Sophomore Service Leadership Internship

The Sophomore Service Leadership Internship is a summer opportunity for rising juniors to work with non-profit organizations while earning a stipend and learning the businesses where they are employed.  This program allows boys to explore more deeply the programs offered by some of MBA's community partners and to gain a further understanding of Nashville, the needs of marginalized and underserved communities, and the forces creating or sustaining those needs.  Our interns build relationships across the sometimes divisive lines of economic status, race, culture and different life experiences while recognizing our common humanity and working together to address some our city's most pressing issues.

We are grateful for our generous donors who underwrite this program and make a difference in the lives of MBA students and our neighbors alike.

Students who participate in the Summer Service Internship take a leadership role in maintaining and strengthening our partnerships as we work with their host agencies throughout the school year.  


    • Urban Housing Solutions

      Sayan Dalai

During my Summer, I interned at Urban Housing Solutions. UHS is a non-profit organization that provides affordable housing for low-income people. UHS also partners with many others to get a roof over the heads of people in need. 

I worked each day in northeast Nashville and would take my time everyday to check up on residents to see if there was anything they needed help with or would like to spend time talking about. Calling over one-thousand residents and over 10 different properties, I realized that there are always people who are grateful for affordable housing and the resources Urban Housing solutions had to offer. Calls would last anywhere between twenty seconds and twenty minutes.

During my second week at the office, I was able to visit one of the properties alongside Mr. Alan Mazer, General Counsel of UHS. I saw firsthand the people that live there and had the privilege of talking to some of them to see how they were doing. My visit helped me understand the lives of the people whom I talk to and educated my knowledge on what Urban Housing Solutions really does. 

Affordable housing needs to expand throughout communities as it plays a vital role in neighborhoods. I enjoyed my time at Urban Housing, bonding with many staff members, sitting in meetings and understanding the background of what goes on, and going to court to become educated on how the process of housing works. I encourage future sophomores to apply for the internship and become more educated on affordable housing.  
    • Youth Encouragement Services

      Thompson Adams

My internship at Youth Encouragement Services this past summer was a fantastic opportunity and truly a life-changing experience. 

I primarily worked as a counselor for the kids as they played countless games, such as basketball and football, and had fun at the center where I was located. We also went on field trips to Radnor Lake, the roller skating rink, a trampoline park, the pool, and many other places as well. 

I learned many valuable lessons concerning work in general and watching over kids. I also became very close with so many truly special kids, and I cannot wait to go back and visit. But most importantly, I saw how I impacted these kids during my time, and that was my favorite part of the experience. 

I would definitely recommend rising juniors to take advantage of this unique opportunity. I am very grateful for this amazing experience, and I want to encourage more people to go to Youth Encouragement Services and make a difference in their lives.
    • Room in the Inn

      Claiborne Tompkins

This past summer I had the opportunity to act as an intern for Room In the Inn, a non-profit organization that serves as a day center for the homeless in Nashville. RITI is on the front lines in the fight against homelessness in Middle Tennessee. Everyday, they serve lunch to almost 200 individuals, and they offer vital services such as showers, laundry, and the ability to charge phones. These necessary comforts are often taken for granted by the rest of the world, but without RITI, many homeless individuals in Nashville would go without them. 

RITI’s core values include spirituality, love, hospitality, respect, hope, community, and non-violence. Each day at our afternoon wrap-up meeting, staff members would discuss moments where they saw a core value that day. These were inspiring moments and allowed me to see hope in places I never thought I would. 

The most important thing that I gained from my time at Room In the Inn was a better perspective on life. I learned to look at circumstances through the eyes of others and the people whom I served. Situations are almost never as simple as they might first appear, and it is important to get a real understanding before judging someone. 

I am excited to use my experiences at Room In the Inn to spread awareness to the broader MBA community in the coming years. I want my peers to see the things that I saw, even if they are not always pretty. Empathy and understanding are often forgotten in our world of competition and rigor. Room In the Inn showed me that even in the darkest of times and scenarios, people can find hope.  

