iMADdu stands for “I Make A Difference, Do You?” and making a difference is what our impact team is all about during our daily operations. After the 3 month apprenticeship, I am proud to say that I am making a difference today, and I have acquired the confidence to keep making differences to me and to the world around me in the future.”

Tony Hu, iMADdu Apprentice Summer 2011

“iMADdu taught me so many different concepts on so many different levels. It is definitely an experience I will share with my friends, family, even future employers. It was unlike any other job or work experience. I experienced hands on work with startups and I learned the inner workings of iMADdu. I learned to navigate through complicated webs and get to the main points I am in search of. I am confident now in my communication, research, and analytic skills. It was one of the best opportunities I have been given. I was able to utilize in office and remote work skills, which strengthened my time management and dedication. I put to test what I had learned in a classroom and applied it to real life business endeavors. I was able to record what I was learning through my blog posts, which kept my writing and grammar sharp throughout the summer months. Most importantly, I made a difference. It was inspiring, eye-opening, and not to mention, educational.”

Emily Chrisinger, iMADdu Apprentice Summer 2011

“Being an apprentice for iMADdu was not only a beneficial experience, but a very professional one as well. I was kind of nervous coming in at first because I was not sure what to expect. I didn’t know what kind of experience I was going to have nor what kind of projects I was going to work on. iMADdu does a good job of making you feel comfortable quickly as well as giving you hands-on experience with very important tasks. Through iMADdu, I have increased my knowledge in technology as well as areas involving social networking and blogging. The founder of iMADdu is a very bright individual who is always willing to help you and aide you in your task if needed. She is very intelligent and strives to live her dream of making a difference. iMADdu is an excellent place to be an apprentice and has taught me so many things that I will take into my future endeavors.”

James Freeman, iMADdu Apprentice Summer 2011

“On my first day working for iMADdu, I did not file papers, answer phone calls or do other tedious work typical internships would provide. Instead, I assisted in transforming a blank office space into the “MADPAD” office for student apprentices. As I was placing painters tape along the walls of the office, any expectations or doubts I had about my upcoming summer work at iMADdu quickly vanished. During my time as an Operations Apprentice at iMADdu, I worked on a variety of different projects which included website design, task management, developing fundraising and marketing techniques and expanding iMADdu’s outreach in the community. Rarely would I ever work on the same project for more than one week; in fact the projects I was involved with kept getting more interesting and detailed as the summer went on. My iMADdu apprenticeship showed me numerous aspects of the business process and taught me valuable lessons about the difficulty in creating a startup company. With iMADdu, the student apprentices really do make a difference as the organization is built upon their work and ideas. Mona Olsen does an excellent job facilitating projects and creating deadlines but leaves most of the interpretative and creative work up to the apprentices, allowing students to watch their ideas grow and see how they can impact an actual organization. When I first discovered the internship posting for iMADdu I had no idea I would be joining the organization shortly after, and I am extremely glad I took the time to fill out the application. Working with iMADdu helped me grow as an individual and gave me a great foundation to my future careers. Lastly, my apprenticeship at iMADdu left me with a strong desire to become an entrepreneur and start my own business.”

John Fenninger, iMADdu Apprentice Summer 2011

“I have really enjoyed working for iMADdu.  It’s given me an opportunity to do some things that I wasn’t sure I would be able to do.  But I was tenacious.  I asked questions.  I figured things out.  As Martha Stewart might say, “It’s a Good Thing.” I would have said that before I started the apprenticeship that I didn’t need to do an apprenticeship.  I’ve been out in the work world for 30 years.  But working for iMADdu taught me that there is a lot more that I have to learn and a lot more that I have to give.  When we allow ourselves the luxury of thinking like a student again, we see the world through different eyes.  We can see where we excel and where we need some work.  We just have to be willing to look at things from a new angle.  That’s where you’ll find the best surprises!”

Lori Rayburn, iMADdu Apprentice Summer 2011

“The Student Apprenticeship Program at iMADdu is an internship experience like no other. During my time at iMADdu, I had the opportunity to experience many types of projects. While doing so, I put my skills to work. As a student counting down the days to graduation, this was a great opportunity to close out my undergraduate college career. The experience was eye-opening, productive, and rewarding. I had prior internship experience, but iMADdu has broadened my horizons by providing me with insight into nonprofit management and entrepreneurship. My career aspiration of one day opening my own business has been revived once again.”

Stephanie Yang, iMADdu Apprentice Spring 2012

“During my time at iMADdu, I have learned a lot of new skills and knowledge that I could use it for my future career.  I am very thankful to have the opportunity to work with local entrepreneurs who are making a difference everyday.  Working especially with Mona taught me many things that you wouldn’t learn in the classroom.  At iMADdu, I was responsible for various marketing projects such as brand management, social media and web initiatives.  By working as an apprentice, I now have a new perspective on how each business operates and functions, it looks harder than you think.  As a result, this experience has given me confidence to face new challenges.  Make a difference!”

Yuta Kato, iMADdu Apprentice Spring 2012

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