The Service Club would like to express our gratitude for
Father Charles Strobel, founder of Room in the Inn and
a tireless advocate for Nashvillians in need. 
May we follow his example, extending love and grace
towards all of our neighbors.

    • W.O. Smith Music School

      Edwin Bass

This summer I spent six weeks at W.O. Smith Music School, which focuses on providing affordable music education for children. The internship consisted of time spent both at the music school and at their Resident Camp in White Bluff, Tennessee.

The exposure to the day-to-day operations at W.O. Smith gave me a comprehensive understanding of the non-profit and the various roles in making the organization successful. Most of the work at W.O. Smith consisted of moving instruments, setting up lights, sound checking rooms, and filing music. My first day, I was warmly welcomed by the entire team, and was given a lengthy checklist of tasks in preparation for their Camp Backbeat.

Later in the summer, I attended their resident camp, where I spent time not only with professional musicians in Nashville, but also with other high school campers. I have learned invaluable lessons about the logistics of preparing a venue for music, and am confident that these skills will serve me well as project manager of Cellophony this year.

By the end of the internship, I had not only completed the day-to-day tasks, but I also repainted all of the school’s parking lot lines. This internship reaffirmed my belief in the power of dedicated individuals and organizations coming together to support aspiring musicians and music educators. I would particularly recommend this internship to those who are musically gifted and appreciate working and performing alongside other aspiring musicians.
    • Operation Stand Down Tennessee

      Jake Dorfman

This summer I spent six weeks interning at Operation Stand Down, which focuses on helping veterans in need. After the first two days of doing somewhat boring work, I feared I had made a mistake in choosing the internship, but then I went on a delivery trip. Despite living in the same city as many of the veterans we helped, I had never really gotten to see first hand what poverty looks like, but on the first delivery trip I took I realized just how dire the situation is for some of the veterans. Seeing the conditions they live in made me grateful for my own living situation, but it also made me realize the responsibility we have to help them. The people that I got to serve while at Operation Stand Down had risked their lives to protect us, and the work that I did this summer pales in comparison to the sacrifices that the veterans made for us. 

As far as the actual internship went, it was a very relaxed yet professional environment where I quickly felt appreciated. I spent about half of my time there making deliveries and actually getting to go to the homes of the veterans, and the other half was spent packing food bags or doing small jobs around the office. My six weeks at Operation Stand Down provided me with both experience in a work environment as well as perspective of how other people outside our MBA community live. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity and would highly recommend the internship for any rising juniors. 
Over the summer, I had the incredible opportunity to work with the Catholic Charities Refugee and Immigration Services group for six weeks. Their focus is on helping children who have recently immigrated to the United States. I had the real privilege of working with these children aged 5 to 14 from all over the world in a program that had several components: academic lessons focused on reading and math, social skill development to help bolster emotional health and to teach enhanced coping skills, and athletics/recess.

Going into my internship, I had some concern about language barriers and my ability to connect with the kids with whom I'd have very little in common. However, once I started, all my doubts went away. I found it fascinating to be around representatives of so many different cultures at the same time. I loved interacting with so many truly fantastic kids while working with the remarkable people at Catholic Charities who are so devoted to the kids they are trying to help. Although the children were all on different levels regarding their understanding of the English language, I was able to connect with each and every one of them in our own way. Whether I was having a full conversation with a kid about their favorite types of music or simply throwing a ball with someone who might not fully understand English yet, I tried to form some sort of connection with everyone. I had fun playing soccer and tag, but I especially enjoyed helping teach the math lessons every day. Almost all of these children could use extra academic help, so I was thrilled to be able to help prepare them for the school year. 

This internship provided me not only with hands-on work experience but also with a unique perspective on how other children outside the “traditional” MBA community live. I am so grateful to MBA for this internship and strongly recommend it to any current sophomores.
    • Catholic Charities Refugee and Immigration Services

      Jack Smithwick

Montgomery Bell Academy

4001 Harding Road
Nashville, TN 37205
(615) 298-5514